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Design Mobility Transit Walkability

Three Questions to Ask While Walking Your City

I’ve written previously about why it probably sucks to walk around your city. But I still think you should do it if you really want to understand the built environment around you. At the end of the day, no matter how many machines and robots whirl and march into our future, cities are primarily human […]

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Design Regulation

The Cost of Adaptation is Too Damn High

One of the basic realities about cities is that they change. They change because humans change and keeping pace with this reality is at the heart of urban resilience. Resilient cities posses the ability to change with us as our knowledge, priorities and needs evolve. Resilient cities are those where the cost of adaptation is […]

Categories
Design Mobility Transit Walkability

5 Reasons Why Walking Your City (Most Likely) Sucks

As a traveling journalist, I have walked dozens of cities. I’ve walked the streets of Paris and Rome, the streets of forgotten small towns in the American South. I’ve walked exciting historic corridors and empty suburban wastelands. I’ve walked through ghettos, homeless encampments, busy intersections and luxurious, mansion-lined residential streets.  With every walk, I’ve discovered […]

Categories
Design Suburbia

Why proximity matters

The events of 2020 have made it obvious the role that proximity plays in how we experience our cities. The lockdowns of COVID-19 trapped many Americans in their suburban neighborhoods. The rallies and marches surrounding George Floyd’s death made clear the relationship between easily-accessible public space and democracy. The shift to remote work has anchored […]

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Design

The relationship between urban design and charity

One of the most well-known Christian parables is the story of the Good Samaritan. When a law expert asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life, Jesus reminds him to keep the law, summarized in the First and Second Commandments. “But who is my neighbor?” the legal expert asks. Jesus then tells the story of a […]

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Design

Reading Guide: Setbacks

Setbacks are one of those design principles that are so obvious in our cities that we don’t even see them. They are a design requirement that forces developers to leave a certain amount of land in front of and around their buildings. Why this matters: If your city struggles with affordable housing, zoning rules that […]