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traditional urbanism

A Traditional City Primer [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 30, 2014 - 23 comments

"If you want to kill someone, do it with a car."

"In 2012, automobile collisions killed more than 34,000 Americans, but unlike our response to foreign wars, the AIDS crisis, or terrorist attacks—all of which inflict fewer fatalities than cars—there’s no widespread public protest or giant memorial to the dead. We fret about drugs and gun safety, but don’t teach children to treat cars as the loaded weapons they are."
posted by DoctorFedora on Mar 12, 2014 - 235 comments

How to make American cities more bike friendly

If Henry Ford were reincarnated as a bike maker, Le Corbusier as an architect of buildings and cities for bikes, and Robert Moses as their bike-loving ally in government, today’s bike plans would be far more ambitious in scope. Ford would be aiming to sell billions of bikes, Corb would be wanting to save the whole world, and, even if it took him a lifetime, Moses would be aiming to leave a permanent mark. -- According to Steven Fleming, to make cities more biking friendly what's needed are architects who make the bike their guiding inspiration, like Robert Moses was inspired by the car.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 18, 2013 - 61 comments

How to Design a City for Women

In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city's ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. "Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes," says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. "But the women couldn't stop writing."
posted by cthuljew on Sep 21, 2013 - 38 comments

Fictitious Minneapolis street addresses: A guide for writers.

Let’s say you’re a writer, working a novel set in Minneapolis. Your protagonist arrives home after a long day of doing whatever it is your protagonist does all day. To this point, you’ve been very specific with local landmarks and a general feeling of the city — your protagonist rides the 21A, eats breakfast at the Grand Cafe, and meets his or her attorney in an office on the 12th floor of the Rand Tower. All good so far. You’ve set the scene very effectively. People are going to say, “This is a great Minneapolis novel" after they read it. However, the time has now come for you to insert a specific street address into the text. You like specifics, and you need a real-sounding mailing address for, say, a situation where the protagonist receives a mysterious letter. How will you accomplish this? Here you have a problem. You only have two options, neither one very good. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jul 31, 2013 - 104 comments

a permanent representation of a different time and a different ideology

Paolo Soleri Is The True Legend Of The Arizona Architecture Scene. print version. Soleri passed away last month at the age of 93. He is best known for the arcology, Arcosanti, in the Arizona desert. Remembering Life in Arcosanti, Paolo Soleri’s Futuristic Desert Utopia [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 31, 2013 - 11 comments

A City for the Motor Age

New Urbanism (previously) is a hot topic these days, yet its core idea of building walkable cities that rely less on automobiles can be traced to a city plan created almost a century ago: the Radburn Design. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 6, 2010 - 20 comments

"Construction period: 2007-2009"

"In Magnasanti the most advanced construction techniques were employed to achieve a near optimum population density configuration." Remarkable video of Sim City 3000, beaten.
posted by jbickers on Apr 16, 2010 - 83 comments

OASIS

The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative (OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 15, 2009 - 5 comments

Encyclopedia of Transportation Planning Strategies

Too much traffic? Can't find parking? Choking on smog? Worried about climate change? Gas prices too high, but you still have to drive? Send your city planner a link to the Online Encyclopedia of Transportation Demand Management strategies. [more inside]
posted by salvia on May 8, 2008 - 7 comments

sprawl suburbs

Boom! A master planned community. Boom! A big-box mall! Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia. This article, by New York Times columnist David Brooks, takes a look at exploding suburbs and exurban migration. This migration is nothing new, author Joel Garreau wrote extensively about it in his 1991 book Edge Cities. The phenomonon really took off after World War II, during the period of post war prosperity, and is best represented by this famous postwar American suburb. A veritable army of "suburban sprawl critics" has emerged over the years including Jane Jacobs and James Howard Knunstler plus many others including some who are predicting the immenent demise of suburbs because of oil depletion. For Brooks the critics of suburbs "just regurgitate the same critiques decade after decade, regardless of the suburban reality flowering around them" but you can't dismiss what the architect Paolo Soleri says about American society that "we have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive."
posted by thedailygrowl on Apr 30, 2004 - 28 comments

All we need at hand, already. Go!

Creative, cheap, participatory, the most innovative city in the world......Curitiba !! There may be no single, organic and living font of solutions to many of the world's most pressing problems than Curitiba (previous link from Wikipedia, and a bit more of a wonkish summary here), a Brazilian city of 1.5 million that urban planners from around the globe make pilgrimages to, to learn.

On a budget a tiny fraction of those which American cities have at their disposal, how did Curitiba become the world's leading model for urban sustainability and quality of life ? - with possibly the world's most efficient and effective public transit system, a network of parks and greenery far beyond Olmsted's visionary parks, 70% trash recycling, innovative social welfare systems, trees everywhere, and "Lighthouses of Knowledge" with small libraries and free internet access as well, a low cost open university system.....and flowers! Curitiba's pedestrian-only (no cars) city center is filled with gardens.
posted by troutfishing on Apr 13, 2004 - 34 comments

Suburban planning.

The Baltimore Sun has a series of articles that explore the possible failure of Columbia, MD to live up to expectations after 30 years.
posted by rorschach on Dec 28, 2000 - 20 comments

"Utopian Architecture"

"Utopian Architecture" is where it's at. Unfortunately, despite how many people seem to be interested in it, there's very little documentation concerning the subject. The only books I can think of are Yesterday's Tomorrow (1984, MIT Press), Metropolis of Tomorrow by Hugo Ferriss and Impossible Worlds by Stephen Coates, and I don't know of any website on the subject.
posted by Kevs on Nov 19, 2000 - 20 comments

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