Danish architect Jan Gehl on making cities safe for people, the art and science of designing good cities for walking, and how to plan good cities for bicycling.
The Growth Ponzi Scheme, a series of five blog posts on the financial underpinnings (or lack thereof) of the American post-war development pattern. 1: The Mechanisms of Growth - Trading near-term cash for long-term obligations. 2: Case studies that show how our places do not create, but destroy, our wealth. 3: The Ponzi scheme revealed - How new development is used to pay for old development. 4: How we've sustained the unsustainable by going "all in" on the suburban pattern of development. 5: Responses that are rational and responses that are irrational.
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]
The Congress for the New Urbanism has just released Freeways Without Future, their top-10 list of aging highways that should be demolished in favor of city-friendly boulevards. "There's a whole generation of elevated highways in cities that are at the end of their design life," says John Norquist, head of the Congress for the New Urbanism. "Instead of rebuilding them at enormous expense, cities have an opportunity to undo what proved to be major urban-planning blunder." Take that, Robert Moses.
Remember the Town Disney Built? -- 50% of the homes in Celebration, Florida are up for sale. A failure of corporate-owned and -planned Community™? or just a fallout of the bursting of the housing bubble? And whither New Urbanism? [more inside]
Nikos Salingaros is a mathematics professor and architecture theorist. His career has crossed disciplines: after starting out as a painter, Salingaros earned a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and published work in mathematics and physics. In 1983 Salingaros helped edit Christopher Alexander's book The Nature of Order (here are Salingaros' notes on the book), and thereafter began a career as a noted architecture theorist in his own right. Salingaros is an advocate for "new urbanism" in architecture, and he champions the ideas of architect Léon Krier (the "godfather of new urbanism") with the "pattern language" theory of Christopher Alexander (wiki). The excellent arts blog 2Blowhards conducted a fascinating five-part interview with Salingaros: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Salingaros just published a new book, A Theory of Architecture (2Blowhards discusses it here) with a preface written by HRH the Prince of Wales (wiki).