Lightweave: Washington DC attempts to replicate (and improve upon) Indy’s stalled Swarm Street.

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My latest article just posted in Urban Indy, despite the fact that it’s fundamentally about a new project going on in Washington DC.  What’s the rationale behind this?  Well, take a look.  Here’s the underpass in question in Washington DC: And here’s the proposed art installation, known as Lightweave:Those attuned to urban development in Indy …Read more…

CityWay Phase Two: retail retreat and its impact on the street.

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My latest just went up at Urban Indy.  It focuses on the CityWay mixed-used development in downtown Indianapolis, which includes a few hundred apartments, multiple restaurants, a hotel, and a multi-level YMCA.That’s phase one, at least.  Now the developer is embarking on Phase Two, which will double the apartment units (to nearly 500), add some …Read more…

Downtown Houston: paved with good intentions.

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One of the most unnerving characteristics of the built environment is when an alternative taste culture becomes so entrenched and so mundane that we forget that it wasn’t always the status quo. And it’s even worse when this anti-establishment product yields an inferior outcome whatever it was that preceded it. I’m speaking so vaguely that …Read more…

Pushing our way toward car/human interplay.

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Here’s a rarity for me: a short(-ish) post! About half the time, I aim for my posts to be brief (which for me is under 400 words), and they just balloon out of control. I can’t rein myself in. Obviously I have no one to blame but myself, but I’ll also recognize that the shorter …Read more…

A power center turns over a new leaf, only to find more grubs.

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About a year ago I explored one of the few retail typologies that seems to be growing in prevalence during this turbulent era: the power center. It’s essentially the only physical construction that suburban retail developers are building these days. And they usually look like little more than a strip mall on steroids—which, apparently, is …Read more…

Luring us back to the center, by whatever means necessary.

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After crossing the Thames River along Interstate 95, speeding westward past the compact, archetypically New England central business district to New London, Connecticut, a visitor will encounter an exit ramp leading directly to the city’s economically recovering downtown. Generally speaking, this should be the preferred trajectory for those of us obsessed with old town centers. …Read more…

Taking luggage to a whole new level.

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It’s hard for me to believe that I can offer anything about the New York High Line that someone else with a better knowledge base, commitment to the city, or insider’s connections hasn’t already said. It may still rank as the country’s premier greening of formerly neglected space in the past decade—a worthy successor to …Read more…