Let’s face it: it doesn’t matter how big or vibrant your city’s downtown is. Generally speaking, the civic plazas immediately outside the major municipal buildings are dead on weekends. There just isn’t any magnetism, given that these buildings host city government functions, which typically operate during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. (Emergency and corrections
It’s hard not to wonder if there are unspoken rules that explain why well-moving vehicular traffic operates in much the same configuration as human crowds in a congested, spatially constrained setting. Which came first? Well, humans/pedestrians obviously. But vehicular motion remains subject to numerous regulations in the interest of safety for pedestrians and other vehicles.
By this point, it isn’t just the major metropolises—the big coastal hubs—that have sewn the seeds for a renewed and seemingly enduring interest in our town centers. The little kids have joined in on the fun of downtown revitalization too: not just the smaller cities but even rural towns. Suburbs are getting in the game
About two years ago on this blog, I glossed over the unusual skyline of Frankfort, Kentucky’s pretty, parochial capital city. As capitals go, it’s an oddity: one of the least populated out of all 50 (only Vermont, South Dakota, and Maine are smaller); it’s also located less than 60 miles from either of the two
As much as street-level engagement for large projects in city centers should, by this point, seem like a foregone conclusion, it continues to amaze how many big ticket items—in cities of widely varying size—either engage in terpsichorean negotiations around it or neglect it completely. When developers confront a zoning ordinance or design guideline that insists