In these economically fraught times, it’s not always easy to find an urbanized restaurant/retail district where one can comfortably kick back a burger and a brew and feel safe, either from crime, civil unrest, or inconsistent enforcement of COVID precautions (depending on what you perceive is the greatest threat). In 2021, the suburbs of large
Mixed-use town center as the new “organic” downtown: how distinct can they be if they become as commonplace as malls?
The mixed-use town center is a novelty across much of the county. A metropolitan area of one million people is unlikely to have more than one or two of these newfangled nodes, which typically combine housing, retail, offices, hotels, garage parking, and maybe even an institutional use like a school, a library, or a municipal
As the American public attempts to reconcile a steadily rising COVID-19 caseload with increasingly diffuse reports on the means to combat the scourge—peppered by occasional reports that many other countries are now also reporting a rise in cases—it is clear that most businesses cannot sustain the draconian conditions imposed by the spring lockdowns. And, with
As cites grow and urbanization spreads outward, the most common practice is to build new roads or to expand the capacity of the existing ones. I don’t think this merits much of an explanation. Of course, as the population increases, an elaborate network of roads becomes more essential, to accommodate both people and (inevitably) their
In the affable college town of Morgantown, West Virginia—home of the WVU Mountaineers—the unsuspecting visitor encounters a very strange viaduct-like structure presiding over some of the most prominent downtown streets. What is it? It’s certainly not on the same scale as the Chicago Transit Authority’s rail system—the “el” (short for “elevated rail), but then, does
Beltsville Agricultural Research Center: an agrarian oasis in suburbia, nicknamed BARC but really more of a growl.
As I restore the content from my old computer to the new one, I’ll be resigning myself to some shorter posts through the rest of the year, with the hope that everything gets sorted out and I can resume posts of greater substance in early 2020. The serpentine road in the photo below may look
Growing up on the south side of Indianapolis (the city limits but still highly suburban in character), one of the most coveted places to celebrate birthdays for the under-ten set was in a tiny McDonald’s operating out of a repurposed train car. And to this day, a popular, long-standing accommodation in downtown Indy is the
As a general rule, the major public works initiatives of America suffer an almost complete bifurcation in our broader societal gaze: between the deliberately ornamental versus the purely utilitarian. We clutch our pearls in attempts to salvage the former—even if many critics impugn these embellishments as kitschy, schlocky, or some other great Yiddish adjective. Their
This post serves more as a prelude to a forthcoming, lengthier rumination on retail conditions in Columbia Heights, a Washington DC neighborhood I have explored multiple times in the past.It is among the oldest “suburbs” platted outside of the original l’Enfant plan for the capital region. I apply quotes to the word “suburb” because, though it
By this point, the term “green building” has more or less entered common parlance: even if a sizable majority of people don’t know exactly what it entails, they can form a reasonably well-educated guess from the adjective. And, extending those contextual cues, they can speculate with similar accuracy on “green design”, since it loosely applies