It’s rare that an article assumes an urban activist position that gets my dander up at all, let alone one that prompts me to comment directly on the article. But that’s what I had to do a few weeks ago when Planetizen used the neologism (at least to me) “defensive urbanism” to impugn the modern
Hoboken, New Jersey isn’t a particularly obscure suburb. Peering right across the Hudson River toward Greenwich Village, it’s a fortuitously located municipality that basically everyone in metro New York knows. Odds are good that most adults living in the tri-state area have passed through it at one point in time. Tiny though it may
Amidst the broader cultural polarization and the ensuing moral panics (or perhaps the moral panics that have prompted the cultural polarization?), we’ve witnessed far more people announcing their political loyalties than in the past, often through overt displays in their front yards. While one can find these sort of signs just about anywhere in the
Porto-johns and private business: a middle ground between serving customers and the community at large.
At first blush, it’s strange and disarming that a well-kept little retailer with tourist cachet wouldn’t even have a restroom available to customers. But that’s exactly what this sign in the front door of the Ulu Factory in Anchorage is telling us. It really couldn’t be more explicit. The winsome little chalet on the outskirts
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