Public utilities are a tough nut to crack, especially in urban settings, where the population density is greater—and so, consequently, is the demand for electricity, gas, water, wastewater, fiber optics, and so forth. With higher density comes greater intricacy of the conduit; there’s more of it, and it must be more economical with its use
A curtain to an urban stage: sometimes public art needs to be sneaky to blot out the ugly infrastructure.
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” This line from Wizard of Oz (the 1939 movie, not the Frank E. Baum book) has ascended to such currency that’s it’s essentially a catchphrase. And those who use it, from age five to eighty-five, often forget the full connotation to its original function. Sure, it
Student ghetto: West Virginia’s contender for #1 party school delivers a triumphantly trashy microcosm.
As garbage-strewn as my last article was, it was a pristine Eden compared to the content in this one. And though the example I’m about to feature is the worst I’ve seen, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be that hard to spot similar settings that out-trash the photos here. Just go to the closet
Over the years I’ve shown enough preoccupation with toilets that it should probably become a separate keyword, right up there with “historic preservation” and “adaptive reuse”. But it’s kind of embarrassing to elevate loos to the same level as genuine urban revitalization strategies. Still, it’s hard to deny the cultural importance that restrooms have; they
It’s rare that I create a follow-up post so quickly on the heels of the original, since both articles deal with more or less the same topic. But my post at Pickwick Commons back in late May investigated the possibility of taking an existing utility easement and doubling it with a pedestrian easement. That is,
For the small handful of people who are this blog’s devotees, the image below may be a tiny bit familiar. I’ve covered this small subdivision in New Albany, Indiana once before. The name is Pickwick Commons, an age-restricted townhome development in which the retirement-age residents retain (at most) a small garden plot to cultivate, but
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
I’ve written as a guest contributor at the blog Urban Indy numerous times in the past. Although the blog is currently only marginally active, and I personally have not dabbled in the topic, other contributors have bemoaned the fact that pedestrian improvements in the very auto-centric city of Indianapolis rarely extend to persons with disabilities,
We might expect dissembling wire tapping in the nation’s capital. But what about dangling wire tripping?
Early in the summer, on an evening run in a little-used park along the west bank of the Anacostia River loosely referred to as the Navy Yard Channel, I encountered a hazard that would be bad enough during the daytime. In the darkness of night, in a meagerly lit area, it was even worse. Can’t
To celebrate the spooky season just a little bit on the late side, I’ll abstain from references to zombies, werewolves, or blood-thirsty vampires. That’s the stuff of Hollywood. I’ll hold off from massive jack-o’-lanterns, witches crashing into buildings, enormous spiders, or the arched backs of black cats. Those seem to be the status quo for