The search "utilities" yielded
36 articles

What’s a flag lot? A flag on a map looks very different from the view on the street.

I don’t really think that flag lot is part of common parlance anywhere outside of the domain of real estate and land development.  But it’s such a common condition—and such a simple concept to understand—that it’s kind of surprising most people don’t really know about it.  I certainly didn’t until I dipped my toe in

Wisconsin Avenue, a tony street, has a row of trashy homes. What gives?

By and large, what people refer to as Northwest DC—especially the area west of Rock Creek Park—has never faced the problems of disinvestment and depopulation that plagued much of the capital city in the 1970s and 80s.  Even at that point when Washington DC was “the murder capital of America” (as it was for a

Chestnut Hill switching station: a subtle shield for an ugly use, or a waste of space?

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

Squat toilets in National Parks: America’s number two best idea.

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

High tension wires in Pickwick Commons: maximizing utility out of utility line ROWs.

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 NJ: gentrification in a time-lapse overdrive, but without all the improvements.

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

The old utility-pole-in-the-sidewalk predicament: do we have clearance…Clarence?

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,

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