Empty airport: the consequences of a corona-driven collapse in air travel (MONTAGE).

Less than a month ago, I availed myself of a long-planned opportunity to travel from the mid-Atlantic to the Midwest, using a flight a purchased several weeks before the world’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic had set the turbulent economic and social course for 2020.  Obviously there are others before me—people who took this risk

Interpretive banners as makeshift urbanism: the Durham solution.

Durham, the second largest city in North Carolina’s burgeoning Research Triangle, has historically underperformed economically, at least compared to Raleigh and Chapel Hill, but the progress I witnessed from a visit last fall compared to 3.5 years earlier certainly bespeaks the rapidly growing economy here and elsewhere across the Tarheel State. While in 2015, the

Ligon Mill Road: the visual blight of bad streetlight height.

Carefully thought-out infrastructure—the type we actually notice because it’s so smartly conceived—is a rarity. But why? Sure, we might hold certain examples in high esteem; the Hoover Dam or Brooklyn Bridge are among the first that come to mind. But hundreds of millions of tons of civic infrastructure get dedicated, upgraded, or repaired every year,

Brutalist behemoths in a friendly mountain town: will Asheville salvage the seventies?

For those who haven’t been there, my words can at least serve as a testimony to the vibrance of Asheville, North Carolina. The heart of the city, along Patton Avenue near the triangular Pritchard Park, is teeming with local establishments, resulting in sidewalks packed with visitors from mid-morning until late at night. The older, less

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city has yet attracted both a vibrant nightlife and a steady core of permanent residents. And some prominent hotels to boot. Only a

A business grows organically—the building is just its chrysalis.

It’s not easy to predict what, on any given day, might avert the eyes of a photo-driven blogger like me. Since empiricism generates most of my blog articles, usually it really does come down to what stimulates my own two peepers. Then I take a picture of it, often hastily. (Which is why I call

From the highest rooftops, a call to gimme shelter.

The urbanist blogosphere is chock-full of rants on how new developments compromise pedestrian connectivity—not so much in terms of the final product (where I’m equally guilty of such tirades), but even during the construction process. These days, most mid-sized and large metro areas are gorging on the fruit, born from seeds planted long ago, through

The old stone gap in an intact mountain town.

In 2018, many smaller cities—those under 100,000 people—can boast revitalized downtowns, offering an array of jobs and shops during the day, complemented by restaurants and entertainment at night. But not every smaller city

From the highest rooftops, a call to gimme shelter.

The urbanist blogosphere is chock-full of rants on how new developments compromise pedestrian connectivity—not so much in terms of the final product (where I’m equally guilty of such tirades), but even during the