The search "Pennsylvania" yielded
74 articles

Forbidden feet.

Travel any reasonable distance in this country, across multiple political boundaries, and you will inevitably discover a variety practices in handling traffic.  We see it everywhere: speed limit differences, right turns on red (or not), the size and generosity of the turn radius at an intersection, the style and design (or even the very existence)

Not a fork in the road as much as a spoon.

While it’s easy to derisively brand American suburbia as homogenous and essentially unchanging since it emerged as the preferred settlement pattern for the majority of Americans fifty years ago, we hardly need an intense study to see how much they’ve evolved since the postwar housing boom that began in the late 1940s.  In fact, this

BOOK REVIEW: What Killed Downtown?

My latest is a first for me as a blogger: a book review.  The full-length review is now available at Urbanophile and should be accessible soon via other online outlets; I will update this blog post accordingly.  The book, Michael Tolle’s Who Killed Downtown? Norristown, Pennsylvania from Main Street to the Malls distinguishes itself through its

Peddling politics to pick your poison.

If the free market could ever assume a bodily form, it would have to be a contortionist.  One of the wonders of our federalist system is how deftly and shrewdly private businesses navigate around ordinances and statutes.  While this is obvious when articulated in print, the real-word incarnations are often subtle.  These maneuverings manifest themselves

Reviving with the wave of a wizard’s wand.

Earlier this past fall, I featured the accomplishments of the City of Kokomo, Indiana in reinventing itself over the past few years, after two decades of rust-belt, deindustrialized stagnancy.  Civic leadership successfully elicited a certain degree of buy-in among its constituent, all toward sundry capital improvements, the likes of which most similarly sized cities still

The state house makes the laws; the state takes it for granted.

I’ve observed in the past how, almost instinctively, we come to expect a certain degree of monumentality in major seats of government, usually the prominent display of a central building that hosts those administrative offices.  In the typical Midwestern county seat, the courthouse provides that landmark—an elaborate masonry building resting in the center of a park-like

Predicting the future by turning back the clocks.

In an essay from the past, I shamelessly stretched the definition of the term “land banking” to suit my own purposes.  How?  By showing two examples of the deliberate assembly of contiguous parcels with the purpose of building something new, but the problem is, neither attempt at parcel assembly consisted of vacant land, as is

Shopping for the masses—the haves and have-nots.

It seems like I can hardly go more than two months without drumming up a blog article coming from a mall.  Even as enclosed malls have plunged from the popularity peak in the 1970s and early 1980s (a point in time when American downtowns were lifeless almost across the map), they still remain a formidable

A signal to turn.

My apologies for this latest dry spell in postings.  While I am still working on a large essay that has taken me several weeks (actually, over two months) to assemble, I recently took on a new professional assignment that forced me back to 60+ hour work weeks, giving me a lot less time to devote

A sign for the ages or a sign of the times?

A few years ago, I surveyed storefronts across the downtown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, interpreting their various placard signs as a proxy for the evolution of a city whose demographics and character have changed significantly over the years.  As Cambridge has morphing from a tired, intermittently gritty bohemian college town into an upscale tourist destination, the

Forbidden feet.

Travel any reasonable distance in this country, across multiple political boundaries, and you will inevitably discover a variety practices in handling traffic.  We see it everywhere: speed limit differences, right turns on red

Not a fork in the road as much as a spoon.

While it’s easy to derisively brand American suburbia as homogenous and essentially unchanging since it emerged as the preferred settlement pattern for the majority of Americans fifty years ago, we hardly need an

BOOK REVIEW: What Killed Downtown?

My latest is a first for me as a blogger: a book review.  The full-length review is now available at Urbanophile and should be accessible soon via other online outlets; I will update this

Peddling politics to pick your poison.

If the free market could ever assume a bodily form, it would have to be a contortionist.  One of the wonders of our federalist system is how deftly and shrewdly private businesses navigate

Reviving with the wave of a wizard’s wand.

Earlier this past fall, I featured the accomplishments of the City of Kokomo, Indiana in reinventing itself over the past few years, after two decades of rust-belt, deindustrialized stagnancy.  Civic leadership successfully elicited

Predicting the future by turning back the clocks.

In an essay from the past, I shamelessly stretched the definition of the term “land banking” to suit my own purposes.  How?  By showing two examples of the deliberate assembly of contiguous parcels

A signal to turn.

My apologies for this latest dry spell in postings.  While I am still working on a large essay that has taken me several weeks (actually, over two months) to assemble, I recently took

A sign for the ages or a sign of the times?

A few years ago, I surveyed storefronts across the downtown of Cambridge, Massachusetts, interpreting their various placard signs as a proxy for the evolution of a city whose demographics and character have changed