[sbs_tax tax="States"] [sbs_tax tax="Albany"]

Fort Worth Water Gardens: when a splashy downtown feature rests on a slippery slope (literally).

Let’s face it: it doesn’t matter how big or vibrant your city’s downtown is.  Generally speaking, the civic plazas immediately outside the major municipal buildings are dead on weekends.  There just isn’t any magnetism, given that these buildings host city government functions, which typically operate during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.  (Emergency and corrections

A non-defense of the back alley, from the mean streets of suburban Dallas.

A trip to the Dallas Metroplex last fall helped acquaint me with a characteristic to Texas street subdivision design that I had never noticed before: the unusual prevalence of the back alley, even in housing built within the last 25 years.  While it’s possible this never struck me in the past because it’s a Dallas

Lake Dallas Main Street: a bedroom community doesn’t neglect its entrance hall.

I’ll concede at this point that small town revitalization has become sufficiently commonplace that finding a new example is hardly revelatory, even for those who aren’t really attuned to that sort of thing…because they never visit small towns, or because they just don’t care.  It’s even less of a surprise if the municipality in question

Fort Worth Stockyards get a slice of New York chic–but in the form of a ground beef patty.

From the looks of things, the Fort Worth Stockyards are in the midst of a slow-motion renaissance.  I’m hardly an expert on the subject, but I’d wager that the multiblock district–which is apparently the only surviving stockyard left in the country–is among the biggest attractions in the entire Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, certainly as far as

Society without shopping: the bleak future of malls in particular and retail in general.

My latest came out just in time for Black Friday, on Manhattan Institute’s City Journal: a world without malls.  It’s my most recent rumination on the bleak future of retail in 2018–an industry that looks increasingly likely experience a collapse with no other precedent than era when the suburban shopping mall replaced the American town center as the place

Downtown Houston: paved with good intentions.

One of the most unnerving characteristics of the built environment is when an alternative taste culture becomes so entrenched and so mundane that we forget that it wasn’t always the status quo. And it’s even worse when this anti-establishment product yields an inferior outcome whatever it was that preceded it. I’m speaking so vaguely that

When a “road diet” removes not just the fat but the bone.

Long perceived as one of the most automobile-dependent major cities in the country, Houston has made considerable strides in recent years toward diversifying its transportation options. The METRORail line, first proposed (and rejected) in 1983, took decades to develop, largely due to persistent political opposition.  However, with a 2001 groundbreaking, the 7.5-mile line, spanning from

Civil unrest along the highway.

It is easy to attribute The Great Recession to the increasingly visible decision among many states to cut long-standing social services. In a good portion of the country, publicly supported interstate rest areas have lost much of their reason for being; with so many other options at the exit ramps along our many limited-access highways,

No surer sign of Texas envy.

Unfortunately job commitments continue to prevent me from devoting the time to assemble pictures and a credible analysis for the second half of my blog post on neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, but the end is in sight! In the meantime, I can at least briefly explore a topic which may already be widely known among

Downtown Houston: paved with good intentions.

One of the most unnerving characteristics of the built environment is when an alternative taste culture becomes so entrenched and so mundane that we forget that it wasn’t always the status quo. And

When a “road diet” removes not just the fat but the bone.

Long perceived as one of the most automobile-dependent major cities in the country, Houston has made considerable strides in recent years toward diversifying its transportation options. The METRORail line, first proposed (and rejected)

Civil unrest along the highway.

It is easy to attribute The Great Recession to the increasingly visible decision among many states to cut long-standing social services. In a good portion of the country, publicly supported interstate rest areas

No surer sign of Texas envy.

Unfortunately job commitments continue to prevent me from devoting the time to assemble pictures and a credible analysis for the second half of my blog post on neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, but the