Category Archives: Current

Introduction to the 1st Annual Jane Jacobs Award at the Met Housing Council

Jane Jacobs wrote 12 wide-ranging, brilliant books. In them she wove together ideas about cities, city life, politics, economics, and social and cultural issues, so it’s hard to succinctly summarize her contributions to tonight’s topic of affordable housing in New … Continue reading

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Occupy Broad Street

THE BROAD crossroads where Wall Street and Broad Street come together is a beautiful space, fully the equal of medieval European plazas. Today, post-911, it’s closed to almost all traffic, because the New York Stock Exchange sits at the southwest corner of the … Continue reading

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Occupy Main Street

Great Barrington’s Main Street should be a place where people want to get out of their cars to shop, eat, and socialize—under a majestic canopy made with tall trees. That’s not what State DOTs build, however. This story originally ran … Continue reading

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NYC DOT Shared Streets: Lower Manhattan THIS SATURDAY

THE NYC DOT’S SHARED STREETS: LOWER MANHATTAN will take place Saturday, August 13  as part of the annual Summer Streets program. Frankly, it looks like the weather will not be good, but the rain will come and go, and this … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day: “A uniquely frightening moment in American life”

“It is the essence of fascism to have no single fixed form—an attenuated form of nationalism in its basic nature, it naturally takes on the colors and practices of each nation it infects. In Italy, it is bombastic and neoclassical … Continue reading

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Urban Design: The Good Kind & the Other Kind

WE ALL UNDERSTAND why so many normal, rational New Yorkers can act like NIMBYs—because we’ve all seen alien, intrusive development in New York like Billionaire Row and Atlantic Yards. Recent developments at the American Museum of Natural History brought this … Continue reading

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Leon Wieseltier on Modern Cliches

IF you apply for a grant today and want to be successful, you’d better use the words “innovate” and “innovative” in your proposal. In art and architecture, words like “challenging,” “transgressive,” and “disruptive” are among the most used. So I … Continue reading

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To Stop Pedestrian Deaths NYC Must Change How it Builds Streets

From CITYLIMITS.ORG: November 13th—Friday the 13th—marked the 13th day in a row that a pedestrian died on a New York City Street, all killed by cars or buses going too fast. They were among the 19 pedestrian deaths in the … Continue reading

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God is in the details

I’m working on a project in Connecticut where the team is proposing a “Slow Zone” in the center of town. An engineer on a project is a little worried about some of the details I’ve proposed. He wrote, “I think we … Continue reading

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Places Where People Want To Walk

: MY COMMENT ON BIKE PORTLAND’s Bike-friendliness and walk-friendliness are actually pretty different, study says I’ve only been to Portland twice, mainly downtown. There was no bike share then, so I’ve never ridden a bike in Portland. In other words, … Continue reading

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