In the latest issue of Mother Jones, Clive Thompson investigated how the rise of autonomous cars, and Americans’ desire to live in more walkable cities, will mean no longer having to set aside vast amounts of land for parking lots. Many articles have offered a utopian vision of our autonomous driving future, but what I particularly like […]
This “safer bet” is where the second generation of Portland’s food industry intersects with the region’s commitment to density in the face of growth. Micro restaurants and food halls celebrate small spaces. Their inherent informality appeals to diners who treat dining out as an everyday form of entertainment. The small, turnkey spaces make it easier […]
But at what point should cities make this decision to stop subsidizing for-profit development? And how do they know when enough is enough? That’s the question being asked in Kansas City and in cities around the nation as downtowns bounce back from years of abandonment only to find that developers still expect the aid they were receiving […]
The city’s origins are clouded in rumour and speculation. Some describe it as a vanity project of Than Shwe, the former military leader of the country. Many believe the “audacious” name given to the city might reflect “illusions of grandeur or … perhaps another sign of [Than Shwe’s] possible dementia”, according to one 2006 US government […]
The long-distance train is one of America’s greatest and least heralded public spaces. Perhaps without intending to, the train encapsulates many qualities of public spaces that planners and designers try so hard to create. It is democratic in that it serves people across many different communities, geographies and interest groups. It is diverse in that it appeals to a broad spectrum of people across ages, ethnicities, races, nationalities and genders, and critically, it facilitates connections between these different people. (While traveling from New Orleans to Los Angeles, I met a gay couple going to Houston, a Latino family headed to Albuquerque, an indie rock-loving pizza-maker from Austin, a minister going to Tucson and an L.A.-bound retired merchant marine who taught me how to play dominoes.) Unlike planes, trains foster a sense of appreciation and curiosity about the landscapes through which they pass, which in turn help passengers develop a deeper connection to place.
Next we looked at street suffixes — the “roads,” “drives” and “boulevards” — and found that, for instance, homes on “Washington Street” are usually different from homes on “Washington Court.” For one thing, a house on Washington Street is probably older. Different street suffixes were popular at different moments. “Streets” and “avenues” were stylish in […]
The first thing [the machine’s creator, industrial designer Masamichi] Udagawa did was to provide some context for the realities of New York City in the late 1990s, when the MTA ticket vending system was being developed. What I hadn’t realized before was exactly how novel these machines were at the time.
Could garden cities help fix these problems? Advocates think so. They argue that garden cities can deliver the humane, sustainable, equitable communities that people want and the planet needs, by slashing emissions, preserving green space, and encouraging neighborly interaction. Today, garden-city projects are popping up from England to India to Cambodia. In particular, China, where […]
“Martin Luther King stood for nonviolence,” says comedian Chris Rock in his live 1996 HBO special Bring the Pain. “Now what’s Martin Luther King? A street. And I don’t give a fuck where you are in America, if you on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there’s some violence going down.” Later, Rock gives advice to anyone who finds themselves lost on […]
In a new essay for Collectors Weekly, Hunter Oatman-Stanford and Peter Norton, author of Fighting Traffic, examine the history of the automobile in America, and how our perception of city streets changed: In 1924, recognizing the crisis on America’s streets, President Herbert Hoover launched the National Conference on Street and Highway Safety. Any organizations interested […]