Portfolio

Blog

A Simple Idea for Flint — Strong Towns

It’s possible — and it’s at least worth looking in to — that large parts of Flint, and many other cities as they deal with this same problem, could be served with really high quality water for drinking and sanitation at a fraction of the cost while preserving the existing, lead-infested system for fire fighting purposes only.Two systems. Two purposes. Source: A Simple Idea for Flint — Strong Towns

A Waterfront Route to Serve the Poor, Not Just the Wealthy – The New York Times

Mr. de Blasio said on Thursday that he planned to build a new streetcar line along the waterfront from Brooklyn to Queens, a stretch of real estate that now commands stupefying prices but offers almost no public transit options. “Not everybody rides bicycles,” observed Richard Ravitch, the former lieutenant governor. Of course, streetcars would aid and abet the rampage of gentrification. But they would also provide a chance at decent transit for more than 40,000 people who live in New York City housing projects that were built along the waterfront in the 1940s and ’50s, when the area was an…

The Old Regionalism vs. the New Cosmopolitan Hyper-Localism | The American Conservative

Marketers like Claritas Prizm have divided our population into 66 tribes with colorful names like Money and Brains, God’s Country, Big Sky Families, Boomtown Singles, and other such. And America’s Zip codes are classified by which is dominant. What seems to be happening is that, say, the Money and Brains pockets of Southern California identify more with similar pockets in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas than they do with Southern California as a region; and the same all over the country. The one exception to this is when sports comes on TV; for the duration of the game, all…

C O M P O S I T I O N & C H A R A C T E R : Sam Lima Architecture: Pruitt-Igoe as a Walkable, Mixed-Use Neighborhood

Pruitt-Igoe can be a catalyst for redeveloping the near north side of St. Louis in a sensitive manner.  Inspired by the beautiful brick neighborhoods that survive in various parts of the city, the design  provides a home for people of various incomes, ages, and family sizes. This project originated from a desire to explore affordable mixed-income development, mixed-use urban infill, and the relationship between regional vernacular and classical architecture.  Purpose-built affordable housing is a sensitive issue, with a history of many unsuccessful developments.  This project, therefore, does not attempt to propose overarching solutions to the issues surrounding the housing of the poor, but instead…

When Beauty Strikes – The New York Times

These days we all like beautiful things. Everybody approves of art. But the culture does not attach as much emotional, intellectual or spiritual weight to beauty. We live, as Leon Wieseltier wrote in an essay for The Times Book Review, in a post-humanist moment. That which can be measured with data is valorized. Economists are experts on happiness. The world is understood primarily as the product of impersonal forces; the nonmaterial dimensions of life explained by the material ones. Over the past century, artists have had suspicious and varied attitudes toward beauty. Some regard all that aesthetics-can-save-your-soul mumbo jumbo as…

Scott Merrill named 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Prize Laureate // News // Notre Dame News // University of Notre Dame

Scott Merrill, an architect known for his originality and creative application of architectural precedents, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame. Merrill, the 14th Driehaus Prize laureate, will be awarded the $200,000 prize and a bronze miniature of the Choregic Monument of Lysikrates during a ceremony on March 19 (Saturday) in Chicago.In conjunction with the Driehaus Prize, Eusebio Leal Spengler, city historian of Havana, Cuba, will receive the $50,000 Henry Hope Reed Award, given annually to an individual working outside the practice of architecture who has supported the cultivation…

Urban Drama: Talking about Cities with Noah Toly and Milton Friesen, Part I | Comment Magazine

Comment is interested in cities. Last year we did an issue called “The Other Side of the City,” which looked at the underside of cities—the parts that don’t make it into the tourism brochures. Today we’re lucky to have two scholars and experts on urbanism, and I wanted to start with something that you would not necessarily expect: the pope. In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis has this little line about cities that I found fascinating. He says, We cannot ignore the fact that in cities human trafficking, the narcotics trade, the abuse and exploitation of minors, the abandonment of the elderly…

Planning and Design for Future Informal Settlements | PennDesign

Authored by David Gouverneur, this is the first book to address future informal settlements at the global scale. It argues that to foster favourable conditions for the sustainable evolution of future informal cities, planners must consider the same issues that are paramount in formal urban developments, such as provision of: balanced land uses energy efficiency and mobility water management and food sufficiency governance and community participation productivity and competitiveness identity and sense of place Planning and Design for Future Informal Settlements makes a call for responsible action to address the urban challenges of the developing world, suggesting that the vitality…

News Bulletin | Prime Minister adopts ResPublica proposals

This week, the Prime Minister announced that some of the UK’s least attractive housing estates are to be torn down and replaced with attractive, safe homes: a move we called for in our Community Right to Beauty report. The scheme is set to be part of a series of measures to improve the life chances of the most disadvantaged, supporting the arguments ResPublica will continue to make through its Backing Beauty campaign. Regular access to beauty in both rural and urban settings is open only to a narrow section of society, with households earning over £45,000 most likely to find the area they live in beautiful. Our report published…

Beautiful urban architecture boosts health as much as green spaces – Telegraph

A brisk walk in the countryside or a stroll along the beach is a well-known mood booster and health experts have long recommended getting out of the city improve physical and mental wellbeing. But a new study suggests that beautiful urban architecture, the sweep of docklands, or a gritty suburban river bank can have just as much impact on health and happiness levels. Researchers at the University of Warwick say it is ‘scenery’ not just ‘greenery’ which is important when determining what makes a positive environment. So for Londoners gazing up at St Paul’s Cathedral, viewing the cityscape of Canary…