Portfolio

Blog

English Village Becomes Climate Leader by Quietly Cleaning Up Its Own Patch – The New York Times

ASHTON HAYES, England — This small village of about 1,000 people looks like any other nestled in the countryside.But Ashton Hayes is different in an important way when it comes to one of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change. Hundreds of residents have banded together to cut greenhouse emissions — they use clotheslines instead of dryers, take fewer flights, install solar panels and glaze windows to better insulate their homes.The effort, reaching its 10th anniversary this year, has led to a 24 percent cut in emissions, according to surveys by a professor of environmental sustainability who lives here.But what…

How Community Networks Stem Childhood Traumas – The New York Times

Liberals and conservatives often disagree about the causes of poverty and other social ills. Broadly speaking, liberals point the finger at structural factors and advocate for policy changes, while conservatives look to individuals and families and favor behavior changes. Clearly, both points of view have validity. But what’s often overlooked is what lies between these two poles — communities and neighborhoods — and the value of focusing on this middle zone. … [five community networks in Washington] built up their own capacity to create productive partnerships and coalitions, establish shared goals, and use evidence-based approaches to make progress — although all…

Neopolis explores Christian ministry in an urban world

Today more than half the world’s population live in cities and this proportion is rapidly growing. Urban values and culture make their impact felt far more widely than just in the inner cities and shanty towns of our world. Christian ministry almost everywhere on earth is now done in a world shaped by urban values.The rapid growth of the city, and the values represented therein, has made it a complex place, a place often viewed with suspicion and fear, harbouring poverty, mistrust, violence and isolation; and yet the city is also a place which offers scope for creativity, for flourishing…

The building heights of English cities – mapped | Cities | The Guardian

These colourful images show the heights and density of buildings in different cities around England. Taken from a new interactive map produced by Emu Analytics, they are created using Environment Agency LiDAR data, an airborne mapping technique. Data was only available for England Source: The building heights of English cities – mapped | Cities | The Guardian

Kevin Svensen honored with 2016 AIA Richmond award

Kevin Svensen, RA, earned the Richard L. Ford Jr. Award. This is considered the Chapter’s highest award presented to a young architect, associate member, or intern. It is given in honor of one of the Chapter’s leading and skillful mentors, Richard L. Ford, Jr. FAIA. Kevin has been given the award by the Chapter Board, based on nominations by the Honors Committee, as a person who has demonstrated vision, passion, and excellence to the design community. Source: G&HA team members honored with 2016 AIA Richmond awards | Glavé & Holmes Architecture | News and Press

The Linguistics of Place Names | JSTOR Daily

Why is this important, to have a place name with a sense of history and meaning? Thomas F. Thornton believes “as linguistic artifacts […], place names tell us something not only about the structure and content of the physical environment itself but also […] toponyms, both by themselves and in the context of narratives, songs, and everyday speech, provide valuable insights into the ways humans experience the world.” Even when we don’t know the language, we can derive certain ideas from the landscape we see around us and the old place names still in use. Consider tri-state names of native…

Design for the One Percent | Jacobin

Not so long ago, the world’s leading architects debated how architecture could be used to transform society by providing housing for workers, improving public health, and fostering social solidarity. Today, global architecture is peopled with “starchitects” like Hadid who specialize in mega projects for the global elite. Some of the starchitects’ projects are beautiful, to be sure. But they also often waste public money, facilitate corrupt and exploitative practices, and strengthen a planning model that excludes the populace from decision-making. Many architectural creations are poorly constructed, requiring exorbitant maintenance costs (invariably following massive budget overruns) and lacking consideration for the…

Humanism and the Urban World: Leon Battista Alberti and the Renaissance City, Caspar Pearson

“Everyone relies on the city,” wrote Leon Battista Alberti, “and all the public services that it contains.” This statement, delivered in such a matter-of-fact manner, indicates the exceptional importance of cities in the society in which Alberti lived. His world was an urban one. He was born in Genoa, grew up in Venice, was educated in Padua and Bologna, and subsequently lived and worked in Rome, Florence, Mantua, Rimini, and Ferrara. Fifteenth-century Italy, divided into a patchwork of city-states, boasted what was arguably the most developed urban society in Europe at the time. Moreover, Italy offered a wide variety of…

If a City Were Perfect, What Would It Look Like? – The New York Times

When Baldassare Castiglione described Urbino in 1506 as a “city in the form of a palace” he would probably have expected his more cultivated readers to catch the allusion to Leon Battista Alberti’s assertion in his “De re aedificatoria” (On the Art of Building) that “the city is like a great house, and the house in its turn a small city.” During his reign between 1444 and 1482, Federico da Montefeltro’s marvelous edifice played host to as much intellectual and artistic activity as entire cities many times Urbino’s size. And Alberti, along with Luciano Laurana, Piero della Francesca and Francesco…