How one woman harnessed people power to ‘save’ old New York | Film | The Guardian

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City tells the story of Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, who made herself the bane of New York’s powerful city planners from the 1950s to 1970s. Her nemesis was Robert Moses, the city’s powerful master builder and advocate of urban renewal, or wholesale neighbourhood clearance – what author James Baldwin termed “negro removal”.Moses dismissed the protesters as “a bunch of mothers”, and attempted to ignore their efforts to attract wider attention, which included taping white crosses across their glasses in the style of Jacobs.But through a combination of grassroots…

As hundreds of toxic sites await cleanup, questions over Superfund program’s future | PBS NewsHour

In Brooklyn, Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s Executive Director Andrea Parker said the promise of a cleaner canal has already fueled considerable development in the surrounding neighborhood, even as the amount of affordable housing in the area decreases and some residents worry about displacement. But other locals remain optimistic that the project will be completed despite the threat of cuts to the Superfund program. Source: As hundreds of toxic sites await cleanup, questions over Superfund program’s future | PBS NewsHour

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD, DISTRICT, AND CORRIDOR – ACADEMIC AWARD

RESPONSE TO CHARTER PRINCIPLES      The building stock is retained for present uses or for adaptive re-uses (Charter Principles 4, 5, 27).  New buildings are shaped with shallow floor plates for passive heating, cooling, and ventilating; these are also modeled to accommodate flexibly a variety of uses and do so over time: groceries, doctors offices, retail (CP 12, 26).  The blocks are small with a fine-grain to maximize the choices for pedestrians (CP 12).      Second, the proposed intervention reverses the urban morphology with the canal as the backside to the canal as the neighborhood’s public space as…

Architecture and our duty to beauty | The Independent

… the case I have been making for beauty as public good rests on the fact that it does not require us to get into controversial disagreements about matters of fine aesthetic judgement. So, it may indeed be true that “beautiful” is not the only positive aesthetic judgement, but when we are concerned with public space, we are not primarily concerned with making those other kinds of judgements. What we’re interested in is simply creating or preserving a shared space that enhances the lives of people who live in it. I might think a building is utterly wonderful but concede…

Faculty and Alumnus Honored with ICAA Acanthus Awards // News // School of Architecture // University of Notre Dame

The Acanthus Awards … honor exemplary student work in classical or traditional design from current students and recent graduates.  School of Architecture alumnus Christopher C. Miller, M. Arch ‘14, received recognition for his thesis project, Market Bridge for Bath:  Fitting Type to Local Character—Professor Richard Economakis was the thesis advisor.  Miller developed a plan for a mixed use neighborhood development in the area surrounding River Avon in the historic city of Bath in England. Source: Faculty and Alumnus Honored with ICAA Acanthus Awards // News // School of Architecture // University of Notre Dame See A Market for Bath:  Fitting Type to…

Congress for the New Urbanism Illinois Academic Charter Award 2016 for Gowanus: from Resilience to Sustainability

    Judson’s graduate urbanism studio has received the 2016 academic CNU-IL Charter Award!  This makes three years in a row!  Graduate student team: Justin Banda, Kay Havlicek, Tyler Hopwood, Marvin Reyes, Tyler Wade, and Andrew Witek.

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…

Learning about Life from Wendell Berry | The Washington Institute

I ask another question: what are the conditions for human flourishing? That is another way into these weeks together, listening and learning as we are to this Kentucky farmer and father, husband to his wife and husbander of his land, the one that serious critics call “the most serious essayist in America today.” To press the point, this week I had them read Berry’s essay, “Two Economies,” in which he makes the argument that there are always two economies at work. Lesser economies and a Greater Economy, the former being the economy of a small town or a large city,…

Making the Garden by Christopher Alexander | Articles | First Things

The whole purpose of the work I have done is to show that the presence of God in a matter-­configuration is an objectively existing condition, and that there are specific paths and methods and habits of thought through which we may create buildings where the presence of God can be seen and felt. The two go hand in hand. …. That new vision can become a new source of inspiration and motivation. I call it new not because it is at root genuinely new. Of course it is not—it is ancient. But it is entirely new in our era to…