I'On Village, South Carolina About three years ago Adam wrote about the the story of I’On Village, a New Urbanist development build about a decade ago five miles outside of Charleston, and the difficulties that Vince Graham faced trying to build it. For one, the project had to be scaled … [Read more...]
New York City Planners: Pack ‘Em In!
Do New Yorkers need to cram into cubbyholes to bring prices down? At a recent conference organized by the Citizens Housing and Planning Council (covered by the New York Times, Crain’s, and City Limits), we heard a familiar refrain about New York City’s building stock: regulations have … [Read more...]
Why DC’s Architecture Is So Boring
An Eric Colbert special, everywhere and anywhere in DC I’m a little behind on posting this, but Lydia DePillis at Washington City Paper did a great profile a week or so ago of DC architect Eric Colbert, whose buildings’ unifying features seems to be blandness. There are a lot of people … [Read more...]
Why the FRA is Bad for America, in 10 Seconds
A lot of words have been written about how horribly FRA safety regulations cripple US main line passenger railway budgets (and you should read them!), but it’s also important to remember that even as a safety regulator, the FRA fails. You have to see it to believe it: ... … [Read more...]
London Planning Politics Breeds a Rare NIMBY Strain: Preventative Anti-NIMBY NIMBYism
Ministry of NIMBYs is more like it! Talk about man-bites-dog: London’s Ministry of Sound, perhaps the world’s most famous nightclub, has gone on an all-out offensive against new residential skyscrapers near its home at Elephant & Castle, in Southwark. Their latest target is a … [Read more...]
Why Preserve a Broken Cornice Line?
There’s a lot that bothers me about preservation policy, but one of the weirdest has to be rules that make it difficult to fill in gaps in building height. I’m not a big fan of the idea that historic neighborhoods have to stay the same “scale” forever, but it boggles my mind … [Read more...]
On Favored Quarters, Off-Center Skyscraper Districts, and Poverty
Following up on my post yesterday skyscrapers in Europe, I’d like to explain why, in detail, central business districts are generally superior to off-center ones like La Défense outside Paris or Washington’s Virginia suburbs. It’s not that I just enjoy the spatial symmetry and … [Read more...]
Old Urbanist on New Public Housing
Charlie Gardner at Old Urbanist, one of my favorite urbanist blogs, has a great post that echoes what I said a few days ago about the latest wave of American public housing projects. Here he first quotes a Nashville public housing official: “Part of the problem with public housing in the … [Read more...]