I’ve never understood the fascination so many architects have with the “brutalist” style of buildings that some designers loved in the 1960s-1970’s. Even in the haze of youth in architecture school, I found that particular style unattractive, to put it kindly.
I suppose when a style is coined “Brutalism” you should expect that it will [...]
Though tempted, I won’t write a soliloquy today on the many virtues of street trees. Others have done so better than I, including Allan Jacobs, who wrote in the book Great Streets, “Given a limited budget, the most effective expenditure of funds to improve a street would probably be on trees.”
That’s what I thought yesterday, while spending a few minutes sitting in Orleans Square. Even with a horrendous piece of urban renewal on half of the square (the Savannah Civic Center), it still resonates as one of many wonderful oases of public space in this charming city.
When I was a kid, I used to sketch out designs for futuristic cities in my notebooks. Complete with domed arenas, skyscrapers and fantastic highway intersections, they looked a lot like, well, a lot like this:
This is current-day downtown Atlanta, as seen from a hotel in Midtown.
For years, many of us in the planning and real estate world have been talking about the mismatch between supply and demand in housing. That is, we’ve been building a very limited type of housing for decades (single family houses on a medium to large lot) well in excess of what the demand actually is [...]
In the urban planning profession, we talk a lot about the importance of public transit. At any given public presentation or meeting, you’ll hear people talk incessantly about how we need to offer real alternatives to driving, and how all development should make itself either accessible to transit or transit-oriented.
One of the downsides of our modern world of communication is that contrary voices are often given equal weight and airtime, whether they deserve it or not. Media is so eager to present “the other side” that nearly anyone can trot out an opinion and give it some amount of credence, even when it’s absurd. [...]
Road construction. Just the thought of it drives most of us a little batty. What route will I take? How much longer will it take me? Can I time it just right so I don’t get stuck? Sadly, for those of us in the field of urban planning, or its related disciplines, road construction is [...]