Mobile Connectivity and Urban Interaction

What does it mean to be social? Being “social” used to mean that a person was outgoing and enjoyed interacting with people – an extrovert. Today, most equate the term “social” with social media and online communities. The most social among us are perceived to be those who maintain several social media accounts and have […]

Come, let us rezone together

I’m completely ripping off The News-Sentinel’s headline above, but it’s too good not to. (BTW: Great headline, Caleb!) In his column today, Kevin Leininger comments on the proposed rezoning of 633 properties in a “downtown edge” zone. On paper, perhaps, the proposed changes — intended to codify earlier downtown improvements plans — don’t seem all […]

‘Is America’s suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare?’

The above is the provocative headline on a story on cnn.com. After some description of the foreclosures in suburbia, the story focuses on the shifting attitudes of homeowners. “The American dream is absolutely changing,” (Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution,) told CNN. This […]

Will Harrison Square hate pedestrians?

Will the Harrison Square retail development in downtown Fort Wayne make pedestrians more or less welcome? And why would I ask the question, seeing as how there are so many pedestrians drawn on the architectural renderings? But there’s a potential problem with the above streetscape, and David Sucher’s Three Rules for urban design (PDF) addresses […]

The 12 traits of a walkable community

What makes a walkable community? Dan Burden gives us the 12 most important things to rate when searching for a Walkable Community. Note how they apply so well to smaller towns: 1. Intact town centers. This center includes a quiet, pleasant main street with a hearty, healthy set of stores. 2. Residential densities, mixed income, […]

James Howard Kunstler: The tragedy of suburbia (video)

Anthony, who lives in suburbia but who is a good sport about it, passes along this link to a James Howard Kunstler filmed in February 2004 and posted at TED. As that Web site says: “In James Howard Kunstler’s view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the […]

Melborne: A Pedestrian Paradise

In preparation of Wednesday’s talk about walkable communities, take a 10-minute stroll through Melbourne. Go here to watch the video. Here’s a paragraph about Melbourne: There is an invaluable lesson here. In the early 90s, Melbourne was hardly a haven for pedestrian life until Jan Gehl was invited there to undertake a study and publish […]