Inspired by a post from a local architect I take a look at the comparative height of Asheville and tall things around the world. Along the way I share a little skyscraper history, provide some instructions for doing this kind of exploration, and poke fun at Asheville's "Shelbyville:" Kidding aside, I find this a great way to get perspective on your communty's urban environment.
This morning I read this article in the NY Times about the most expensive decision many of make in our lifetimes: where we buy a house. The article covers the buyers' remorse many have when they trade the city for the suburbs, and discover the harsh reality of auto-dependent, isolated living. This quote struck me solidly in my urban planner heart of hearts:
Yesterday, I read a great article in the NY Times about a guy who is obsessed with dead and dying malls, and creates short films about these malls. Of course, the bizarre, sad wonder and whimsy of these films reminded me of the crazy images my colleague Josh McCarty shares periodically when he is out on site visits for Urban3.
We're excited to share an interactive 3D tax model as part of our work in the Greater Des Moines area that will be publicly available within the next month. This is a preview of some of the features that will be in that resource.
Have you heard about that town in NC that rejected solar power because it would soak up too much sun and might give people health problems? Well...It turns out they're surrounded by industrial hog farms. Kind of makes the whole "speculative health impacts of solar power" a little bit of a moot point.
Following up my Thanksgiving post about parking on Strong Towns, I take a deeper look at how much parking an American city contains. How much pavement is reasonable? How much can we afford? Would a visitor from another planet be baffled by the immense space we dedicate to our cars?
This gallery is designed to compare the footprints of different American cities at the same scale using satellite imagery. Slide through the thumbnails at the bottom of each image to choose up to four to compare. You can also view each city as a gallery and explore land cover data in greater detail.
One of the most interesting sessions at CNU23 asked what the role is for conservatives in New Urbanism. Does good design, like good data, transcend political factionalism? Is urbanism perceived as undesirable or unfriendly to conservatives, even when it aligns with their values? Inspired by this discussion, I decided to share my own take, borrowing from the wisdom of both American founding fathers and a long-march communist.