urban design

Is the Automobile Earth's Dominant Life Form?

Is the Automobile Earth's Dominant Life Form?

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?

The "Publix" Best Interest in Chattanooga

The "Publix" Best Interest in Chattanooga

In this case study from Chattanooga, TN we took the lessons of compact development and looked at how design can impact economics at the development site scale. When a vibrant neighborhood balked at the planned design of a typical grocery supermarket we took the opportunity to investigate alternative designs and measure their fiscal performance.

Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY

Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY

As 2014 closes and 2015 begins I reflect back on my projects of the year. One memorable experience was the activity and vibrancy on the streets of Buffalo. Even six stories up in a hotel with a barely operable window I felt like part of an improvised drama. I think this experience is a powerful lesson about urban design, human scale, and living neighborhoods.  

Zoning for Bars

Zoning for Bars

Drunk driving is a behavior on which we spend a lot of effort discouraging and yet somehow largely ignore the importance of design. This article asks whether America has a drinking problem or a driving problem? What's worse yet, is that through things like minimum parking requirements and zoning we are virtually coding a problem into existence.