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.
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.
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.
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.