Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

Beauty, Ma’am, if you can keep it

Raised river walk of boardwalk with chain-link fencing, its ugliness mitigated by ugly building. (City) Forces are gathering to undo much of the good work done in recent decades to improve the city of Providence. Our beautiful new waterfront seems … Continue reading

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Morris Nathanson, R.I.P.

This is a sad moment for Pawtucket and the rest of Rhode Island, and a sad one for me. A tear runs down my cheek. We have lost one of the most influential and illuminating lights in the Ocean State’s … Continue reading

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Rural life faces grim reaper

The shadow darkening over pastures and woodlands, farm villages and hamlets probably threatens the rural style of life more in Britain than in America, where only a remnant of family farms, dairy or crops, survives in New England and the … Continue reading

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Authenticity in placemaking

AS220’s “Unpacking Authentic Placemaking” at the Peerless Building. Left to right, standing and on panel: Marc Levitt, Lucie Searle, Rick Lowe, Myrna Breitbart, Umberto Crenca and Andres Duany. (This and first photo below by David Brussat) Here is a relatively … Continue reading

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“Paris Without Skyscrapers”

There is an infinity of reasons why Paris should not build skyscrapers. Each street, each building, amounts to such a reason. You could say each citizen of Paris, each citizen of the world is a reason. But one reason I … Continue reading

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Atlantis: Krier’s ideal village

In February, the architect and urban theorist Léon Krier, famed for planning Prince Charles’s new town of Poundbury, sent me a video about his proposed academic village on a hillside at the island, off of North Africa, of Tenerife, long … Continue reading

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“Symphony of a Great City”

This video of Berlin made in 1927 – halfway between World War I and World War II – by German filmmaker Walter Ruttman, takes viewers through a day in the life of the metropolis, from morning to noon to night. … Continue reading

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WaterFire back in Providence

Providence has gone two years, since the fall of 2019, without WaterFire, the capital city’s signature work of art, a blessing to citizens of Rhode Island and visitors from much farther afield since 1994. It is the event’s usual crowds … Continue reading

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Cleveland, fair and square

My first visit to Cleveland revealed a city rich in history and in historical architecture, far beyond what I had expected. The downtown and beyond feature many more large, old, lovely buildings than Providence. For me and perhaps for readers … Continue reading

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Steuteville’s public square

I have lost count of the number of times I’ve quoted Rob Steuteville’s writing for the Congress of the New Urbanism. The latest example is my recent post on “Guatemala’s peaceful Cayalá.” In fact, I must admit my topics on … Continue reading

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