Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

Fire trucks in Celebration

It seems that citizens of the town of Celebration, originally developed by Disney near Orlando, Fla., have been unsafe in their houses since 1996, when it first opened. The fire department says it must ban parking on side streets and … Continue reading

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Good ideas for 6/10, I-195

Perhaps this comes too late to affect either the Route 195 corridor project (now renamed the Innovation & Design District) or the plan to rebuild the Route 6/10 connector. The former has been advanced (if you can call it that) … Continue reading

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Fate of the Fane skyscrapers

Got my paper this morning and was startled to read the headline “Trio of towers never stood a chance” on the front page. The story in the Providence Journal, by Kate Bramson, seemed to indicate that the project had been … Continue reading

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City devitalization in France

Towns and small cities in France have experienced in recent years something similar to what happened to towns and cities in America during the last half of the 20th century. In France they call urban renewal and suburban sprawl by … Continue reading

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A Jane Jacobs cornucopia

Here is an excellent review of recent books published by and about Jane Jacobs in the past year, which was the centennial of her birth. “What Jane Jacobs Saw,” by Michael Lewis in the upcoming March issue of First Things, … Continue reading

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Le era (er, error) de Corbu

Here is what Alistair Horne has to say about Le Corbusier in his book Seven Ages of Paris. It is on page 330. In my opinion, he lets the guy off too lightly. … [A]fter 1919 most new building shifted … Continue reading

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Chace plans downtown digs

When it was announced several years ago that Providence developer Buff Chace would purchase the Journal Building and the parking lot across from it on Fountain Street, he expressed the hope of erecting a new building on the latter site. … Continue reading

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More from ‘7 Ages of Paris’

Here are a couple more passages from Alistair Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris: The first two are from his section on the Second Empire: With so much borrowed from the past, was there (leaving aside the new apartment blocks) any … Continue reading

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Haussmann’s urban removal

Preservationists and architects should be enemies: the preservation of any old building postpones work designing a new building to replace it. Baron Haussmann’s demolition and rebuilding of much of old Paris in the third quarter of the 19th century created … Continue reading

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Modernist fundamentalism

Soon after I posted “General Motors’ America” yesterday, I yearned for a deeper understanding of the reason why GM so avidly embraced modernist concepts of design and planning. So it was good to receive from architectural theorist Nikos Salingaros a … Continue reading

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