Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

“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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Get rid of all speed bumps

I doubt that social-justice warriors are on the warpath against speed bumps. Speed bumps are a prime example of punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty. But punishing the guilty for the sins of the guilty is rational, … Continue reading

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Guatemala’s peaceful Cayala

Cayalá is a new town on the edge of crime-ridden Guatemala City that has grown stronger since it was planted in 2011. I’ve written about its lovely mixture of Spanish and Mayan design influences, starting as early as 2012 in … Continue reading

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“The Art of Classic Planning”

This comprehensive, fascinating and brilliant volume by Nir Haim Buras, who founded the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, is subtitled “Building Beautiful and Enduring Communities.” So one might well assume that it rejects the … Continue reading

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Still attacking Kennedy Plaza

A sensible plan to renovate Kennedy Plaza attractively without evicting public transit from Providence’s central square – by far its most logical location – was submitted in 2013, designed by Union Studio. In 2015, this plan was frog-marched out of … Continue reading

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