Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

Keep Kennedy Plaza central

The master planners of Providence and Rhode Island have figured out how to screw up Kennedy Plaza again. In 2015 they removed its four elegant, Art Nouveau-inspired waiting kiosks, replacing them with sterile plasticky kiosks. Now they want to dig … Continue reading

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Reverse landscape of despair

Understandably, an overlooked part of the debate about architecture is the ease of moving back to tradition in building cities and towns. My blog on Friday, “Modern architecture is killing us,” quoted extensively from James Howard Kunstler’s essay “The Landscape … Continue reading

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How modernism is killing us

In my post on Tuesday, “Alien spaceship in Alberta!,” author and iconoclast James Howard Kunstler tagged Edmonton’s new Deconstructivist library as August’s “Eyesore of the Month.” (The name pegs the style as accurately as that of Brutalism.) Well, as they … Continue reading

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How to create great streets

Headquartered in London, Create Streets seeks to teach Britons and their place-making institutions how to make better cities and towns. Its mission does not hesitate to include beauty in its remit. Its founder, Nicholas Boys Smith, is now co-chairman (along … Continue reading

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For one- or two-way streets?

On a recent sojourn in (and above) Manhattan, Steve Mouzon sparked a Facebook conversation about the merits and demerits of one- and two-way streets. It unfolded at such a high level of thoughtfulness about streets (of either ilk) from so … Continue reading

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Salingaros: How cities heal

Globetrotting mathematician and theorist Nikos Salingaros hits the nail on the head in his recent analysis of urban ills in “A Schizophrenic Approach to Building Cities,” published on the Meeting of the Minds website. Actually he hits many nails on … Continue reading

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Ban glass and steel in NYC

That’s really what New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said. He called for a “ban” on glass-and-steel skyscrapers. But that is not what he actually meant. That idea would never fly in Manhattan. The mayor’s handlers are already walking … Continue reading

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Hope for Henderson Bridge?

Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation plans to use extra federal transportation funds to replace the stodgy old Henderson Bridge – a span that not only looks like a highway overpass but is a highway overpass. It was originally built in … Continue reading

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Europe as museum for rich?

The late Walter Laqueur, who died last week after a long career cataloguing the sins of communism, terrorism and the Holocaust, was quoted in his New York Times obituary asserting that the “possibility that Europe will become a museum or … Continue reading

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Joint prize for dynamic duo

My Traditional Building just arrived and reveals that Nikos Salingaros and Michael Mehaffy have received this year’s Clem Labine Award from the magazine. Congratulations to them both. Much of my education regarding how science affects architecture and urbanism comes from … Continue reading

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