Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sprawl (Sort of)

I’m a longtime advocate of walkable, mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-served neighborhoods. But lately I’ve been having impure thoughts about suburbia. Let me explain.    What often passes for a neighborhood in America is a low grade assemblage of chain convenience stores, big box outlets, franchise muffler shops, multi-lane highways, and isolated cul-de-sacs. Even when it’s physically … Continue reading Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sprawl (Sort of)

The “Inner Cleveland” of Trendy Cities

     Check out these photos and try to guess where they were taken. If you thought Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo, Cincinnati, or a dozen other Rustbelt towns you’d be mistaken, although your confusion is completely understandable. It’s actually Portland, Oregon – that bastion of liberal, crunchy, hippie, yuppie, hipster, eco-friendliness. Go figure. I’m not putting … Continue reading The “Inner Cleveland” of Trendy Cities

Paved to Death

Here’s what a tradition street grid looks like from Google Earth. This is how most towns in America were organized until about 1945. Kids walked to school. Families walked to church on Sunday. People could easily get to work and access the local bakery, hardware store, library, etc. without a car. This was Norman Rockwell’s … Continue reading Paved to Death