People who love living in vibrant walkable mixed use urban neighborhoods sometimes look at suburban commercial corridors and suggest they can be transformed with light rail, bicycles, fine grained locally owned businesses, clean solar and wind power, and mom and pop small scale infill construction. Others who really enjoy their spacious suburban homes, front lawns, … Continue reading The Future of Suburbia
There are some serious forest fires burning all across California at the moment and the smoke from distant counties has turned the air here in San Francisco into an autumnal barbecue flavored mist. Bits of white flaky ash are drifting down from the sky like cherry blossoms. Last year around this time there were similar … Continue reading Big Picture
Among my many friends here in San Francisco is a guy who works in the field of affordable housing. In the parlance of the profession he identifies and empowers stakeholders to work synergistically to blah, blah, blah. He’s basically the lubricant in an immensely complex collection of processes involving public and private actors who are all … Continue reading Responding to External Reality
I scratched my head over this one for a while before I eventually came around. Give me a minute to come full circle here. This is the latest architectural statement in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood. Faulders Studio and Wolfberg Alvarez Partners created an eight story garage meant to be a catalyst for the larger neighborhood. The high design celebrates … Continue reading Miami’s New Temples
In the early days of the auto industry Detroit was a dynamic machine churning out huge numbers of cars with integrated supply chains clustered tightly together around Ford’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn or General Motors’ assembly plant in Hamtramck. But over time the industry spread out across the landscape, first to nearby states, then … Continue reading Bozeman: A Blessing and a Curse
I got a phone call a few months back from a woman in Arizona who sought my advice. Her town was receiving an influx of new residents from out of state and it was obvious the trend was accelerating. The resulting growth and economic distortions caused by an expanding population, more traffic congestion, less open … Continue reading The Californians Are Coming!
I was last in Reno, Nevada twenty years ago and I can’t say I had a strong opinion of the place. It was just another forgettable generic one night stop over on a long drive to somewhere else. But I found myself back there twice in the past month. First, a young friend was leaving … Continue reading My Reno Epiphany