Mike Lydon is the founding Principal of the Street Plans Collaborative.
Jane Jacobs once said, “Songs and cities are the best things
about us. Songs and cities are so indispensable.”
For a long time I thought Mother Jacobs was speaking, as
only she could, about two separate, but vital human necessities. Yet after
another weekend exploring New York
City, I am convinced the two—songs and cities—are
inextricably linked. That is, truly great cities play their own songs, and
after one listen you can’t get them out of your head.
Monday, October 13, 2008 - 5:05am PDT
In a much discussed speech, ‘A Generational Challenge to
Repower America,’ Al Gore challenged America to hit the off-switch on
foreign oil and re-power itself with home-grown carbon-free energy– namely wind,
solar and geothermal.
The predicted outcome Gore said would be a bold, energy
independent nation ready to lead the world into the 21st century. However,
such an effort, he asserted, would require “commitment to changing not just
light bulbs, but laws. And Laws will only change with leadership.”
Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 9:19pm PDT
Monday, July 7, 2008 - 10:18am PDT
are three types of bicyclists: Advanced Bicyclists, Intermediate Bicyclists
and Beginner Bicyclists. We need to plan and build facilities to accommodate all of them. Those cities that do are experiencing ridership numbers far above the national average.
Sunday, June 8, 2008 - 1:34pm PDT
Cities are sized-up, measured and analyzed in countless ways.
The Economist uses statistics to
indicate how New York’s financial sector is
faring against its London
counterpart. Richard Florida measures the extant of the creative class. Allan Jacobs carefully records
intersection densities and Jan Gehl simply counts pedestrians. Some, like Peter
Calthorpe, go beyond the city line and take stock of the whole region.
Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 6:36am PDT
If you think of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, surely you do not think of Miami. In fact, if you have ever been to the "Magic City," or perhaps live here, you probably shudder at the idea of using two wheels instead of four. That may be changing.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 7:39am PDT
Anne Street, Dublin City Center: A mixture of uses prevail
in this pedestrian friendly, human-scaled street.
Sunday, March 9, 2008 - 11:26am PDT
Friday, January 11, 2008 - 6:20am PST
When I opened my email this morning I was delighted to see that the City of Flagstaff unanimously approved a SmartCode based TND ordinance. The ordinance, created to make a recent Dover Kohl designed project called Juniper Point legal, allows a more compact, pedstrian friendly urban pattern to be established within the City. This is a crucial step in providing alternatives to business as usual sprawl development. Fortunately, more and more cities - From Jamestown, Rhode Island to Miami, Florida, to Montgomery, Alabama - are making smart growth a legal and easy choice.
Thursday, November 29, 2007 - 12:35pm PST
Over the past three months, my girlfriend and I have made three trips to the suburbs of Miami. Twice to the Whole Foods we desperately lack on Miami Beach (Yes, Wild Oats is okay, but for us food snobs it just does not compare) and once to the brand new, soul-killing, 283,000 square foot IKEA to partially outfit our 450 square foot South Beach studio apartment.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 8:30pm PDT