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My link-fu is strong. Please welcome to the Web Burb, a site dedicated to suburbs and New Suburbanism. From the manifesto: The suburbs, in short, are the American mainstream. Our major writers, dating back to Updike and Cheever, have focused on decoding suburban life, and today Richard Ford, Chang Rae Lee, Rick Moody and others continue that work. Suburban megachurches are the engine of American Protestantism. Blog Post
Feb 16, 2006   By
A few hours ago I got home from my first stint as a reviewer of student urban design proposals. That's right, kids: I went from consumer to teacher without ever having to be a producer. Blog Post
Feb 16, 2006   By
After Adam's last two thoughtful posts, I thought I should weigh in here being the resident urban design on Tech Talk. In general, I sometimes share others concerns with marquee architecture but usually when its seen as a way of boosting economic development or the status of a city. I think in those cases, there are far better ways to boost the livability and physical appearance of a place. Thinking of what an "icon" for say, Fort Wayne, would be is an uninteresting question as that city faces other underlying issues that a marquee project simply can't address. Blog Post
Jan 31, 2006   By Scott Page
No, seriously. As I keep getting into arguments with urban planners about community involvement (they're in favor of it) and bitching about marquee architetecture (and marquee architects) someone else voiced my inner conflict before I got to a keyboard. Here's Robert McDonald on the Urban Cartography blog: MIT's new Stata Center lurches impressively over Vassar Street, a mélange of surfaces and cylinders intersecting at odd angles. Blog Post
Jan 28, 2006   By
A few months ago, when I was still taking the bus to work - and walking from San Francisco's Transbay Terminal to my office - my favorite shortcut got strange. And I'm glad it did, because it helped me crystallize one of the necessary qualities for a great city: surprise. I'd taken to shaving a few minutes off the march by cutting down a narrow walkway between two skyscrapers. Tall brick on one side, tall concrete on the other. And at the end: pop. The backend of a simple plaza, bits of crummy retail and a Starbucks guarding the front. Blog Post
Jan 21, 2006   By
Do I love this? I love this. Fake Is the New Real compares two dozen subway systems from around the world, at the same scale. All these fractal diagrams show, incidentally, a city's rough sprawl-to-core ratio, density, and size -- at a glance. Below, London versus Los Angeles (winner: London). via Curbed LA Blog Post
Jan 18, 2006   By
I got a slew of responses (some positive, some not) on my post, "Top 8 Sins For RFPs". The best response came from Chelsea Pierce, an Associate Planner with the City of East Providence, Rhode Island , who offers a few of her proposal pet peeves. Chelsea writes: Great list of RFP sins! I'll keep those things in mind when I write my next one. I have a few proposal submittal pet peeves I'd like to share - small things, really, but also things that drive me bananas. Blog Post
Dec 28, 2005   By Chris Steins
Cool application underway by Socialight. Sticky Shadows are digital post-it notes for urban areas. I like the idea of neighborhood narratives. From their website: "How's it Used? -- I leave a note for all my friends at the mall to let them know where I'm hanging out. All my friends in the area see it. -- A woman shows all her close friends the tree under which she had her first kiss. -- An entire neighborhood gets together and documents all the unwanted litter they find in an effort to share ownership of a community problem. Blog Post
Dec 23, 2005   By Scott Page
Working at Urban Insight, I see about 10-20 RFPs for various projects each month. We have to evaluate the cost/benefit of deciding to respond to any one of these RFPs, and so the RFPs are evaluated by us much the way that our proposal would be evaluated by an organization or agency. While some RFPs are outstanding, and clearly describe the project, evaluation, and process, others are, well, downright embarrassing, or contain clauses and provisions that leave you scratching your head. Blog Post
Dec 20, 2005   By Chris Steins
The popularity of blogs and podcasting is partly driven by the simple concept of web content syndication and aggregation using RSS and ATOM feeds. Yet, a study by Yahoo suggests that RSS is still not widely adopted. The study reports: "...27% of users actually consume RSS on personalized start pages without realizing that it's the underlying technology enabling what they read. Sites such as MyYahoo, MyMSN, and the Firefox browser with its active bookmarks provide easy access to regularly updated RSS feeds with little or no effort from users." Blog Post
Dec 15, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan