For Lack of a Better Term

Chuck Wolfe discusses the challenge of finding a more marketable term to encompass all of the prevailing theories of "transit-oriented development", "walkability", and "liveability." His suggestion? Urbandwidth.

Wolfe writes, "Writing and conversing about the urban experience has made one thing clear. Short of the word 'urbanism' and its modified variants, there is no one English word which holistically captures the qualities of livable cites or the associated metrics that many commentators tout and exemplify."

Wolfe says that "it would help to have one word to describe the phenomenon."

Thanks to Chuck Wolfe

Full Story: The mission ahead: recalibrating "urbandwidth"



Not enough bytes to fill bandwidth.

As a former student of Chuck's I'm glad to see his personality unfolding in this direction. But this neologism is far short of the mark. At least someone is out there trying to re-frame the issue.



URBANOMICS - an intuitive term

What we may want to talk about is “Urba-nomics”. Like “Eco-nomics”, it would automatically be understood as the study and application of rules (laws = nomos) that make cities work to the advantage of their inhabitants.
An urbanist, like an economist, would be a student of these laws and/or a professional that understands their application. He/she would not be an advocate of an ideology, an –ism. (see Planetizen article “The Importance of Being Urban)
As for the advocacy of specific tools, such as “less asphalt, more green” or “less driving more walking” these should derive naturally from fundamental laws that would answer the question:
What is a city? Or a more pragmatic one: What is a city for?
It may be said that C. Alexander started the “URBANOMICS” discipline with his “patterns” though he did not name it.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.