Urban Fold

Commercializing the Landscape

When an Apple Store wanted to move into the Georgetown neighborhood in D.C., the Design Review Board pushed for a more fitting facade. After a backlash from residents eager for an Apple, the trademark building went in. Is Georgetown better off?

Edward T. McMahon, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, thinks not. He says that the Apple Store is an example of a pervasive sameness of the landscape that is erasing the differences between American cities and towns:

"Over the past 40 years America's commercial landscape has progressed from unique to uniform, from the stylized to the standardized."

"To foster a sense of place, communities must plan for built environments and settlement patterns that are uplifting and memorable -- and that create a special feeling of belonging and stewardship by residents."

Full Story: The Place Making Dividend

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