Urban Fold

Shoring up the Disappearing Public Realm

As libraries and and post offices are replaced by private development while streets and sidewalks lack funding, what can be done to enliven the public realm?

Howard Blackson offers design solutions, using corners in San Diego where libraries have recently closed as examples. This blog is heavily inspired by Léon Krier:

"We live our daily lives in both private and social realms. Our social lives are built upon the social connectivity that occurs in our civic spaces and institutions. Streets and sidewalks make the majority of our public realm, and we spend too much of that time in isolated, high-speed automobiles. Our streets and sidewalks are in a woeful shape and we lack the infrastructure funding to maintain them, thus a further degradation of the public realm."

"With churches, social clubs, shops, restaurants and bars being private, and public/private partnerships being relied upon to build our parks, plazas and gathering places, we appear to have passed a tipping point - one that the Occupy Wall Street episode captured so vividly as it unfolded in NYC's private/public Zuccotti Park."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Res Civitas non-Gratis: 21st Century Public Realm


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.