Don't Jump on that Trend Just Yet

Howard Blackson's "Next Urbanism Lab" series looks at recent trends and lessons learned for urban designers. While the Bilbao Effect, the Vancouver Model, the High Line, and Active Living may provide seductive role models, local insight is key.

"In not learning from the past we are destined to repeat it. So, in this lab, I’ll examine some of the trends currently dominating planning and begin examining the quirks and pitfalls that can occur when a solution for one city is transplanted somewhere else," says Blackson.

"In my last Next Urbanism Lab post, I detailed how my city of San Diego has been built over time through a layering of national planning and development trends — silver bullets, so to speak — in order to chase economic prosperity. Our new convention center, downtown baseball park, mall, and freeway were squished into our traditional urban fabric in order to save our city from some economic malaise at the time."

Blackson goes on to point out that San Diego is still in the red and still following the latest trends: the Bilbao Effect, the Vancouver Model, the High Line, and Active Living. Instead of mimicking these planning innovations, he looks for the placemaking lessons that each has to offer. And how we might bring them home.

Full Story: Next Urbanism Lab 02: Planning Trends Captivate, but…

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