Urban Fold

Mapping the City That Might Have Been

Driven by "the fantasy of the almost-reality," hobbyist mapmaker Andrew Lynch gives new life to plans that never happened with hypothetical maps of the city that almost was.

Eric Jaffe profiles the 28-year-old Lynch, realtor and visioneer of the urban "what if?", who "posts an eclectic array of urban design work at his website, Vanshnookenraggen....His creations over the years include a Google Map rendering that depicts the unbuilt Lower Manhattan Expressway and a hypothetical subway map of Boston."

"Lynch traces his interest in bold-but-unfinished plans back to Albany," where he was raised by an architect father and historic preservationist mother. "On the one hand, he gained a respect for grand projects like [Albany's] Empire State Plaza. On the other, he saw unrequited plans up close, with the city's many unfinished urban highways (particularly the Dunn Memorial Bridge, which ends partway across the Hudson)."

"He hopes his 'almost-real' maps will remind a few almost-ready urban planners to think big."

"There was a generation of planners who were very forward-thinking, and all that energy moved over to the highways, and now we're going to have to move it back a little bit," he says. "We lost a vision or something."

Full Story: Mapping the Almost-Real City


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.

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
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.