Most trends are fleeting, some of them mercifully so. Some last no longer than a Lady Gaga wardrobe change. But urbanism is still, by and large, a leisurely exercise, so it's no wonder that planners still embrace fashions on a nearly generational basis. It often takes that long just to see if something works. Or not.
So, while Gaga would inspire us to attach telephones to our heads and light our bustiers on fire, planners who ascribe to the principles of smart growth are still rhetorically swaddling cities in the urban equivalent of flannel. For better or worse, this age may finally be coming to a close. Don't cry, Monster.
The train wreck of ideologies that is emerging this election season is too much for anyone to categorize.
I don’t suppose the pigeons are carrying Cristal underwing?
The president was in town.
Even more so than usual, few people will be receiving buildings as gifts this season. They're too expensive, you can’t return them, and, notwithstanding Barbie’s Dream House, they probably won't fit under your tree. But still, this Yuletide affords ample opportunity to take stock of the works that have arisen in this most momentous of decades.
BOSTON -- If you've ever studied the bar menu at Trader Vic's then you know about such wonders as Tropical Passion, Moku Nani, and the Potted Parrot. Each is made of a unique but secret blend of dark rum, light rum, spiced rum, tropical juices, and of course "subtle flavorings." But by the time you'd realize that the only real difference is the glass they come in, you're too probably drunk to notice--or care.
Minus the palm fronds, the RailVolution conference is much the same.
Remember the legislation that, in 1965, affirmed universal suffrage in all elections? Yes, you do. It was called the National Voting Rights Act.
Anyone who has picked up a greeting card, coffee mug, or calendar in the past 100 years or so can recognize the sentiments of any number of great American environmentalists: Whitman and his yawp, Thoreau and his deliberateness, Frost and his serene decisiveness. We know the exhortations of Carson, Leopold, Emerson, and Abbey. John Muir, John McPhee, and Barry Lopez are known to have taken a few strolls through the chestnuts.