The Renewed Challenge: Sustaining a City's Culture and Character

From the outset, defining the culture and character of a city is a daunting task, especially when the city around you disappears.

July 8, 2020, 10:00 AM PDT

By Charles R. Wolfe @crwolfelaw

From London, Chuck Wolfe reports in with a prequel to his pending book with Tigran Haas, Sustaining a City's Culture and Character: Principles and Best Practices. The book--which calls for a co-created, holistic understanding of place amid today's pandemic-influenced, global/local blends--culminates a two-year project at the Centre for the Future of Places at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

His adapted excerpt from the Introduction concludes:

In light of these complex, intermingled layers that define the city, I believe that if anyone tries to determine, declare and impose a local urban essence quickly and then sustain it—based only on dogma or as an urbanist missionary—it will escape them and slither through their hands. However, if they apply diligence and reflection concerning the day-to-day realities of urban life, they will gain a more accurate understanding of the blending that is actually underway. Mindfulness, which we are constantly counseled to apply to ourselves, is critical, because the world in an era of technological evolution and climate change is too unpredictable a place for detached soothsayers to prevail. 

Expect a pandemic-delayed publication date soon from Rowman & Littlefield, likely late 2020/early 2021.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 in Sustaining Place

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

University of Arizona

Proposed Transit Line Would Connect Downtown Tucson to Airport

Based on community input for a 15-mile transit line, residents want to see a focus on affordable housing development and anti-displacement measures.

May 22 - KGUN

Shuttered strip mall in Niland, California

Strip Malls as a Housing Solution

The American strip mall may be a dying breed of commercial development, but could the buildings serve a new use as sustainable housing?

May 22 - Yale Environment 360

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.