As the Golden Gate Bridge approaches its 75th anniversary, John King pens an incisive comparison between the arguments against the bridge's original construction and those that have challenged subsequent high-profile projects.
Seeing common ground between the arguments raised against the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge eight decades ago - "We need more details, the details we do have can't be trusted, and there are better alternatives" - and efforts to derail high-profile projects such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system and California's proposed high-speed rail, King observes that "little has changed in terms of the attacks that are aimed at major alterations to the landscape..."
"If there's a moral to the story of the birth of the Golden Gate Bridge, it's that there are times when change within a city, region or state comes at an exponential scale. On such occasions, the cultural status quo is threatened."
"This doesn't mean that skeptics of big plans are small-minded. Some large projects should not be built. But the what-ifs and worst-case scenarios can blind us to the fact that projects of a certain scale often reshape the landscape in ways we can't imagine. And sometimes, the landscape is the better as a result."
The Unceremonious Death of a Freeway Expansion Project
The end of an Oregon freeway project didn't get much fanfare, but the victory is worth celebrating.
Converting Golf Courses to Housing Never as Easy as the Market Would Like
Thousands of golf courses have closed in recent years, but the obvious redevelopment opportunity represented by many defunct courses isn’t always easy to realize.
Houston To End Bike Share Program
Lacking the funding it needs to continue, Houston’s BCycle bike share system will end operations in the coming months.
FTA Announces Tribal Transit Program Grants
The agency awarded close to $10 million to 22 communities around the country for transit improvements.
Making Colorado’s Front Range Rail a Reality
Local leaders are scrambling to bring together the funding and political support to create new intercity rail service in the fast-growing region.
How College Campuses Fulfill an Urbanist Dream
Most college campuses in the United States are inherently walkable, mixing various uses with diverse housing options and transit networks.
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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.