Chuck Wolfe underscores the importance of a holistic view of urban places, referencing themes of common experience, aesthetics, feelings of happiness, safety, or security—a basic narrative of the city that often goes beyond first impressions.
Using the foil of a dramatic urban view that has remained unchanged in an evolving Seattle neighborhood, Wolfe suggests that the goals of good urbanism are often buried by jargon of the day.
Open a book, read only, say, page 77, and the prose may please the mind or heart, but the richness of the story may suffer. Why? Because the plot is still unclear.
Reading the city is no different, he notes, with reference to his linked slideshow of international, human-scale urban imagery, and to a colorful photograph of the view referenced above. He suggests that taking pause, and recalling context and any background story, is the first step towards achieving community, neighborhood, and a better place.
"Urban challenges often first appear as conflicts of ideology, habit or style, without nuance. Yet the irony of underlying commonality is great, and should not be lost," he notes, citing examples from Jerusalem, Seattle, and the recent writing of Charles Montgomery and Jaime Lerner.
Wolfe suggests greater emphasis on common foundations and common ground in discussions of urban affairs, urging "that any professional embracing urban policy, practice, and as a precursor to innovation...read... the entire book, the one that tells the important back stories, and sets a universal, human tone."
Phase 1 Revealed for $20 Billion Chicago Megaproject
Plans for One Central, a proposed megadevelopment that would add 22.3 million square feet of buildings to the city of Chicago, are taking shape.
Top Websites for Urban Planning – 2021
Planetizen's annual list of the best of the urban planning Internet.
Survey: What Mobile Apps Are Most Useful for Planning in 2021?
Planetizen is requesting your input in creating the definitive list of mobile apps for professional, student, academic, or citizen planners—updated for a planning profession forever altered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Rowan University's Department of Geography, Planning, & Sustainability
City Of Oakland
Hillsborough County Public Schools
City of Raleigh
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.