Fanis Grammenos

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos


The Urban Project: Urbanization, Urbanisms, and the Virus—A Historical Take

Perceptions of what makes density either "good" or "bad" have shifted over the years, and the pandemic is likely to precipitate another shift.

June 1, 2020 - Fanis Grammenos


The Dots of Connectivity and Broken Cultural Links

Connectivity is not just a question of geometry, according to this article by Fanis Grammenos. It's critical to consider what people connect for and how.

April 1, 2020 - Fanis Grammenos

Vienna, Austria

The City as a Self-Organizing, Adaptive System – Part 2

The adaptive nature of cities is exemplified once again, by the self-organizing response of street networks after transformative changes.

January 12, 2020 - Fanis Grammenos

Marrakech, Morocco

It's Organic! The End of Conjecture and the Science Ahead

The history of inquiry into the "organic" nature of cities has revealed findings that inform the practice of urban planning.

November 21, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

New York City

Three Studies That Show Density Doesn't Determine Car Travel

Thirty years after a seminal study attempted to connect increased density with decreased automobile use, several new studies are raising doubts about that central assumption of contemporary planning.

September 30, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

Seaside Entrance

New Urbanism and Jacobs: A Tangled Disconnect

New Urbanism was in part born of the criticisms of 20th century planning principles popularized by Jane Jacobs, but Jacobs infamously derided the new school of thought.

May 31, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

Broadway Downtown

A Sprinkle of Stores: Wrestling With Jacobs's Uncertainty

Jane Jacobs used vague terms to describe the number of stores necessary for a safe and vibrant streetscape. Here, author Fanis Grammenos attempts to discover a more specific number to attach to this prescription.

February 27, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

Manhattan, New York City, New York

Birds of Passage: Quantifying Jacobs's Gloom

While the debate continues unabated on the influence of the physical and land use characteristics of a city on crime, a critical aspect is left out: resident transience. Jacobs took notice and feared its negative influence. Was she right?

January 7, 2019 - Fanis Grammenos

Manhattan, New York City

The View from Hudson Street—With Thoughts on Science and Orthodoxy

Anecdotal evidence isn't enough to make claims about the connection between density and crime, but the planning orthodoxy does so anyway.

October 17, 2018 - Fanis Grammenos

Eyes on the Street

Eyes from the Street – A Finer Filter

Evidence described here suggests that urban design for "eyes on the street" is not enough to lower crime.

July 2, 2018 - Fanis Grammenos

Canadian Street

Eyes from the Street: The Neighbourhood Fabric that Matters

The mantra “eyes on the street" focuses on the physical and functional traits of urban fabric but fails to explain the high crime rate of my Jacobsian neighbourhood. Time to reconsider, look for explanations, and exchange mantras for research.

April 9, 2018 - Fanis Grammenos


How an Urban Grid Becomes a Maze

Many rational, open grids can seem like a labyrinth to users. The labyrinth has emerged as an unplanned consequence of the evolution of cities, but solutions like GPS navigation and autonomous vehicles could mean relief.

January 10, 2018 - Fanis Grammenos

Cul de Sac

The Block Fallacy, or How Not to Build a Circulation System

An examination of the Block Ordinance as a panacea for the ailments of modern cities.

November 28, 2017 - Fanis Grammenos

New York City

A Grid Balancing Act for Vibrant, Varied, and Sustainable Places

An analysis of three essential attributes of urban grids reveals a preferred layout for the desired effect of a vibrant, active community.

December 20, 2016 - Fanis Grammenos

Santa Barbara sidewalk

Taking the Guesswork out of Designing for Walkability

The lack of adequate pedestrian behavior models means that designing for walkability has largely remained a matter of intuition. However, agent-based simulation can provide insight into the keys for creating pedestrian-friendly places.

May 21, 2013 - Xiongbing Jin

Navigation or Legibility – Which Way?

August 14, 2012 - Fanis Grammenos

Choosing a Grid, or Not

With new research in hand, Fanis Grammenos revisits his analysis of the efficiency of the Simple Grid, and asks what, in fact, should be the preferred layout for a new neighbourhood.

February 14, 2012 - Fanis Grammenos

Healthy Travel Modes: Correlations, Causality and Caution

Driving makes people fatter and less healthy, right? Fanis Grammenos warns planners and urban designers that the answer is not so simple, and misusing the statistics will weaken effective debate.

October 13, 2011 - Fanis Grammenos

Portland's Portal of Opportunity

April 14, 2011 - Fanis Grammenos

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.