The Surprisingly Important Role of Symmetry in Healthy Places
New research suggests there might be a "symmetry deficit disorder" in today's built environments, with significant impacts on health, well-being, and even sustainability.
Is it Time to Revive the Pattern Language?
Software and other fields have made brilliant progress with the pattern language methodology, while built environment fields lag badly, mired in parochial debates over the massive book that invented the methodology.
The Lessons Jane Jacobs and Christopher Alexander Still Have to Teach
Robert Steuteville reviews Cities Alive, by Michael Mehaffy, describing the newly released book as "an important analysis for urbanism."
The Unexpected Influence of Christopher Alexander
Known for A Pattern Language, his landmark book on architecture and urban design, Christopher Alexander's ideas have had an effect on everything from software and iPhone apps to business management and ecology.
Making Sense of Neighborhood Structure
Planner Sam Gennawey details a public participation exercise he regularly uses, taken from the ideas of Christopher Alexander, that makes complex ideas simple for public understanding.
Supermodel Sirens on "Sanctuary" Island
Is there an ideal model for a city's circulation, a "supermodel"? Fanis Grammenos reviews a new paper that proposes the use of organic forms first recognized by Christopher Alexander.
The Man Behind the Pattern Language
Witold Rybczynski profiles Christopher Alexander, author of A Pattern Language, one of the most influential books in urban planning. Alexander recently won the Vincent Scully prize from the National Building Museum.
The concept of 'emergence', in science refers to the way complex systems and patterns arise among groups without planned organization. Emergence is now being applied in interesting ways to study urban areas that evolved spontaneously.
City of Scotts Valley
Gallatin County Department of Planning & Community Development
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.