In the “old days,” you marketed your business or career by joining organizations, serving on boards and committees, socializing, advertising, and writing articles that got published. Many of us tried all but the last item because it was a major undertaking. Today, with the evolution of the internet, websites, blogs, and social media, the dynamics have changed. While the old in-person activities are still worthwhile pursuits, writing and publishing have become much easier, less expensive, and more worthwhile. [Read more…] about Marketing for Architects and Design Professionals Through Online Article Writing
The San Francisco Chronicle reported this month that the City, while considered one of the most walkable City’s in the nation, also has one of the highest rates of pedestrian deaths. [Read more…] about San Francisco’s Street Grid Plan Killing People?
Recent statistics indicate that suburban commercial centers were hit harder by the recession and are recovering more slowly than their urban counterparts. This circumstance is the opposite of prior recessions in the last half century, even as recently as the 2003 – 2004 dot com bubble recession, according to the Wallstreet Journal. During the current recession, the urban core of nearly every major city in the Country suffered substantially less loss of office and retail space than the suburbs surrounding them – including hard hit Detroit. [Read more…] about Recession Reveals that Suburbs Losing Their Appeal.
“Smart growth,” i.e. the densification of development in both new and established communities, especially along transportation corridors, is not only a worthy objective, it’s a necessity. Sprawling development has many established negative impacts. The infrastructure to support it is disproportionately expensive to build and maintain. Its environmental footprint is disproportionately large and wasteful. It has been shown to create negative impacts on the social and physical quality of people’s lives. [Read more…] about When Smart Growth is Not and the NIMBY Is
Turn the freeways into solar collectors and at the same time mitigate noise, pollution, blight, and open space encroachment. This is a fascinating idea from architect Måns Tham of Sweden. He also proposes that the solar canopy capture auto exhaust for feeding algae ponds to create bio fuel. While it seems at first glance to be ‘pie in the sky,’ upon further reflection it may not be so far fetched. It could help resolve the controversy regarding solar arrays in the desert and possible effects on fauna such as the desert tortoise. Freeways typically involve vast sun exposed stretches of real estate that would seem ideally suited for solar panels. Read more on the architect’s blog.
I had the privilege of being granted a tour of the much anticipated new Thomas Jefferson School of Law (“TJSL”) building. For months, this building has tantalized the downtown community, first shrouded by scaffolding fabric, then with its gleaming modern glass and chevron roof. It sits on the former site of the downtown detox center on 11th & Island Avenues, where drunks from all over the county would be processed and let loose downtown to find their own way home. The site is on the edge of the East Village’s Ball Park district, surrounded by new residential condominiums but still near the pioneering edge of redevelopment. By infusing the area with collegiate activity, it promises to be a strong catalyst for further redevelopment. [Read more…] about New Thomas Jefferson School of Law Nearing Completion
Here’s a link to the San Diego Union Tribune’s coverage of Westfield’s proposal involving conversion of the former Robinson’s Building at Horton Plaza into a park and relief from some of its profit sharing obligations to CCDC.
This is the Mid-Coast Trolley Extension Project route, as presented to the University City Planning Group on Oct. 12, 2010. Click here for SANDAG’s FAQ about the project.
Little Italy may soon be getting two public toilettes. San Diego’s City Council is set to vote October 12th on a pilot program to install to public toilettes in Little Italy. The Little Italy Association will pay for their maintenance. CCDC has set aside $700,000 for the program. If successful, locations in the East Village and the Gaslamp Quarter are also under consideration for public toilettes. However, a location in the East Village is proving to be controversial due to concerns about problems from the large homeless population there. In contrast, Little Italy is generally seen as downtown’s most stable and balanced neighborhood. A leading candidate for the type of toilette to be installed is the Portland Loo, which can be seen in the photo to the left.
There are many academic lists regarding the principles of urban planning, a sampling of which is included below. However, I’ve put together my own list about what creates a pleasant place in the built environment. Its based on nothing more than my personal observations.
1) Narrow streets make nicer neighborhoods and shopping districts.
2) Setbacks suck. (Compare all the places we are attracted to for vacations.)
3) Great cities happen at the street level, not the skyline.
4) Preserve the old buildings not just for architectural significance, but for diversity of architecture.
5) Small lot development is smarter development. (i.e. large master planned developments lack soul) [Read more…] about 10 Principles of Planning Pleasant Places