• Beijing Bell Tower moonlight

    Urban adventure in China

    Chance encounters with strangers, random humane acts of kindness, and the experience of discovering new places make travel and urban life memorable. And they may possibly influence future behavior. On my first trip to China in 2013, I arrived in Beijing and settled in at the Red Wall Jingshan...Read more
  • Parklet on 75th Street in Chatham.

    Parklets transform Southside Chicago street

    How urbanism can bring hope and change to a working-class African American neighborhood.
    Temporary parklets and outdoor cafes have recently boosted sales and street life on three blocks of a working-class African American community on the Southside of Chicago. The tactical public spaces in front of businesses on 75th Street in Chatham, set up for a long weekend starting July 20, were...Read more
  • Philadelphia Rail Park

    Civic Commons: Spreading opportunity to the whole city

    Reimagining the Civic Commons was launched in Philadelphia, and similar strategies are now being applied to five US Cities.
    For decades the “Philadelphia Story” was about steady economic decline. That story is being rewritten today, but so far Philadelphia’s comeback is limited to certain parts of town. “We have one of the highest infusions of Millennials coming here, but also some of the highest rates of poverty and...Read more
  • Sidewalk cafes: Silver bullets for walkable places

    When someone walks along a street, they’re gone in a moment. But when they sit down to a meal, they might be there for an hour or more. Because of this, the sidewalk cafe is the most powerful tool to enhance people’s desire to walk in a place.
    The most important thing about building a place with high Walk Appeal isn’t anything we build, nor is it about walking. Of all the factors that entice us to walk in a place, the strongest one is likely the presence of other people. When someone walks along a street, they’re there for a moment, and...Read more