• Appreciating small-scale New Urbanism

    For those who are concerned that too many big developers dominate urban revitalization, the Naked Philly blog is an antidote.
    I’m guilty, like a lot of writers, of focusing on the larger projects. Many articles are written on 500-unit mixed-use developments while scores of little urban projects fall under the radar. I recently checked in with the Naked Philly blog, which shows the transformation of a major city in all its...Read more
  • New Urbanism's family values

    Joel Kotkin charges urbanists with being anti-family—but he couldn't be more wrong.
    In The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us , Joel Kotkin makes the case that urbanists are behind the drop in birth rates around the world. Urbanists are implementing policies that discourage child-rearing—with potentially dire consequences, he says in this 200-plus-page polemic. It’s pretty...Read more
  • Creative placemaking: Knowing when to get out of the way

    It seems everywhere I turn lately I stumble my way into a conversation on creative placemaking — people looking at the activation of public space as a way to further their personal and collective passions and pursuits. It’s heartening. I’m a firm believer that our taking of emotional ownership over...Read more
  • Playing field tilted against cities

    "The public policy environment in Pennsylvania, and in most places in the United States, is absolutely, positively hostile to cities," said Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Wolf said, for example, that the costs of water, sewer, and electric networks tend to be lower in densely populated areas, but that...Read more