A guest essay from architect and urbanist Mike Eliason on the coolest trends in European cities, where they are converting brownfields to ecodistricts, diversifying housing forms, bringing industrial production back within city borders, and much more.
Hard to see how the U.S. can make a lot of progress toward these goals unless we can get a handle on runaway building costs (including "soft" costs like permitting). Why does it cost *several times* as much to build a subway in New York as in foreign cities? Why should tiny, mass-produced dwellings for L.A.'s homeless cost $300,000 apiece? Last I heard, Josh Barro was doing a research project on this. Will be interesting to see what he finds out.
I can hear neighborhood defenders screaming ‘no socialist housing in my back yard’. It would great to hear from the residents who participated and live in these communities. Americans are trained to condemn these approaches on the basis of politics and our failed attempts at housing projects. The selling will most likely have to come from residents and not planners and designers.
Highly recommend one of the foundational texts in the New Urbanism movement: "Suburban Nation: the rise of sprawl and the decline of the American Dream." It almost brings me to tears when I think about what could have been.
With all the focus on sustainability, it’s surprising that the sourcing for mass timber wasn’t discussed. If the timber is from industrial logging, it is not environmentally sound.
Please check out this apartment building in Jakarta, at least partially designed by the slum dwellers themselves
I just read about how Tucson AZ succeeded in making a lot of their pandemic era bike paths permanent. " the department has emerged with a better understanding of how to engage the community. Fewer public meetings are held in government buildings, where only the usual suspects—whiter, wealthier, older people—tended to show up to comment on public projects. Instead, the department has moved more public engagement outside, into parks, with ice cream and movies and even sometimes childcare to attract a wider swath of city residents." --https://www.wired.com/story/the-pandemic-bike-boom-survives-in-cities-that-stepped-up/
as usual with Eliason's posts, it's simultaneously very cool and very depressing. we don't have the capacity to do things, from bottom to top.