Looks can be Deceiving

What does urban density look like? When we hear the "D" word, our first thoughts are often of high-rises and sunless streets. But in point of fact, density's appearance might surprise you. Mumbai is the most densely populated city in the world. Its 14,350,000 inhabitants are packed into 484 square kilometers. This works out to 120 people per acre. But … Continue reading Looks can be Deceiving

Density and Use, Part III

I posted a proposal here yesterday that examined a way to make the existing city dense enough, and with a sufficient mixture of uses, to become a possible next city. My ideas have our readers stirred up. So, as usual, I will say more. As a preface, let me acknowledge that many architects and urbanists are thinking about … Continue reading Density and Use, Part III

A Crazy Idea. Or Maybe Not. Density and Use, Part II

  Our neighborhood, from about 650 feet. We live on the long rectangular block, and it features 57 rowhouses. We live on the south face of the block. It was designed in 1909 by Albert Beers, and was developed by notable DC developer Harry Wardman (he built something like 80,000 units of housing here during his … Continue reading A Crazy Idea. Or Maybe Not. Density and Use, Part II

Beyond Zoning

Okay, so you read the last post here, on the idiocy of the functional zoning laws that grip almost all American cities, and you said: "This guy is really with it - Jane Jacobs was saying more or less the same thing almost 50 years ago."  True. 1961, to be precise. Urban cyclist Jane Jacobs. Jacobs called … Continue reading Beyond Zoning

The End of Zoning

"Our existing ordinance is rather antique." Elwood Taylor, former chairman of the Planning Commission, Upper Pottsgrove Township, Pennsylvania. "There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell them." Louis Armstrong. Most cities have zoning ordinances. Zoning ordinances create zones in cities. Okay so far. The zones that ordinances create are zones that legally limit … Continue reading The End of Zoning