Present City, Future City: India

In the Old City, Ahmedabad. In February and March we spent a month visiting seven cities across India, from south to north, from west to east. Our time there was completely exceptional: invaluable, surprising, educational, revealing, depressing, infuriating, eye-opening and more. I continue to reflect on those days, and it has taken me until now … Continue reading Present City, Future City: India

ROC the Riverway (really – that’s what they’re calling it)

Ugh. Somehow, we seem incapable of naming any important planning or design initiative anything other than ROC. ROC is the airport code for Rochester. Must we really persist in this ROC title for our restaurants, bars, carpet cleaners, dry cleaners, home inspectors, car repair shops, bagel shops, theaters, barber shops, moving companies?... And urban design … Continue reading ROC the Riverway (really – that’s what they’re calling it)

Meanwhile on North Water Street….

Once upon a time, North Water was a district that featured garment manufacturers, technology innovators, shoe makers, brewers and distillers, warehousers, and more than a few squatters. From Main Street, North Water proceeded to Central Avenue and the railroads. Most, though not all, of the buildings on the river side of the street were large … Continue reading Meanwhile on North Water Street….

Carthage Redux: 1817, and the Three Elishas

The narratives - the stories - that any place has to offer us often occur in multiple chapters. We need to find ways to keep listening as these stories slowly unfold before us. So it is with Carthage - another installment. 1817 was quite a year in this part of the world. For example, in 1811, Nathaniel Rochester began laying out … Continue reading Carthage Redux: 1817, and the Three Elishas

STAMP Act II – An Update

In the interest of trying to come to a better understanding of what we believe is a very misguided decision to locate a Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) in Alabama, New York, out in Genesee County, we hopped in the car for the voyage west to the site. The STAMP here is aimed … Continue reading STAMP Act II – An Update

Rochester and the “Let’s Pretend” Game, Part II – The Riverfront

The Main Street Bridge over the Genesee, 1922. The "Let's Pretend" Czar has been reading our blog, and based on suggestions from our other readers, has made a decree about one aspect of our urbanism that Rochester should now focus attention on - our riverfront. Great waterfronts have proven to be major economic factors in many … Continue reading Rochester and the “Let’s Pretend” Game, Part II – The Riverfront

Rochester and Sustainability: A Report Card

  Photo by David Mohney, City Hall Photo Lab, from the Monroe County Library Collection, c-0001910. Rochester's green grade: F. F for Fail. Failing. Failed. I went looking around this morning at what cities are doing to become more sustainable. I went to a bunch of .gov web sites from a selection of municipalities to see … Continue reading Rochester and Sustainability: A Report Card

Rochester: What Happened?

A reader here has just asked me a good question about Rochester urbanism and the character and order of this region: what happened? He noted that Rochester was once a dense, compact city, surrounded by neighborhoods of tree-lined streets and lovely homes, in a region rich with all kinds of natural resources - lake, river, countryside. … Continue reading Rochester: What Happened?