Portland: Can there be a detour ahead?

We are all now well schooled in the notion that Portland, Oregon is the model of current 21st century urbanism in America. Portland, at sunrise. It is a city known for its excellent transportation infrastructure, its many walkable neighborhoods, its tree lined streets, great parks, lovely historic resources, and the liberal and open culture that … Continue reading Portland: Can there be a detour ahead?

Playing with Trains

We’ve just enjoyed a screening of Stephen Low’s wonderful documentary entitled “The Trolley” here in our city. The theater was packed, and while Mr. Low’s film compellingly advocates in favor of streetcars, in fact defines them as critical to our urban future, I heard no voices expressing doubt about his point of view. Bring on … Continue reading Playing with Trains

Choices, Consequences

In the never-ending process of building and rebuilding our cities, we make choices about what's important - where we live, where we work, how we get from place to place. Every choice we make is accompanied by consequences, some intended, some not. And some of the nastiest consequences of our rottenest choices stay with us in … Continue reading Choices, Consequences

Other Options: Alleys and Driveways

Let's say that you live in an urban neighborhood that has less than 15 or 20 dwellings per acre. Let's say that you live in an urban neighborhood of detached or semi-detached townhouses and single family homes. A neighborhood of bungalows, perhaps like this: Chicago bungalow. Knowing that the city must become more populous in order … Continue reading Other Options: Alleys and Driveways