It has oft been said that San Francisco has some of the best architects in the world but that their best work is elsewhere. I think that tends to be true. As a City, we have empowered virtually any single person to stop anything. A Few Thoughts on the State of Architecture in San Francisco Today
In this era, perhaps what first comes to mind is the image of a place full of the hustle and bustle of daily life with people, buildings, roads and vehicles all clustered together in a way that overwhelm the individual. Perhaps, it is a place one is most familiar with. However, the question still remains as to what constitutes a “city”. I questioned this many years ago while residing in the sprawling suburbs of Washington DC, searching for a more figurative explanation on the subject. ON CITIES (Just what is a city?)
It appears almost inevitable that Redevelopment Agencies will be axed in California: Proposition 22 presents a “problematic” hiccup in proceedings but is unlikely to prevent their outright abolition. But what does this mean for the future of our cities? It won’t mark the end of growth, but it could change the face of development. Whether this change is welcome could depend on how active a community becomes in attracting external investment. This will require us all to think differently about how development occurs, and to take greater responsibility for how it is delivered. More power to the people: the changing face of redevelopment
In the summer of 2009, the San Diego Redevelopment Agency (SDRA) issued a request for proposals (RFP) looking for creative proposals for the adaptive reuse of the former JC Penney Building on University Avenue at Ray Street in North Park (the neighborhood North of San Diego’s Balboa Park – its 1,200 acre urban cultural park).
The excellent condition and high quality of the design of the existing building, a landmark in North Park, requires an approach that features both direct architectural intervention and subtle restraint. Why Not? North Park?!
Recent statistics indicate that suburban commercial centers were hit harder by the recession and are recovering more slowly than their urban counterparts. This circumstance is the opposite of prior recessions in the last half century, even as recently as the 2003 – 2004 dot com bubble recession, according to the Wallstreet Journal. During the current recession, the urban core of nearly every major city in the Country suffered substantially less loss of office and retail space than the suburbs surrounding them – including hard hit Detroit. Recession Reveals that Suburbs Losing Their Appeal.
Free Public Transit in downtown – With lots of reasonably dense suburbs surrounding the CBD, having free transit through the center encourages commuters to stay out of their cars when they have short trips thereby reducing the need for parking and reducing congestion. 5 Things that make Portland Work…
“Smart growth,” i.e. the densification of development in both new and established communities, especially along transportation corridors, is not only a worthy objective, it’s a necessity. Sprawling development has many established negative impacts. The infrastructure to support it is disproportionately expensive to build and maintain. Its environmental footprint is disproportionately large and wasteful. It has been shown to create negative impacts on the social and physical quality of people’s lives. When Smart Growth is Not and the NIMBY Is