The Transportation Transect

The Transportation Transect shows the reach of transit technologies into the urban footprint. It also points the way towards achieving cities with a zero-carbon footprint.

We can map all the transportation technologies in use today on the rural-to-urban transect defined by Andres Duany using Patrick Gedes‘s Valley Section (1909) as a model.

Continue reading “The Transportation Transect”

The Birth of Venus and the Allegory of Spring by Sandro Botticelli

Created at the height of the Florentine Renaissance a new way of looking at Sandro Botticelli’s two most famous works brings them together as a diptych.

BOTTICELLI’S VENUS AND PRIMAVERA JOINED AS A DIPTYCH

Against the grain of art criticism, the best way to understand Botticelli’s enormous paintings from the mid to late 15th century is to view them as a matched pair: A diptych.

Continue reading “The Birth of Venus and the Allegory of Spring by Sandro Botticelli”

Rome: A Walk in Roma

2500 years and counting the Eternal City is still the best place to experience human scale urbanism. Walking in Roma we move around in a concrete example of the old classical principle: ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’.

Sigmund Freud, in his second to last book, chose Rome as the metaphor for a new idea: The proposition that when the mind forgets nothing is really lost. According to the great Austrian theorist and psychoanalyst, what we experience as forgotten remains hidden beneath new layers of experience:

Continue reading “Rome: A Walk in Roma”

Private and Public Space

5.End Result

Growth Is the Engine of Change — LNV (2000)

.

The tradition of western urbanism may be summed by two concepts: the classical and the vernacular. The former term has been so misused that it may render the proposition either nonsensical, or incomprehensible to most of us. Yet, embracing this basic distinction between two different modes of building is fundamental for managing the growth of our cities. Detroit City filing for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013 presents the alternative. The Great Vancouver Housing Crisis in Vancouver in 2018 is another instance. Faced with pending crisis, as famously phrased by Canadian critic Northrop Frye, we must learn to “distinguish where we cannot divide.” (open cit.) Continue reading “Private and Public Space”