Community Forum: The Density Fallacy

Can we build high density neighbourhoods without building towers? At a Community Forum will be held in Mount Pleasant where the rezoning hearings to 19-storeys for the RIZE Development at Main and Broadway, and at the May meeting of the Grandview Woodlands Advisory Council, are turning up neighbourhood opposition for tower forms outside the downtown, and a growing groundswell of opinion supporting new neighbourhood build out that supports transportation, affordability, livability, and human scale.

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The Tower on Its Side

“Tower on Its Side” (LNV 1995)

It is a fallacy to confuse “density” with “height”. We can achieve high density with buildings 3.5 stories high. Thinking about this concept, more than 15 years ago, I made the drawing “The Tower on Its Side”.

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Spiro Kostof on London

In an article analyzing the 187o’s proposed plan for Rome, Kostof gives a brief summary of his view of Townplanning in the British capital. Continue reading “Spiro Kostof on London”


A walking tour of Rome

The best way to get to know Rome, and to understand the ‘meaning’ of urbanism is to go for a walk. Now, Rome presents itself to the visitor as a riddle inside an enigma, so the first order of business is to have a plan. Look here in the next few days for a tour that links together the following sites: Continue reading “A walking tour of Rome”


The Greenwich Village plan

The Village has the right stuff to explain the genesis of New York City. Not too long ago the World Trade Center towers—built cheaply on spec—were visible in the southern skies of the Village beckoning the value of this location due to its proximity to downtown, and the humanness of its character. Heading uptown, Times Square and the many iconic towers of Modernism, are too far from the Village to be seen. Yet, they confront us with the same dilemma. Suspended between these two nodes of the most powerful of the financial powers, and the most modern of the hyper-urbanism, Greenwich Village is one of the few places in North America where we can draw the best lessons in built form and neighbourhood footprint. The Village story is also a tale of survival. It exists side-by-side with one of the greatest urban crimes perpetrated in the name of progress: the needless intrusion of Seventh Avenue as a Haussmannian percée through the heart of the Village. Read more.


The Skytrain & Towers Paradigm

In the Greater Vancouver region we have been buildng Skytrain since 1986. Read about the many disadvantages to an ‘elevated’ system here.


London Town

Plague and then fire in 1666, and the blitzkrieg of the 1940’s, were two occasions for urban reconstruction in the great English-British capital. Yet, Londoners stood fast. Read more.