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.
In the Greater Vancouver region we have been buildng Skytrain since 1986. Read about the many disadvantages to an ‘elevated’ system here.
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.
Pictured here is a stops that transfers onto the Queen Streetcar Line in Toronto, one of the city’s busiest streetcars. Read More.
Haussmann’s avenues were not designed for walking— a point lost on most visitors to Paris today. One and two kilometers in length, these ‘new’ boulevards exceed human scale, extending for a distance that surpasses our innate abilities to experience place. Read More.
Considered by some as the best example of Baroque Planning, the Paris we see today is actually more modern than Manhattan. While the Commissioner’s Plan for NYC dates from 1811, Paris was re-invented between 1855 and 1871. The urbanism of the Belle Epoch was so good that three Exposition Universelle, held every 11 years, showcased the city as much as any agricultural or industrial product. Eiffel’s tower, built for Expo 1889, remained the world’s tallest structure until the Chrysler Building opened in NYC in 1930. Read More.
Whether travelling to Rome, or simply visiting from the armchair, understanding the fundamental facts of Rome’s urbanism will make the experience more memorable. For those interested in urbanism Rome is still the place where urbanism is thick enough to cut with a knife, or a jpeg camera. Read more.