Morality Plays

I’ve noticed a common downward trajectory of neighborhoods all across the country. It’s the same process I witnessed as a much younger person when inner cities went belly up beginning in the 1960’s. Now it’s happening in the suburbs. The economic tide is rolling out and the detritus left behind isn’t pretty. Over and over … Continue reading Morality Plays

Going Sideways

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of the Strong Towns movement, a supporter of Urban 3, and an admirer of the Incremental Development Alliance. These three overlapping groups describe how centuries of trial and error all over the world produced remarkably fine grained durable self sustaining communities. They also explain why … Continue reading Going Sideways

Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Parking Past

  I’ve been asked by the Strong Towns folks to write about Black Friday parking. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which signals the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This general consumer feeding frenzy is responsible for the largest single chunk of many retailers’ sales and profits for the entire year. Even if … Continue reading Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Parking Past

Edward Hopper’s Butte

I find myself drawn to semi-abandoned buildings in desolate locations. They have a sculptural quality that I appreciate. I like the light and shadows. And I love the way such places are both the ultimate destiny for much of the built environment as well as a tremendous source of possibility. These buildings and their general … Continue reading Edward Hopper’s Butte

Bulldoze It All

I spoke with a resident of Butte, Montana a couple of days ago who thought Detroit was so badly mismanaged that the entire city should just be bulldozed. I wandered around Butte and took photos and thought… hmmmmm. When they’re done with Detroit should the bulldozers start on Butte next? The same pattern of outward … Continue reading Bulldoze It All