News Roundup › Urban Design
Dec 8 2012
Seville’s transportation revolution goes beyond being bike friendly; horse carts, segways, 3- and 4- person pedicabs, streetcars and buses are also alternative modes of tranportation. This transformation didn’t happen without massive public input and infrastructural investment.
Nov 29 2012
It’s very important to not be too structured in our thinking about soft infrastructure. There is a temptation to revert to thinking in silos, and assume that city communities can be segmented into areas of separate concern such as neighbourhoods, sectors such as “digital entrepreneurs”, or service user communities such as “commuters”. To do this is to forget where and how innovation and the creation of new value often occurs.
Nov 26 2012
More than two years ago, Mayor Mitch Landrieu stood on the future site of the Veterans Affairs medical complex in Mid-City and announced an unprecedented plan; the city, with the help of the national nonprofit Builders of Hope, would move up to 100 historic houses in the hospital’s footprint to lots around the city, where they would be rehabbed and sold.
Sep 11 2012
What if the schedule of city-life had recess built into it, just like elementary school? A team of social innovators in Detroit is asking that question with their upcoming project Hopscotch Detroit, a social free-for-all that puts a schoolyard spin on community engagement—and even intends to break a world record, using nearly a ton of chalk, stencils, and city’s sidewalks.
Sep 11 2012
It’s remarkable what some people can accomplish in a single weekend. While others spend those days catching up on lost sleep or exploring their city with friends, Texas-based nonprofit The Better Block uses that time to rally communities to rethink their neighborhoods. Since its inception in 2010, the project has built temporary dog parks, pop-up shops, urban forests, cafes, and bike lanes. They’ve left their mark in more than 35 cities including Philadelphia, Wichita, Cleveland, Houston, and Oklahoma City.
Jun 1 2012
Studies show that most Americans want to live in walkable neighborhoods. They also conclude that neighborhoods boasting the best walkability also come with the highest price tags. Since easily-traversable neighborhoods encourage healthier and more robust communities, the costliness of walkability poses “a serious social equity issue.”
May 8 2012
May 8 2012
Jane Jacobs was a renowned urban planner and author. She chronicled the “death and life” of cities and communities by how well they served their constituents. Jacobs argued that a community’s success should be measured by its accessibility- and walkability. In his article, “The Myth of Jane Jacobs in New Orleans,” Owen Courreges argues that although New Orleans hosted numerous Jane Jacobs walks this past weekend, her ideas are not properly represented throughout our city.
Apr 17 2012
Friends of the Lafitte Corridor hosted over 100 walkers at their annual “Hike the Lafitte Corridor” informational guided tour of the Greenway on Saturday, April 14th, 2012. The hike paired knowledgeable Greenway guides with curious citizens eager to learn more about the design, process, and implementation of the community-connecting Greenway trail and bike path.
Mar 27 2012
Preservation is our city’s salvation, argues Jack Davis, a trustee of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Succinct, clear, and convincing, Davis’ article, originally published in the Spring 2012 edition of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, the quarterly arts-and-culture magazine of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humaniities, entitled “Stop Demolishing New Orleans’ Heritage”, calls for New Orleans to recognize the importance architecture plays in our cultural economy. To view the complete 2012 Louisiana Cultural Vistas spring edition, click here.
Feb 28 2012
What does it mean to “Rebuild New Orleans?”
From the February 20, 2012 Times-Picayune: “After closing on financing and land acquisition this month, Stirling Properties officials say they are poised to green light construction on the Mid-City Market, a Winn-Dixie-anchored shopping center that will include a mix of smaller retail outlets.”
The 107,000 square foot project, set to open sometime next year, promises to generate revenue for the Mid-City area, but at what cost?
Sep 5 2011
Sep 3 2011
Today, the High Line is one of Manhattan’s most popular public spaces: a mile-long, modern, high-concept park built on the old railroad track. In the 10 months after it opened in 2009, it drew 2 million visitors and — in a rare ratio for a public space in New York — about half were tourists. Half were native New Yorkers.
Aug 25 2011
Mar 21 2011
Mar 16 2011
Walgreens executives have yet to commit to the Magazine Street project (which would include closing their location on Tchoupitoulas), said developer Louis Stirling Properties, but appear to be the tenant most likely to be able to pay the building’s $600,000 lease. Stirling’s plan for the building includes removing its brick front completely and replacing it with a glass wall with steel columns — not unlike nearby Whole Foods — and many residents asked why such a modern design was chosen.
Controversy Surrounding New Romney Pilates Studio on Magazine Street May Pave the Way for Reforms in City Planning, Permitting
Jan 25 2011
One major area of questions that emerged with the debate over the Romney Pilates building is the veracity of information presented to public bodies as they make decisions and how to ensure that applicants’ plans stay within the spirit of what was permitted.
Jan 10 2011
Those in the neighborhood say such statements are blatant misrepresentation, and the board was duped. The class schedule and list of teachers on the Romney website prove that more than four people at a time will be in the building, elevating the need for more parking, they say. And the picture that was shown to the board depicts a much lower-profile two-story building than what has sprouted on Magazine Street.
Dec 12 2010
Dec 9 2010
Donald Rouse, co-owner of the Thibodaux-based grocer, said the excitement about the neighboring development is mutual. “The additional residences as well as the additional businesses will help our store and the whole area. We’re equally excited to have them begin their project,” Rouse said. “What they’re doing, what we’re doing, it’ll all spur additional development.”
Dec 6 2010
Nov 30 2010
Nov 1 2010
A TIF or some sort of public subsidy would also be necessary to pull off the new mixed-use retail district, Kabacoff said. “No major catalytic project in the U.S. can be accomplished in this economy without fed, state and/or local subsidy,” he wrote in an e-mail, adding that “public subsidy should be made available for those projects that will stimulate revitalization.”
Oct 16 2010
Ending our love affair with the automobile, no matter how unhealthy it has become, seems overwhelmingly disruptive. Although more and wider roads lead only to more congestion, states are loath to reject federal highway dollars such as those offered in economic stimulus packages. Highways are easy things to spend money on, so who cares if what they stimulate is sprawl?
Sep 10 2010
Mayor Mitch Landrieu joined Friday with several elected officials and not-for-profit executives in an attempt to celebrate the redevelopment program as an alternative to razing the structures. But the event evolved into a contentious affair as neighborhood residents, businesspeople and community activists used the forum to blast the government’s planning process for the VA hospital and the adjacent state teaching hospital that will replace the shuttered Charity Hospital.
Aug 13 2010
“The mayor believes whether it’s the state government or federal government making an investment in the city, we welcome you,” Kopplin said, “but we expect developers, public or private, to operate within the scope of the city’s master plan … and we expect a seat at the table.” He added, “If we’re going to make billion-dollar investments in the city, we’ve got to get them right.”
Jul 22 2010
The new report sums up the criticisms of the Claiborne expressway this way:
“Once a thriving commercial corridor, the area defined by Claiborne Avenue suffered serious decline following the construction of the I-10 expressway in the 1960s. Pushed through over the wishes of the area’s largely disenfranchised African-American population, it was intimately tied to the overall decline of the neighborhood, replacing a lively strolling street, oak-covered neutral ground and business corridor with an eyesore that made Claiborne Avenue both a physical and symbolic barrier between the area’s neighborhoods.”
Jun 27 2010
During his tenure as lieutenant governor and as a mayoral candidate, Landrieu endorsed a new state teaching hospital and showed no desire to join activists pushing for the state to gut and rebuild within the storm-damaged and shuttered Charity shell. But the latest moves suggest the mayor is willing to engage on the design of the hospital, which has drawn mixed reviews from various local planners.
Jun 1 2010
Apr 12 2010
Those responsible for the current plan are obviously unaware of the transformative and progressive events and trends occurring in America: the emphasis on livability, on walkable urban design, energy-efficient, multi-modal transportation, compact development and sustainable building design. This hospital plan is so out of touch it doesn’t even address the needs of the dramatically changing health-care system.
Mar 16 2010
Feb 23 2010
Jan 26 2010
David Dixon of Goody Clancy said adoption of the master plan means that “for the first time New Orleans has a plan that provides a credible and legitimate basis for future public policy and decision-making regarding land use, development, zoning, city capital expenditures, transportation, and similar fundamental decisions that shape the city’s future.”
Jan 13 2010
Such a departure would spare scores of camelback and shotgun houses from being taken by eminent domain for the VA to build its hospital in a century-old neighborhood, much of which is included in a National Register Historic District. The property owners are likely to get lower payments from the seizures, because the City Council prohibited them from obtaining permits to fix their houses after the storm, the only New Orleans neighborhood not allowed to recover.
Jan 13 2010
Transparency ought to be the order of the day in a dispute involving a third of a billion dollars, the health of tens of thousands of post-Katrina New Orleanians and the fate of a 25-square-block neighborhood of historic homes and buildings threatened by eminent domain. Instead, secrecy rules.
Dec 3 2009
Dec 3 2009
Dec 3 2009
Sep 14 2009
The perfect city isn’t static. It’s evolving and ever changing, and its laws and structure allow that to happen. Neighborhoods change, clubs close and others open, yuppies move in and move out—as long as there is a mix of some sort, then business districts and neighborhoods stay healthy even if they’re not what they once were. My perfect city isn’t fixed, it doesn’t actually exist, and I like it that way.
Sep 13 2009
“It has been a ploy all along by these people to keep on getting another thing, another thing,” Mr. Perry said as he stood on the porch watching cars snake into the facility late Friday afternoon. “First they got to be open 24 hours a day on weekends, then they’ll get it all week, then they’ll go for gaming tables, too.”
Sep 12 2009
Aug 12 2009
Jul 15 2009
Jul 11 2009
May 25 2009
Apr 15 2009
April 13, 2009
New Orleanians can lace them up and head out. Prevention magazine puts the Crescent City in its top 25 “Best Walking Cities in America.” Number 22, to be exact.
According to the healthy lifestyle magazine, the American Podiatric Medical Association, and Sperling’s BestPlaces (a resource for destination facts), Louisiana’s river city was chosen based on 19 criteria — among them population density per square mile, use of mass transit, crime rates, and square miles of local and state parks. Read more.
Apr 5 2009
As the recession deepens, the retail industry continues to take a huge hit. Nowhere is this more visible than in the rising vacancy rate in shopping malls across the country. Mall owners are gambling on various businesses to draw people in, from water parks to educational services. What happens, or should happen, to dying or dead shopping malls? Read more from the following contributors:
Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, architecture professors
Helene Klodawsky, director of “Malls R Us”
Peter Blackbird, founder of deadmalls.com
James J. Farrell, historian
Joel Kotkin, NewGeography.com
Apr 3 2009
Since the day the Claiborne Expressway was constructed nearly 50 years ago devastating the historic Treme neighborhood, attorney Bill Borah has been shouting into the wind, “Tear down this monstrosity.”
But few people listened and even fewer believed the chances of the city demolishing the elevated highway was anything more than a fantasy.
“People looked at me like I was crazy,” Borah said. “I may as well have been having a conversation with my cat.”
But last week Borah’s fantasy moved one step closer to becoming a reality when the city released its master plan. Read more.
Jan 31 2009
Dec 10 2008
Nov 5 2008
Oct 31 2008
Following Hurricane Katrina, the removal of the highway was recognized in the Unified New Orleans Plan as a means of reconnecting Treme to surrounding neighborhoods in the French Quarter, Marigny and Esplanade Ridge. UNOP planners predicted the full removal of the interstate overpass would renew 35 to 40 city blocks and create 20 to 25 blocks of open space along Claiborne Avenue. But since the UNOP declaration no plans have been made to tear down the overpass and local officials have said nothing to imply support for the costly maneuver.
Sep 20 2008
All of the great challenges that confront the 21st-century city — from class, race and environmental issues to the continuing duel between history and modernity — are crystallized in New Orleans.
Yet the kind of visionary urban plan that could address these issues in a bold and thoughtful way has yet to materialize. Instead, some of the country’s greatest architectural minds are inventing the future in cities like Beijing, Shenzhen and Dubai, where their talents are more appreciated.
Jul 15 2008
A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Velib’s, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.
Jul 14 2008
Jul 7 2008
“Ambitious projects will be put on hold, but I don’t think they’ll throw away the blueprints,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. “A lot of inner cities are going through a bit of a renaissance for broader demographic reasons that will remain in place for a while. Aging baby boomers are becoming empty nesters and they’re thinking of moving back to the urban core.”
Jul 1 2008
“New Orleans is a great place for biking,” says Lando, his enthusiasm undimmed by potholes and a paucity of dedicated bike lanes. “It’s flat, everything is so close together. I can get from the French Quarter to the Riverbend in 20 minutes. I can go from our house to Petco on Manhattan (Boulevard) and come back with 30 pounds of dog food in the same amount of time it takes me to go by car. And it’s a great way to see the neighborhood.”
Jun 23 2008
Welcome to the “walkable community”— a design movement transforming American suburban neighborhoods just as the cul-de-sac and strip mall once did. It could be the new green wave of the future for Western New York, changing forever the built environment as we know it in an era of obscene gas prices.
Jun 17 2008
May 27 2008
So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we’ll have to dramatically reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We’ll have to grow our food closer to home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to return to the center of economic life. We’ll have to restore local economic networks — the very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed — made of fine-grained layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers.
Apr 9 2008
Apr 9 2008
“This is about the future of the Warehouse District and whether it is going to continue to be four- and five-story residences or whether it’s going to be a series of Miami South Beach towers. If I wanted to live in South Beach I would have moved there,” Rubenstein said
Apr 8 2008
“We built the opera house in two months, the botanical gardens in three months, Niemeyer’s museum in five months. We transformed the city’s main street into a pedestrian area in 72 hours. It wasn’t that we were chasing after records - it was necessity.”
Wally N’Dow, former head of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), has described Curitiba as “a wonderful example, because cities that follow this lead can jumpstart the economies, assist the poorest of their poor, and clean up their cities.”
Mar 15 2008
It’s not necessarily the billion-euro development, star-architect-designed gallery or shiny new ferris wheel that makes locals feel good about their town. Monocle believes that the measure of a city is more about everyday wonders — pavements, well-designed schools, punctual transport — rather than one-off, grand projets. Here’s our list of the top 25 urban elements that make the city.
Mar 7 2008
Feb 24 2008
The twin hospitals would consume nearly 70 acres of a national historic district, obliterating the Deutsches Haus, a German cultural center; the former McDonogh No. 11 school, a landmark that dates to 1879; and scores of classic shotgun- and sidehall-style homes, including four that were renovated after Katrina with $45,000 in historic preservation grants from the state. The Dixie Brewery and the modernist City Hall annex also sit inside the hospital footprint, although city leaders have indicated those buildings could be spared.
Feb 4 2008
In recent years, downtown Mississauga has amassed both significant density and a reasonably broad mix of land uses. But its sidewalks remain virtually empty, especially when compared with the attractive central areas of the world’s great cities. And it’s that lack of street life that Canada’s sixth-largest city hopes to address starting with Parkside Village by Vancouver-based developer Amacon.
Jan 29 2008
Once completed, the concrete segment of the Wisner route will be among the city’s major paved off-street bike infrastructure, joining the 1.79-mile Mississippi River Levee path and the 1.38-mile West End path, said Jennifer Ruley, a bicycle and pedestrian engineer with the Louisiana Public Health Institute.
Dec 23 2007
The 2,500 square feet of space on the first floor of the circa-1820 building, which by the summer of 2009 will contain half a million dollars’ worth of exhibits, will launch what the superintendent calls the “soft opening” of one of 391 national parks.
It also could refer tourists and others to its satellite site, a $12 million “world-class jazz museum” under development at the Old U.S. Mint in the French Quarter, and to a jazz walk of fame along the levee in Algiers, a short ferry ride away.
Dec 21 2007
After protesters clashed violently with the police inside and outside the New Orleans City Council chambers on Thursday, the Council voted unanimously to allow the federal government to demolish 4,500 apartments in the four biggest public housing projects here.
Dec 7 2007
Nov 11 2007
Pre-Katrina, the St. Charles line, which extended from Canal Street to Carrollton Avenue and Claiborne Avenue, ran 24 hours a day, but the new Canal-to-Napoleon service will operate daily from 5:27 a.m. to 11:55 p.m. with a fleet of five 1923 Perley Thomas streetcars running 10 minutes apart.
Nov 9 2007
Nov 6 2007
The 162-acre site will be a mini-metropolis with movie theaters, restaurants, shopping, residences, gyms and schools, all helping revitalize Algiers, Kabacoff said. “Our concept opens up substantial portions of the base to community access,” Kabacoff said. “It includes public access to the waterfront area and the levee area of the base that will occur over time… . Our concept involves community participation with various groups in the area who would come on and try to reuse some of the existing buildings there.”
Oct 22 2007
The ORM has $2.4 million of an estimated $2.5 million needed to complete phase one, which includes developing a greenway between North Broad and Jefferson Davis Parkway. ORM will use $2 million from the $117 million authorized by the Louisiana Recovery Authority for the city, $313,000 from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and a $95,000 grant from the American Institute of Architects to develop the park.
Oct 22 2007
Face it. We have a driving problem, and it’s killing us. We are addicted to driving, and we are in denial about it. We lash out at those who bring it to our attention and label them as “anti-car.” Unfortunately, that is about as constructive as labeling a doctor as “anti-food” if that doctor recommends a diet.
Sep 29 2007
Launched in July, the “Velib” bikes were part of the Paris mayor’s idea of making the city more ecologically friendly and reducing traffic. Just two months on, the self-service bicycles have clocked some 3.7 million rides and seem to be changing the way people get around the city.
Sep 15 2007
This illustrated list outlines the 10 simple steps to designing the city of the future.
Photographer Danny Lyon offers his ideas for improving cities.
“I have been asked to help design a city. I am flattered. In the past, this was the job of emperors and kings. Of course, today, things are a bit more complicated. Having benefited from a New York City public school education and 65 years of life, and with the peace of mind necessary for clear thought that I have now, living on my farms, where I raise my own vegetables and fish, I recommend the following:
1: First we kill the architects
2: Then we burn the malls…”
Jun 19 2007
The model city for road closure is Bogotá, Colombia, which in 1983 embarked on a program called ciclovia (bike path), in which designated streets were closed to cars every Sunday but open for jogging, biking, dancing, playing ball, walking pets, strolling with babies — anything but driving. One-and-a-half million people now turn out each week for ciclovia. Other cities in Latin America followed suit, closing parts of parks or whole urban districts to cars — some intermittently, some permanently. A result: revitalized neighborhoods and an influx of people. Smaller US cities, from Davenport, Iowa, to Huntington Beach, Calif., are also starting to create car-free zones.
Bike Activists Going Guerrilla: Cycling `Repair Squad’ Takes To The Streets Over Slow Expansion Of Bike Lane Program
Jun 18 2007
The first time the group struck was on May 30. The gang spray-painted an illegal bike lane in the Annex, between Spadina Ave. and Bathurst St., along Bloor. To make the paths appear legitimate, painters stencilled the city’s bike lane logo - a bicycle and large diamond - along the road as well.
Apr 18 2007
[Louisiana] is getting ready to spend three hundred and fifty-eight million dollars on a gigantic automobile overpass along the northern edge of the Lower Ninth Ward, to connect downtown New Orleans with neighboring St. Bernard Parish. St. Bernard was home to sixty-seven thousand people before Katrina and to maybe a little more than a third of that now. Opponents call the overpass “the bridge to nowhere.”
Apr 18 2007
Pease said the representative, an attorney for Victory, mentioned possible tenants but said no commitments had been made. But he gave examples including a 190,000-square-foot Target, an 80,000-square-foot Dick’s Sporting Goods, an 80,0000-square-foot Bed Bath & Beyond, a 50,000-square-foot bookstore and a 27,000-square-foot junior anchor.
Mar 7 2007
Frank’s team, like the other groups, found that areas with interspersed homes, shops, and offices had fewer obese residents than did homogeneous residential areas whose residents were of a similar age, income, and education. Furthermore, neighborhoods with greater residential density and street plans that facilitate walking from place to place showed below-average rates of obesity.
Feb 16 2007
Jan 17 2007
Penalosa made strides by ignoring some experts and their conventional wisdom. When Japanese consultants suggested he build seven elevated highways to solve the city’s traffic woes, Penalosa recalled, he did the opposite. Instead, the city invested in a world-class bus system, built pedestrian-only streets (one stretches 20 miles) and restricted car use in downtown Bogota. Thanks to a much-improved and “sexier” bus system, Penalosa said, public transportation in his city is actually too popular and 20% of rail riders own cars they don’t use.
Jan 17 2007
Nov 16 2006
The main junction in Drachten handles about 22,000 cars a day. Where once there were traffic lights, there is a roundabout, an extended cycle path and pedestrian area. In the days of traffic lights, progress across the junction was slow as cars stopped and started. Now tailbacks are almost unheard of ï¿½ and almost nobody toots a horn.
Nov 1 2006
Oct 18 2006
The office of Farr Associates is no next-generation green-building prototype — it’s located in the historic 114-year-old Monadnock Building, Chicago’s tallest all-brick skyscraper. But inside, green spores of sustainability burst forth. The open studio spaces have walls that have been painted by a local artist who used milk-based, non-toxic paints. The desktops are made of natural linoleum, and a translucent divider embedded with leaves separates one desk from another. “Occupancy sensors” trigger energy-conserving lights in the kitchenette, conference room, and main studio. Large, operable First Chicago School windows gaze over nearby Printer’s Row, letting in eastern and southern light that is welcomed by the many living creatures in the space.
Oct 18 2006
Lipman said many communities have identified a lack of affordable housing, traffic-clogged roads and longer commutes as critical issues but have not linked them. “One thing this study shows is the need to have regional solutions about both housing and transportation,” she said.
Sep 29 2006
The story of how the Army Corps of Engineers drowned New Orleans does not pack the kind of emotional power that leaves telepathic TV personalities almost speechless. It is a story that takes place mostly in the fine print of technical studies and appropriation bills, long before the rooftop rescues. But it’s still a story that should tighten your throat.
Sep 29 2006
When the Central Artery expressway was built in the 1950s, it carved through Boston indiscriminately, destroying sections of Chinatown and effectively cutting off the North End from the rest of the city. Half a century later, as part of the massive Big Dig construction project, much of the elevated expressway has been torn down. In its place will be the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a nearly 30-acre stretch of parks and public spaces that promises to reunite neighborhoods long divided.
Sep 29 2006
Question: How did you go from neighborhood rallies to running a nationally renowned organization?
Answer: Well, the street protests were cute and motivating and all, but eventually I decided it was time to get serious. In 2001, I founded Sustainable South Bronx — not as a moral crusade, but as an economic-development group that was about planning our future, not just reacting to environmental blight. I wanted to play offense, not defense. I wanted to give our community permission to dream, to plan for healthy air, healthy jobs, healthy children, and safe streets.
Aug 23 2006
While visiting Portland for the first time several years ago, the Stanleys wandered into Southpark Seafood Grill & Wine Bar in downtown Portland, where a bartender asked the couple where they were from and then said: “Boston, New York—these cities will be the same in 50 years. But Portland is changing, and you should be part of that.” It reinforced the idea that that’s going to be an adventure for us,” Natasha Stanley says. “We saw this energy and this opportunity.” And what young person doesn’t want an adventure?
Jul 25 2006
Jul 25 2006
“We don’t need a facsimile of ourselves,” said David Waggonner, of Waggonner & Ball, a New Orleans architecture firm that has been active in post-hurricane planning. “There were some good ideas in old New Orleans. There are ideas worth studying, and we should learn from them, but it’s not my nature to think it’s natural to copy.”
Jul 11 2006
“Louisiana residents need the tools to rebuild their homes and their lives,” said Donna Fraiche, LRA Board Member and Long Term Community Planning Task Force Chair. “The LRA’s Louisiana Speaks Pattern Book will guide Louisianans toward rebuilding their homes safer, stronger and smarter.”
Jun 27 2006
Chicago is set to unveil new plans for becoming a bicyclist’s haven. And this time, it means business. The new Bike 2015 Plan wastes little time on breezy rides in the park. Instead, the city’s Department of Transportation is bent on getting people to bike to work, to school, to stores and to mass transit stops, cobbling together a 500-mile network of designated routes.
Jun 27 2006
On May 25, at the urging of lame-duck Councilman Jay Batt, the council unanimously approved plans for a 14,700-square-foot Walgreens at the site. Although the store would face Carrollton, it would be built far back in the block, next to Claiborne and near Dublin Street, with a large parking lot in front.
But on Thursday, with Midura having replaced Batt in the District A seat and three other new members on board, the council voted 7-0 to reconsider the previous action and then to defer a decision on Walgreens’ plans until its June 22 meeting.
Jun 5 2006
May 17 2006
So, Barbara Bush was right after all when she said, “So many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them.” And Rep. Richard Baker, a 10-term Republican from Baton Rouge, was right when he was overheard telling lobbyists: “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” The publication of both statements elicited public condemnation and was followed by a flurry of hairsplitting denials. But it is now clear that their only transgression was to say in unvarnished language what many pundits, politicians, and policy wonks were thinking.
Dec 14 2005
An agreement that will be discussed at this week’s WTO
ministerial meeting in Hong Kong poses a serious threat to state and
local authority over land use policy, according to Public Citizen. Big
box retailers such as Wal-Mart are pushing for new provisions in the
WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services that could further
undermine local zoning and other land use and development policies.
Among the local laws threatened by GATS rules are those that impose size and height restrictions on big box stores; limits on hours of operation; economic needs tests before stores can be approved; and limits on development to protect the environment or protect historic and cultural sites. No state or local group has yet recognized the threat posed to land use laws and local sovereignty by the WTO’s one-size-fits-all rules for service firms. One group that has recognized this threat is major
“Major big box retail corporations have been eyeing the GATS as a way of gutting local zoning and land use laws that have kept them out of
communities in Europe and the United States.”
Nov 30 2005
As a resident of tech-savvy Austin, Texas, Adina Levin enjoys the benefits of widespread wireless Internet access. Austin is one of a number of cities in the nation that has built a system that allows residents to log on to the Internet without worrying about plugging into a phone or cable outlet. Levin wants the rest of the state to have the same advantage.
That’s why she spent much of the spring battling a bill in the state legislature that would have made it nearly impossible for other cities to emulate Austin. A provision in a lengthy telecommunications bill would have made it illegal for local governments to offer residents high-speed Internet access.
Nov 30 2005
Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans will deploy the nation’s first municipally owned wireless Internet system that will be free for all users, part of an effort to jump-start recovery by making living and doing business in the city as attractive as possible.
Much of the equipment to run the network was donated by companies, but New Orleans will own it and operate all its components at the outset. The system, which uses devices mounted on streetlights to beam out fast Internet connections for wireless-enabled computers, is scheduled to be operational today in the central business district and the French Quarter and to be expanded over time.
Nov 30 2005
At one time, the quickest way to kill an idea in New Orleans was to suggest that it had worked well in Baton Rouge. Maybe, after all the good things that have been done around here for New Orleans and its people in the wake of two hurricanes, New Urbanism will get a better reception than it would have three months ago.
The New Urbanist philosophy of urban design guided the development of the highly successful Plan Baton Rouge master plan for downtown. It is in some respects a back-to-the-future idea: building more traditional neighborhoods and linking them with all forms of transportation to improve the quality of life.
New Urbanism can and should be the guiding philosophy behind rebuilding New Orleans, in part because there are parts of the city that already show the benefits of more than 200 years of “new” urbanism. But it can be improved through better use of mass transit and better building materials, and through replacing public facilities — from schools to parks to police stations — in better locations than today.
Nov 23 2005
Peering out from a white-fenced balcony that looks out on nothing much, Katrina evacuee Stephanie Gleason said, “To tell the truth, I don’t know where we live.”
There is no bus stop here. The nearest supermarket is a $20 cab ride away.
Gleason’s cookie-cutter apartment complex, Eagles Landing, feels more like a bird cage than a nest.
Flushed out of their city — one of the most dense and most vibrant in the country — many of the New Orleanians who came here car-less find themselves living amid Austin’s car-enabled sprawl.
More or less trapped, their lives are a quick, sharp study of the isolation of suburbia.
Nov 2 2005
Analyses of the failure of all levels of government to prevent or effectively manage the Katrina calamity in New Orleans have generally missed a crucial point. Alongside bias against poor people and African-Americans is automobile apartheid, born of fifty years of suburban sprawl. First-class citizens drive motor vehicles, second-class Americans walk, cycle, or ride public transit. Certainly many of the latter are poor, but millions more are middle-class Americans.
When emergency response largely ignores the plight of second-class citizens, no one should be surprised.
Nov 2 2005
The Mayors’ Institute on City Design will hold two special design institutes in Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana for communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The institutes will bring leading experts in architecture and design together with mayors from these hard-hit regions to talk about rebuilding their communities.
The City Design Institute in New Orleans will be held on Tuesday, November 15 and will focus exclusively on rebuilding New Orleans.
Feb 16 2005
Jan 19 2005
“Shifting housing demographics are stoking interest around the USA in development near transit, according to a study for the Federal Transit Administration released last month. City living draws singles, aging baby boomers, minorities and young couples more than suburban families with kids. And those groups are growing faster than suburbanites.”
Jan 19 2005
“Sound urban design and smart architecture create bustling streets and people-filled parks where young and old safely walk and talk, see old friends and feel confident they will not be attacked. Well-planned cities create communities where neighbors can meet in the local cafe, talk about their concerns, say hi to the other patrons and feel connected to the shared public spaces filled with old and new friends.”
Dec 18 2002
Nov 4 2002
May 13 2002