A Green Lesson From the World’s Most Romantic Cities


I’m not one to say that the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. was a mistake. Far from it, the system of highways we now take for granted made intercity travel much more convenient for many more people. When I-40 was built from Asheville to Hickory when I was a kid, it meant we could visit my grandmother after my parents got off work and come back on the same night. But, within cities, they did a lot of damage, building the transportation equivalent of the Berlin Wall through neighborhoods and parks, frequently displacing the poor from their homes while doing so. In our book Once There Were Greenfields, my friend and co-author Don Chen wrote: “Indeed, many urban freeways were deliberately planned to run through low-income neighborhoods. Their construction was viewed as a win-win-win strategy of employing demolition and highway construction workers, providing access to growing suburban areas, and eliminating ‘urban blight.’ In effect, highway agencies were practicing their own program of urban renewal.”
via chialynn:

Source: The Atlantic

A Green Lesson From the World’s Most Romantic Cities


I’m not one to say that the Interstate Highway System in the U.S. was a mistake. Far from it, the system of highways we now take for granted made intercity travel much more convenient for many more people. When I-40 was built from Asheville to Hickory when I was a kid, it meant we could visit my grandmother after my parents got off work and come back on the same night. But, within cities, they did a lot of damage, building the transportation equivalent of the Berlin Wall through neighborhoods and parks, frequently displacing the poor from their homes while doing so. In our book Once There Were Greenfields, my friend and co-author Don Chen wrote: “Indeed, many urban freeways were deliberately planned to run through low-income neighborhoods. Their construction was viewed as a win-win-win strategy of employing demolition and highway construction workers, providing access to growing suburban areas, and eliminating ‘urban blight.’ In effect, highway agencies were practicing their own program of urban renewal.”

via chialynn:

Source: The Atlantic

(via chialynn)

The top 20 urban planning successes of all time

A fascinating post just appeared on the Public Servant Blog:  “The top 20 urban planning successes of all time.”  Written by “L.G.,” the list includes the following:

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Billerica Garden Suburb, Massachusetts (“the country’s first garden suburb designed specifically for workers”)
  3. Camden Town, London (“There is no one age group, race, gender or socio-economic group that outnumbers another”)
  4. Chicago Boulevard System
  5. Eugene, Oregon (“plans to be carbon neutral with no waste by 2020”)
  6. Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri
  7. Granville Island, Vancouver (“possibly the most successful urban redevelopment ever seen in North America”)
  8. Greensburg Sustainable Comprehensive Plan
  9. High Line
  10. Lijnbaan in Rotterdam (“the first purpose-built pedestrian street”)  
  11. Lower Garden District, New Orleans (“vehicles do not dominate this neighborhood”)
  12. Marimont, Ohio (“charming historic architecture, lush foliage, award-winning schools and friendly, community-minded residents”)
  13. Nine Square Plan, New Haven, Connecticut (“following the principles of ideal cities gleaned from the Bible”)
  14. Ponce Center City, Puerto Rico
  15. Sanibel Island, Florida (“nine major ecological zones”)
  16. South Livermore Valley Specific Plan, California (“3,229 acres under permanent agricultural easement”)
  17. Taos, Pueblo, New Mexico (“Possibly one of the earliest high-rise towns”)
  18. The Law of the Indies (“instructions for site selection and the layout and construction of new towns”)
  19. The Miami Valley (Ohio) Region’s Fair Share Housing Plan of 1970 (“the first ‘fair share’ housing plan in the nation”)
  20. The Plan of Philadelphia (“the first large American city to utilize the grid street pattern, to provide dedicated land exclusively for open green public squares”)