Categories
Architecture urbanism

Making cities by people

Inspired by a prompt from the Jan Gehl Institute, Charlotte asked me about cities on one of our morning walks. This is what I had to say. CG: How do you make cities for people? IH: Well, first of all, I don’t think it’s enough to say ‘make cities for people.’ You have to make […]

Categories
urbanism

Once a week

I, enjoying a recent wealth of free time, had spent the first three months of 2020 volunteering and engaging with organizations in my community. CSA (distributing vegetables, graphic designing newsletters), Community Board meetings (asking questions about a proposed development, witnessing deliberations on zoning), Habitat for Humanity (building houses, sprucing up schools), Brooklyn Bridge Park (cleaning […]

Categories
Non-fiction urbanism

What we talk about when we talk about Urban Renewal

I. The Chicago Plan I have written before about the relationship between spaces for production and the spaces for consumption which must both exist in cities. It is a slow dance that has been going on for centuries, and it begs the following question: if there is a slow dance, when does the music change? […]

Categories
Architecture urbanism

Living facades

I. Proximity On a hot Friday afternoon, I was walking downhill toward the Hudson River through the Upper West Side with Alba and Josep, my friends from Barcelona. I was describing the peculiar kind of density found there: the neighborhood is a great example of how even 100 years ago Americans were able to build […]

Categories
urbanism

A Semi In A Strange Land

I: A Semi In A Strange Land These days, Charlotte and I hardly need alarm clocks to wake up in time for our morning walks. Around 7:30 in the morning, three things come to life in the neighborhood which rouse us: first, the robins and mockingbirds ramp up their chatter which flows in through our […]

Categories
urbanism

OK Google: Urbanism is a word

I wrote someone an email recently, and in it I used the word “urbanism.” To my surprise, Gmail spellcheck underlined that word in red. I tried other varieties. “Urban” does not get underlined. “Urbanization” is also OK. Even “urbanity” is in Google’s dictionary! So why is “urbanism” left out? “Urban” has been a Latin root […]

Categories
Non-fiction urbanism

A Recipe In Three Chapters

I: Data, Cities When we analyze cities through the lens of data and maps, how and when do people enter the picture? Data City, our data analysis and mapping seminar in the Master in City & Technology, was meant to explore the production, transport, consumption, and disposal of food at an urban scale, through the […]

Categories
Non-fiction urbanism

The Aspiration Index

Skylines are a speculator’s dream. Strictly speaking, they are not real things. In the same way that edges are not really there, but merely the points at which an object leaves a beholder’s eye, a city’s skyline is an imagined contour. If I ask you to imagine New York City’s skyline, you will most likely […]

Categories
urbanism

The 9-Square Grid returns

To all my Cooper Union vets: what do you think of when you think of “9-square grid?” Well, what about this? This is a promotional sign for the Superilla, in Barcelona’s Poblenou neighborhood. Though I had seen propaganda about it for many months since arriving last September, the Superilla remained rather isolated in my head. […]

Categories
Art urbanism

Shame, in short.