Recivilization Blog

a little primer in urban design

001 what is urban design?
021: basic units: streets and squares
030: formal and informal design
034: serial vision, surprise and closure
035: organizing the city
036: the 'second man' and the virtue of constraints
045: a public room
046: forest city
050: the inside-out building
110: origins of the grid
111: the american grid
112: traditions in american design I
113: traditions in american design II
114: traditions in american design III
130: the anti-grid
133: parks and boulevards
141: american vernacular
152: modernism
157: great american nutjobs
160: the canon of bad design
161: the dark age of design
162: freeway design disaster
163: recivilizing the roads
165: conservative surgery
173: the art of the skyline

notes on american city-building

201: the early american city
215: woodward's detroit
218: allegheny
223: boston
225: the college campus
227: what railroads did to american cities
228: the magic corridor
229: the first sprawl age
230: city beautiful
235: vans' empire
240: rationalist planning
241: the origins of zoning
271: the monster

the catastrophe

303: prelude, v-j day
305: the highwaymen's big strike
307: urban renewal
310: the suburban mystique
315: the northern jim crow
316: file cabinets for the poor
318: blockbusters
321: burn baby burn
330: the left hand and the right
331: the department of urban decay
334: laclede town
337: disinvestment
350: the slough of despond


'Like architecture, it is both a fine art and a technical science. Like landscape architecture, it may be regarded as a phase of architecture. It is akin both to landscape architecture and to structural architecture, but it has qualities that carry it beyond the limits of either profession. The members of both are drawn to practice it, but to practice it successfully needs further training and the acquisition of new points of view.....The German name has the merit of a greater precision than English speech can impart." Städtebau, literally translated, would be "city-building".'
—Sylvester Baxter, in the Atlantic Monthly, July 1909


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