all posts tagged 'urbanism'

This Freeway Sucks -- Let's Decommission It


🔗 a linked post to m.youtube.com » — originally shared here on

If you’re here in the Twin Cities and are not aware of the history of I-94, this video is a great launching point to learn about it as well as to learn what groups like Our Streets are doing to imagine a better use of this space.

By the way, I was one of the participants of CityNerd’s event here in Minneapolis a month ago, and if you look closely in this video, you can see me in the front row of the session. I signed up too late to join in the bike ride though, which really bummed me out.

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How Spirit Halloween Transforms Strip Malls Into Vibrant Wonderlands


🔗 a linked post to youtu.be » — originally shared here on

So, if there’s one thing we can praise Spirit Halloween for, it’s maybe not their great urban design elements or place making chops, but just for making it as transparent as possible that this kind of built environment simply isn’t built for long term success.

And instead of trying to build more of it, maybe we should be moving a lot more aggressively to retro fit what we already have.

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Why Faulty Streetlights Are Turning Cities Purple — and Why It's Worrisome


🔗 a linked post to businessinsider.com » — originally shared here on

People feel like something intimate, something definitional about their city, has been taken away. So they look for intention. Maybe it's for a holiday? Maybe it's a conspiracy? It has to mean something. Because if it doesn't, that's even scarier. Streetlights and street lighting are a city's deep infrastructure. If they can break in such a weird and unexpected way, so can everything else.

I’ve recently noticed some street lights in Apple Valley turning purple. I thought it looked intentional and kinda cool, to be honest, especially here in Prince/Vikings country.

But the part that I pull quoted is something on my mind a lot lately.

We all take tech for granted, yet the thing we appreciate least of all is how much we don’t know regarding how all this stuff comes to be.

It reminds me of the essay about how nobody actually knows how a pencil gets made. You’ve got separate manufacturers who know how to assemble the individual parts (erasers, lead, wood, etc.), but all of those folks rely on other sources for raw materials.

The further you go down, the more you realize civilization really does hinge on a bunch of trusting handshakes presumably done over Zoom these days. And that’s a sentiment that is equal parts romantic and terrifying.

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Déneigement Montreal: A Peek into Montreal's Mastery of Snow


🔗 a linked post to theprepared.org » — originally shared here on

Montreal averages almost 210 cm (82 inches) of snow every winter. We get less sunlight, 20% more precipitation, and have winter temperatures that are on average 4° C (7° F) colder than Toronto. And yet soon after a moderate snowfall, Montreal is bustling: sidewalks, bike paths, and streets are all cleared in a snow removal effort (le déneigement, en français) that is choreographed and masterful.

Add another item to my bucket list: I’d love to see these pits where they drop the snow.

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The Man in the MTA’s Money Room


🔗 a linked post to curbed.com » — originally shared here on

Nearby, chunky steel boxes, each about the size of a toaster oven, are lined up on long tables. They’re the currency vaults from the MetroCard machines, and they arrive from the stations locked. “When you pull them out of the machine, they self-seal, and the only key exists here.” A couple of clerks are methodically opening them up, stacking the bills into little plastic racks and then feeding them into a bank of huge bulk counting machines. “Eighty thousand notes per hour,” Putre says. “It’s going to authenticate, then count, then sort, then strap, all in one step. What four people can do in this room used to take 12 people before we had this machine. Before the pandemic, we’d run two, three machines every single day. Now we run a couple of days a week.” It’s satisfying to encounter the mechanical whir of it all, especially this year: bills and coins, paper and metal, notes and specie instead of ones and zeroes.

This was a delightful look at the operation required to count all the money that flows through New York’s public transit system.

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Between the Lines


🔗 a linked post to lamag.com » — originally shared here on

After 36 years, Shoup’s writings—usually found in obscure journals—can be reduced to a single question: What if the free and abundant parking drivers crave is about the worst thing for the life of cities? That sounds like a prescription for having the door slammed in your face; Shoup knows this too well. Parking makes people nuts. “I truly believe that when men and women think about parking, their mental capacity reverts to the reptilian cortex of the brain,” he says. “How to get food, ritual display, territorial dominance—all these things are part of parking, and we’ve assigned it to the most primitive part of the brain that makes snap fight-or-flight decisions. Our mental capacities just bottom out when we talk about parking.”

A well-detailed article on the history of parking, and of one man's attempt to fix the parking problems plaguing L.A.

(via Kottke)

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