• Calatrava Plan DOA at DIA

    Calatrava Plan DOA at DIA

    Well, not exactly dead on arrival, but close.   Almost from the start the great Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava’s designs for Denver International Airport’s South Terminal Project were assailed by critics  for disrespecting the original (and now iconic) Curtis Fentress design […]

  • The Monumental MLK

    The Monumental MLK

    Public monuments are an important aspect of the good city. In his Art of Building Cities (1889)—a book that helped to establish the modern study of urban design—Camillo Sitte suggested that monuments “bring back historical memories” and constitute “the glory […]

  • Three Urbanisms Revisited

    Three Urbanisms Revisited

    A recurring theme in the urban studies literature and blogosphere (including this blog) is critical comparison of  different approaches to city-building.  Such an exercise can have practical utility in the street and also pedagogical utility in the classroom.  Although any […]

  • Will the Development at 9th and Colorado be Kid-Friendly?

    Will the Development at 9th and Colorado be Kid-Friendly?

    The Colorado Boulevard Healthcare District Board was scheduled to meet last week to receive an update from the 9th and Colorado developer and architect, but when I showed up at the designated place no one was there except another confused […]

  • Scenes from a Ciclovía

    Scenes from a Ciclovía

    Last Sunday (August 14) Denver held its first ciclovía, known locally as “Viva Streets.”  A two mile stretch of East 23rd Avenue in my neighborhood of Park Hill was closed to motor vehicles. For four hours bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers, joggers, pedestrians […]

  • Why is London Burning?

    Why is London Burning?

    Criminologists offer up an array of usual suspects, including social exclusion, poverty, racism, and cultures of violence combined with weak policing.  In an inspired move, The Architects Journal asked a group of architectural thinkers and urbanists whether architecture could have anything […]

  • Icons, Pop-Ups, and Corporate Branding of Urban Space

    Icons, Pop-Ups, and Corporate Branding of Urban Space

    This week the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation—widely known for creating iconic buildings to house its museums, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s classic spiraled ribbon on Fifth Avenue in New York City and Frank Gehry’s twisted curves in Bilbao, Spain—joined the “Pop-Up […]

  • Brand X Urbanism and Cultural Diversity

    Brand X Urbanism and Cultural Diversity

    I’d like to revisit an issue raised in my recent summary of James Kunstler’s view of the urban future.  This issue is the relative merits of competing urbanisms for addressing the contemporary challenges that confront city designers and planners.  Kunstler […]

  • The 15% Solution

    The 15% Solution

    Which is a better city: Melbourne or Sydney?  Geoffrey West’s and Luis Bettencourt’s provocative ideas (reported here and popularized here) got some play today in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Reprising their argument that cities are 85% alike in the way […]

  • Coming Contractions

    Coming Contractions

    James Kunstler’s essay in the new issue of Orion Magazine speculates about the future of cities by playing off of “city-of-the-future” tropes that have long been a staple of American popular culture. Kunstler is well-known for a brand of dystopian futurism […]

  • Imagining a Signature Building at 9th and Colorado

    Imagining a Signature Building at 9th and Colorado

    Yesterday representatives of The Sembler Company and the project architect Davis Partnership gave their third presentation about the planned development of the 9th and Colorado property to a public meeting of the Colorado Boulevard Healthcare District (CBHD) advisory board.   […]

  • The Greatest Work of Architecture Built in this Century?

    The Greatest Work of Architecture Built in this Century?

    Upon hearing, in 1860, the suggestion that humankind was descended from apes the wife of the Bishop of Worcester is reported to have exclaimed: “Let us hope it is not true, but if it is, let us pray it will not […]