Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making my job of debunking these myths a lot easier. — thisbigcity.net
Urban densities are not trivial, they severely limit the transport mode choice and change only very slowly. Because of the large differences in densities between Atlanta and Barcelona about the same length of metro line is accessible to 60% of the population in Barcelona but only 4% in Atlanta. The low density of Atlanta render this city improper for rail transit. — usa.streetsblog.org
In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls “festering urban sores”.
But China looked back instead of forward. — theguardian.com
Marshall, Garrick and Piatkowski are talking about a different set of health concerns: not communicable diseases like cholera, but lifestyle diseases like diabetes. "The literature suggests," they write, "that the shift in industrialized nations toward a more sedentary lifestyle is linked to increasingly auto-dependent lifestyles, which in turn is linked to lower density developments and auto-friendly land uses." Maybe we're designing places, in other words, that make it harder to be active. — washingtonpost.com
A new report from Reid Ewing and Shima Hamidi of the University of Utah, lead researchers on the aforementioned rankings, gets at that question. Ewing and Hamidi scored the largest 162 U.S. urbanized areas on the Sprawl Index — or, if you're feeling optimistic, the Compactness Index — for 2010. (Urbanized areas reflect development better than fixed metro area boundaries do.) Then they applied the index to the same cities in 2000 to show the change over time. — citylab.com
In a series of photos taken over seven years, now published in a new book called Ciphers, photographer Christoph Gielen shows a different perspective on sprawl, intended to get more people to question typical patterns of development.
"I meant for Ciphers to be provocative at a time when we are witnessing a phenomenal escalation in urban construction ... when entire cities are emerging fully formed in India and China, rather than slowly evolving," says Gielen. — fastcoexist.com
It may not seem like it when you’re stuck in traffic on the 110 Freeway, but Southern California is home to some of the least-sprawling metro areas in the country.
That’s according to a study out today from Smart Growth America, which attempted to measure the concept of urban sprawl in 221 metro areas nationwide. The study ranked the Los Angeles, Orange County and Santa Barbara regions in the 25 least-sprawling. — latimes.com
So it is that nearly a third of the interstate system consists of stretches through our cities, in the form of loops, spurs and freeways. So it is that American motorists drive nearly twice as many miles on urban interstates as they do the lengthier rural legs. So it is that every metropolis in the country has reorganized itself around these roads, and that they've shaped where we live and work, how we shop, what we eat, and how we pass our time. — theatlanticcities.com
Two academics wondered about the number of swimming pools in the L.A. Basin. They got their answer with computer mapping, but [...] along the way, they discovered something more than just the real-world versions of the iconic David Hockney pool utopias. Their project also proved that two non-experts were able to take a massive amount of freely available data to peek into other people's lives. — Los Angeles Times
A leading architect has launched a scathing attack on Government planning reforms and warned that large parts of the country could resemble Los Angeles.
Lord [Richard] Rogers of Riverside claims that under the plans Britain's biggest cities could merge into one enormous urban sprawl. — dailymail.co.uk
Los Angeles has infamously been known for its urban sprawl. A recently released map makes it look like LA could easily swallow several major US cities inside its bloated city limits belly. See the map below and follow the subsequent discussion on reddit.com. Directly related: the exhibition...
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