Reversing Urban Dystrophy

Rebuilding the Connective Tissues of US Cities



Oct '11 - Feb '12

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    Introduction - First Post

    Kurt Neiswender
    Oct 10, '11 8:09 PM EST

    I would like to start this blog out in simple fashion, without too much fuss, so that the ideas and concepts discussed can be stated clearly and thus allowing for constructive dialogue. I will always try to keep in mind a quote by Mark Twain, "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter", meaning I will endeavor to think before I speak, as I value your time (the blogosphere) as much as I value my time. As a licensed architect working full time, and a graduate student, time is very precious! As I continue to post to this blog, I will gradually fill you in on my background as well as my current and future plans as I explore my masters thesis. 

    Starting with my current academic standing: I am currently enrolled at Lawrence Technological University in my second year of a masters of urban design with a concentration in sustainable urbanism. I am pursuing this degree at a part time pace because I am licensed architect working full time as the director of architecture in a design/build firm located in Birmingham, MI. 

    What brought me to study urban design was sort of roundabout by way of continuing education with a bent toward sustainability. I already have a five year degree in architecture from the University of Southern California, and have been practicing architecture since 2003. I have always been concerned with sustainability and stewardship if the built environment, so much so, that I also achieved LEED AP status in 2008 under version 2.2 - New Construction - Existing Buildings. I have more to say about the LEED rating system, and others, but I will save that for a later post. 

    My interest in sustainability coupled with my desire to pursue further schooling led me to urban design as a way to think more about the subject at a greater scale than the individual building. By looking at city level resolution, I can explore how buildings relate to the greater whole, seeking a synergistic and holistic process to sustainable urbanism. 

    What I would like to explore: How can the cityscapes that have been decimated by depopulation and their need to reinvent themselves can be repopulated with more strategic and systemic change to infrastructure, housing and demographics. The goal will be to use various standard design tools and software with experimental software and analysis methods to create new standards of space making at the scale of urbanized regions. 

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About this Blog

This is my personal blog to express my thoughts and research on architecture and urban design bridging academic and practice. My interests are in exploring the sustainability of urban environments.

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