The Comfort Pursuit

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the second great misunderstanding that lies at the root of most urban degradation today: widening a city’s streets in the name of safety is like distributing handguns to deter crime.

Speck, Jeff (2012) Read more…

Induced demand is the name for what happens when increasing the supply of roadways lowers the time cost of driving, causing more people to drive and obliterating any reductions in congestion. Read more…

I think people are suspicious of schemes that offer them nothing in return. We should get rid of automobiles, but in a positive way. What we need is more things that conflict with their needs—wider sidewalks, more space for trees, even double lines of trees on some sidewalks, dead ends not for foot traffic but for automobiles, more frequent places for people to cross streets, more traffic lights—they’re an abomination to automobiles, but a boon to pedestrians. And then we should have more convenient public transportation.

We constantly sacrifice all kinds of amenities for automobiles. I think we can wear down their number by sacrificing the roadbed to some of our other needs instead. It’s a switch in values.

(Jane Jacobs) Read more…

Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places – and on the conviction that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be.

Read more…

“Creativity does not evolve out of a vacuum; it does not emerge from a photo opportunity or a government initiative. No project has ever worked when it has been imposed against the grain of the place. The notion that building a business park and a good road to the airport is sufficient to inspire economic revolution is a foolish one that has trapped many cities which have rebranded themselves as ‘creative’”.

Read more…

“They will be spacious, park-like, and uncrowded. They will feature long green vistas. They will be stable and symmetrical and orderly. They will be clean, impressive and monumental. They will have all the attributes of a well-kept dignified cemetery.”

Read more…

The power of seeing

Still with Modern Architecture in mind, a little inspiration for the weekend:

“The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is see something, and tell what it saw in a plain way,” said John Ruskin, the guru of the Beaux-Arts schools of the era. “Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, religion, all in one.”

Read more…