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Howard Blackson's Blog
'Just Get the Ground Floor Right …' Modernism's last stand
Over 40 years one truth has been drummed into our downtown urban design consciousness: “Just...
Jun 24 2015 4:40pm
Density is just a number
Stop talking about density and start talking about place.
Feb 19 2015 10:48am
Extreme makeover: Zoning edition
Want to get some sleep tonight? How about snuggling up with your local Development Code? Read any...
Jul 29 2013 10:05am
Learning from success
In honor of Jane Jacobs's birthday May 4, we offer a recent blog that argues planners should learn...
May 4 2013 8:44am
Portrait of a municipal official takin’ it to the street
One of a handful of traffic engineers that I have met whose streets are prioritized by place rather...
May 2 2013 8:43am
The Future of Municipal Planning: Is John Nolen rolling over in his grave?
This is not the planning profession John Nolen built. A century later, our great recession has...
Apr 10 2013 9:15am
Don't get mixed-up on mixed-use
While mixed use has been embraced by citizens, politicians, and planners, it has held different...
Apr 8 2013 8:08am
The value of visuals
In simple terms, a plan is an adopted statement of policy, in the form of text, maps, and/or...
Mar 4 2013 11:53am
By-passing tomorrow for easy implementation today
Short-term politicians are looking to long-term infrastructure investments for short-term...
Feb 21 2013 10:43am
Neighborhoods first (and goal)
A progressive democrat in a historically republican town, our Mayor has a clear mandate to...
Feb 6 2013 10:27am
Dare to live outdoors
Being a pedestrian, or one of our ever increasing army of bicyclists, is a proven step towards...
Jan 28 2013 9:44am
Homelessness: Testing the boundaries of “health, safety and welfare”
Homelessness is an everyday issue that gets additional attention during the holidays. A recent HUD...
Dec 20 2012 10:25am
Next Urbanism Lab 03: Redevelopment as a Tool for Urban (Re)Investment
Redevelopment is an implementation tool, just like zoning, specific plans and Form-Based Codes. It...
Dec 13 2012 12:33pm
Next Urbanism Lab 02: Planning trends captivate, but…
Quirks and pitfalls can occur when a solution for one city is transplanted somewhere else.
Dec 3 2012 11:08am
Next urbanism lab: The layers that built San Diego
My city’s downtown is built on decades of layers. Planning trends layered upon planning trends.
Nov 12 2012 11:18am
The new incrementalism
The latest design trend focuses on how lots change — how they’re built upon and reconfigured over...
Oct 22 2012 8:55am
Great civic space: It ain’t the size, it’s what you do with it
Our little Parklet on Friday was a temporary, simple place and, while it appeared to be...
Sep 24 2012 9:08am
Elevate your thinking: Light, air and connectivity beyond the street
As we increasingly urbanize, relearning the craft of creating human-scaled places, I often — too...
Sep 20 2012 9:40am
The five Cs of neighborhood planning
The health of a neighborhood — whether downtown, midtown or out-of-town — is defined by five...
Aug 30 2012 10:16am
Fronts, backs, and everything In between
Many of our conflicts between neighbors are due to a simple confusion between how new and...
Aug 16 2012 11:41am
Don't get mixed-up on mixed-use
The mixing of uses is a catalyst to building complete, compact, complex, and convivial...
Jul 5 2012 11:16am
Tools for trickle-up economics
Building towards cultural and social value always equates to economic value, while the converse is...
Jun 25 2012 9:46am
The doctor is in
Chuck compared our current pattern of development to a bonafide Ponzi scheme — California needs an...
Apr 23 2012 7:53am
Eisenhower Memorial controversy puts focus on urban design
The critique surrounding this project is indicative of the declining status of contemporary ‘...
Mar 29 2012 12:25pm
(Public) space: The final frontier
What's the right amount of public space? PlaceShaker Howard Blackson presents a few metrics...
Mar 15 2012 1:12pm
Frank J. Gruber
Nethaniel M. Hood
The coming housing calamity
More low-down on tall buildings
A tire in the park
Livability means being poor and eating only one kind of lettuce
The Original Green
Village Green: As We Lose Shopping Malls, Are Losing Something Sacred?
Village Green: Happy Cycling & Transit Holidays! (fun photos)
Sprawl's share of new US housing starts has declined dramatically, says EPA
It's time to adjust to the metropolitan reality
Strong central cities may help in weathering the recession
Village Green: Sidewalks Are Good for Us
Village Green: Revitalizing Cincinnati's Over-the-Rhine (Part 2 - the neighborhood's assets)
Village Green: Revitalizing Cincinnati's Historic Over-the-Rhine (Part 3 - exciting progress portends a national model)
Village Green: What the City Can Teach the Country About Sustainability
Village Green: Jamaica's Rose Town Pursue's Healing Through Rebuilding
Village Green: To Keep Smart City Housing Affordable, Build More of It
Best Practices Guide
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