Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

Chicago’s Walkable Urbanism

Dateline: 11:59 pm November 8, 2013 Filed under:

I’ve always been impressed by Chicago’s urbanism. Yes, the city of broad shoulders has more awesome old buildings designed by renowned architects than most cities have buildings total, but the fabric of the city impresses me the most. Over the years I’ve spent the most time on the city’s north side, and have found block after block and mile after mile to be walkable and interesting. First of all, residential neighborhoods have sidewalks that line up with crosswalks in a continuous path (above). And people walk! Any given residential street may have a mix of bungalows and two-flats There are…

A Failure of Frontage

Dateline: 12:10 pm March 13, 2013 Filed under:

Do cities have a “failure of frontage?” I credit Dan Parolek of Opticos Design for coining the term. When I was researching a post on form-based codes in the Bay Area, Dan explained he believes cities everywhere have a failure of frontage, that we focus so much on other elements of urbanism that we overlook the basics. We worry about shape, height, bulk, ever-evil DENSITY, parking and traffic problems, but we fail to do the simple thing and make the building engaging to the pedestrian. We have a failure of frontage, and it’s not unique to Minneapolis. A recent post of mine at…

So You Say You Want a Sidewalk?

Dateline: 1:54 pm August 15, 2012 Filed under:

“You’d think with all the taxes we pay that they could have put in a sidewalk.” That is the exasperated comment from my mother-in-law as she and I were driving past the local playground near their house in the Milwaukee suburbs with my kids in the back seat. She has a very good point. The previous day she walked the half-mile or so from her house to the playground (adjacent to an elementary school) with my two-year-old son Shaw in the stroller. The walk begins in their subdivision, developed in the 1990s, which has no sidewalks but relatively wide streets…