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The Death and Life of Malls, a Video Reflection

So we’ve spent all week talking about the nature of retail. Yet, today’s videos represent how much retail is a cycle, where America has led the way in sprawl, yet is now realizing why it’s not such a good idea. The first video is a montage of...

Posted May 28, 2014    

Putting Place and Experience Back Into Retail

Templestowe Farmers Market via Wikimedia CommonsPlacemaking is not just creating experiences, but pushing for necessary services and goods to be purchased as close as possible to home. What kind of places then, do we all want to shop at, at least...

Posted May 24, 2014    

The Department Store of the Amazon and New Urbanist Age

Coming to the end of the maze that is IKEA. Satisfied and with a full yellow bag. And yes, it’s blurry on purpose. Tell me I’m not wrong for feeling this way at the end of an IKEA trip. Image by the author.As of this writing, I’ve just learned that...

Posted May 22, 2014    

Malls and Main Streets: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Say the words mall and main street and two very different images come up. I’m going to guess the former image involves neon signs, fountains and Sbarro, while the latter may also include a fountain, but a barber pole and Sheriff Andy Taylor. Well,...

Posted May 20, 2014    

Wait, That's Really a House?

Via WikimediaMy dad and I used to talk about how he was going to make himself an office in his backyard shed. He’d made a good amount of money putting electricity in other people’s dutch barns and other iterations of storage sheds/backyard workshops...

Posted May 17, 2014    

What Grinds Our Gears About Cars

Now that I’ve gotten my letter to my own little clunker out of the way (and promised to take her to the car wash at least soon). I want to get into what I believe are the issues that urbanists and honestly everyone has with cars.Expensive to...

Posted May 9, 2014    

Things That Should Never Be in Driving Distance

Lincoln Park High School in Chicago/WikimediaI was a good North Carolinian and went to vote in my recent primary election.  As I’ve written about before, the district I sit in for US House is a snake district. As in it looks like a snake. And...

Posted May 8, 2014    

Can We Let the People Gentrify Themselves?

As I finish up this recent theme of sprawl repair, I want to ask one last question. Can we let the people gentrify (or de-sprawl) themselves? As much as I love the tactical urbanism, the push to return to the neighborhoods left behind, and to fix...

Posted May 5, 2014    

The Internal Urban Sprawl Killer: DIY and Service Delivery

Peapod Delivery Truck on a Single Family Residential Street. Image Credit #MsLoriTVI have to always admit, that not all urban sprawl is the fault of the homeowner or apartment renter. Thanks to how our economy and our government is structured, there...

Posted May 3, 2014    

What Happens When Nothing Is Done Structurally About Sprawl

Broken Down House. Derrick Hughes via Flickr.Despite my life hacks from this post, we have to do something on a structural and legal level about sprawl. Unchecked sprawl is the urban renewal of today. Instead of providing the services that are...

Posted May 1, 2014    

Why We May Never Have the Right Words for the Places We Live

Previously, I’ve written about why words matter. Especially when we talk about what’s a town and what’s a suburb. Once again, people are people and places are places. So how should we talk about places?First of all, if you have a city, with either...

Posted April 28, 2014    

Whose Suburbs Are We Talking About Again?

One of my pet peeves in reading through the various press on metropolitan areas is when the notion of suburb (and on occasion urban) is mislabeled. This happens one of two ways, when an incorporated town, and sometimes city is labeled a suburb and...

Posted April 26, 2014