Congress for the New Springfield

Like the really bad song you can’t stop singing I have to give some credit to a fairly corny and terribly lame story I heard told perhaps 40 years ago but which always springs to mind whenever prevention and remediation are discussed. It had something to do with a mountain town that had a windy

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Cognitive Dissonance 

I’m suffering from a bit of cognitive dissonance as I write these words; my generally optimistic perspective and “rose colored glasses” view of my hometown contrasted with my apocalyptic outlook for the American Empire and industrial society. Apart from one obvious exception I see in Springfield a community moving in the right direction and making

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Preserving Urbanism

I’ve already written a handful of pieces on historic preservation. In my earliest essay bearing directly on the topic I make the argument that economic vitality is the only guarantor of long term historic preservation. In retrospect, and after reading some thoughtful arguments regarding the relationship of growth and historic preservation, I must admit that

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The Chicken Building

The concept of the invisible bike rider has been addressed in multiple venues over the past few months and it has opened my eyes to not just a larger reality but also to some of my own biases. Yesterday as I strolled past Court Square I saw a resplendent cyclist with the bright yellow garb

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Words of Wisdom

Publicly available records of official municipal meetings held earlier this year revealed that a local developer intended to acquire and demolish a building, the Shean Block, at the corner of State Street and Main Street in the heart of downtown Springfield. In just the last month MGM announced during a meeting of the State Gaming

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Of Blind Squirrels and Broken Clocks

I’ve been involved with the issue of pedestrian safety on State Street for more than two decades now so when Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns asked me to snap some pictures of the “desire paths” around and through the fences and hedges the city had “strategically placed” to discourage people from crossing the street at

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Spring Garden 2017

Ever expanding and changing, our urban oasis is taking shape.  We’ve added an asparagus bed (trust me, they’re there) which in years to come will provide some early season comestibles. The garlic, after a Winter of discontent, is looking lively. The potatoes look healthy. More peaches than ever before; do I thin the fruit myself,

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Rusting Last, Realizing Slowly

I’ve asked why it is if bureaucracy and government interference are the causes of bad urbanism that the places most known for those things have the best urbanism: The Northeast, The Pacific Northwest, and Europe. To be clear, I don’t think that laissez faire capitalism is necessarily the primary cause of the woeful state of

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A Seriously Modest Proposal

Climate change is genocide. Sure, I’m in. If the foreseeable consequences of our behaviors in the more developed world are going to lead to the deaths of millions of people with entire human societies especially in the developing world suffering first and suffering the most then those of us who fail to alter our behaviors

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MegaProject versus the North End

We’re running, quite by accident, a nearly perfect test of the philosophy that the small project focused on marginally increasing value in a relatively undervalued neighborhood is better than a mega project designed to transform a place. It would appear to be a totally unfair fight between a project in the North End which repairs

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