Red in Tooth and Claw

Six years on it might be easy to lose sight of the original purpose behind the creation of this website: to address topics related to cities that aren’t Superstar cities in ways that don’t just adhere to the narrative of urban pathology, to separate mistaken perspectives from real challenges so as to confront them. I

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Urban Calvinism

One of the maps I’ve seen dividing the United States into separate regions puts Springfield into the category of “recovered” or “revitalized” Rust Belt city. The study whose data created the map is a year old, and came from data covering the years before that. The takeaway from the report was that location was by

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The Hunt for Springfield

There were two tomes I took to Brigham Young University every autumn: Clyde Smith’s New England and his Enchantment of New England photo books. The trees, the green grass, the rolling hills, and the mountains of my little corner of the world reminded me that there was life on this planet, even if very little

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Parking

Just some precious nuggets of wisdom I was fortunate enough to overhear in the discussion regarding the future of a certain downtown parcel. Seriously. 1)Although some people say that downtown has enough parking, on some nights “the only people downtown are the ones citing visitors for parking illegally.” This is the Russian nesting doll of

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Up With the Good, Down With the bad

I was 18 and I had never flown before. My parents had taken me to over 40 of the contiguous United States, but every mile had been by car. Heck, only once had we stayed in a hotel and that was because of a hurricane which was about to strike the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In

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The Wild Ones

A trip to The Drama Studio on Oakland Street from my home on the edge of downtown can be a history lesson if you know what you are seeing as you go by. My brother used to walk to his job with Social Security along much the same route in the 1970’s. You can’t avoid

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A Polyresin Fountain of a Place

Last weekend was all about the outdoors and food. The annual pancake breakfast celebrating the founding of Springfield in 1636 got us up and out the door before 8 a.m. in order to beat the rain. It was great to see the usual cast of characters, from the mayor to an eccentric local we call

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One Last Effort

This is what I’m trying to say regarding incremental development versus mega-projects: In my (well documented) experience the lived reality on the ground over the last 40 years is: Incremental steps toward more auto orientation. Or giant steps preserving a traditional development pattern. The only exception has been some historic preservation, which has incrementally preserved

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Line up the Urbanists

(If you’re not familiar with A Chorus Line, and I wasn’t, you’ll need to watch this…not the version my niece was in!) What is the “dance 10, looks 3” of cities? Given it’s a metaphor I’m sure there are multiple answers that could work, but the first one that springs to mind in my little

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Chuck’s Response 

I sent the text of the post entitled Magically Fallacious to Chuck Marohn before I published it. The interchange didn’t seem particularly enlightening so I didn’t include it. At Chuck’s request I’m posting it now: (Chuck’s response) Thanks for the interest and passion. I feel you’re falling into the trap of taking each utterance as

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