inspiration: GHOST TRAIN

inspiration: GHOST TRAIN

The transportation network is often referred to as the "bones" of a city.  It is easy to understand why; the streets form the underlying structure of a city, much like the bones form the underlying structure of the human body.  The term has another side to it though; referring to the permanence of the network, and the difficulty in changing those bones of the city.  When a route is laid on the earth, it is likely to remain through time and development.  You can see this process occurring throughout the world; from the many roads and city plans of the ancient Roman empire still in use today to the famous Broadway that cuts through Manhattan's grid, originally a Native American trade path through the island.

Read More

opinion: THE SEGREGATION OF THE STREET

opinion: THE SEGREGATION OF THE STREET

ARE BIKE LANES REALLY MAKING OUR STREETS BETTER?

Not all streets are created equal.  Streets serve various purposes.  They come in various shapes and sizes.  Some are loved.  Some are hated.

The Via dei Calzaiuoli is a street in Florence that connects the Piazza del Duomo to the Piazza della Signoria. It is one of the nicest, calmest, most enjoyable streets you could ever hope to walk along.  Its simple brilliance is often overlooked, as eyes are drawn to Brunelleschi’s great dome at one end or the Uffizi Gallery at the other.  The street’s role as a supporting cast member was set early on, when in the 1300’s the grade was lowered to make the height of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral seem even more otherworldly.  But the Via has played a vital role in Florentine life for centuries.  The sculptor Donatello had a workshop on the Calzaiuoli.  Da Vinci, Galileo, and Machiavelli spent afternoons striding along this treasured corridor of art, history, and architecture. The Calzaiuoli is more than just a nice street that connects monuments; it is, in fact, a model for modern architects and planners.

Read More