Latest Posts

Archive for the ‘Urban Design’ Category

A Sprawl Tax in Texas

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

This from the Project for Public

In a move that stunned political observers from El Paso to Texarkana, Governor
Rick Perry announced a bold move to revitalize Texas communities by creating
thousands of town squares modeled on Mexican plazas throughout the state.

“Let’s face it,” the governor announced in a surprise press conference
at the Alamo in San Antonio, “we may have whupped the Mexicans to win
our independence but we sure lost the battle to make great places. Mexican
towns and villages have lively plazas and zocalos, where everyone can gather
in the evenings. They’ve got street life, damn it. We’re stuck with a bunch
of Wal-Marts and strip malls. Ay Caramba!”

Perry said that his ambitious public space plan, which includes grants of
up to $1000 per resident for any neighborhood or town wanting to create a
plaza, will be paid for by his new sprawl tax on stores and offices that are
not pedestrian-friendly.

Happy April Fools day... More
from PPS.


Tuesday, January 31st, 2006


You are not supposed to pay attention to the parking structures that sit next
to (rather than under) suburban office buildings such as this one in Addison
Texas. These structures built for automobiles are supposed to be invisible, not
part of the official design of the primary structure. Sometimes it’s hard to
figure out which one is uglier.

While I was interviewing him in Addison
, Andres Duany looked
at these structures and said “it couldn’t have taken more than 15 minutes
to design the whole facade.”

Pretty generous of him, I thought.