August was a short month for this blog because I spent more than a third of it traveling. Nevertheless, there were still a handful of posts I wanted to highlight. So as is the custom, here are the best posts from August:
We Can Have Better Neighborhoods if We Just Choose to Build Them: People sometimes talk about cities as if they’re immutable. But that’s a fiction. People built our cities and I believe there is no obstacle — from zoning to public opinion to financing — that people also can’t overcome. If our cities are imperfect it’s because we yet lack the will to fix them.
Trading Historic Buildings For Blight and Parking Lots: This post explains how a local developer wanted to turn an old church into apartments, but then despite everyone’s enthusiasm, the project was stalled or killed by absurd city fees.
What to do With Wasted Street and Parking Space: Like many cities, Provo includes a fair amount of underused pavement. Parking lots sit empty, streets are too wide, and there’s less room for people. This post suggests that all the wasted space could simply be cordoned off and turned into pedestrian zones.
Blame Streets for Auto-Bike Accidents: Poor road design not only doesn’t help prevent accidents, it actively encourages them.
What City Creek Could Have Been: City Creek in Salt Lake City is great. But this post tries to imagine what could have been if investors had used the $2 billion they spent on the mall to fund startups and business development. Hint: the results would have been much better. This post is part of an ongoing effort to think about the implications of local and non-local commerce.
Squares and the Heart of a City: Provo has no public squares. Let’s fix that.