Urban Planning

Rowhouses and Individuality

As I’ve discussed before, rowhouses are a major part of New York’s housing stock. Using the set of criteria discussed at the second link, they house about 12 percent of the city’s residents, or over a million New Yorkers. Most of those people live in rowhouses that have been converted to two or more apartments. …

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The Ugly Process

When I talked about the fake streets shown around the old reservoir, I gave a short description of how New York handled horizontal growth in the 1800s. Streets were first “mapped,” then “opened,” then “worked.” Most of the mapping took place early. The theoretical map was first publicly available as the Commissioners’ Plan as of …

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Convincing Fiction

It’s hard to describe how much I love the illustration above. It’s from a booklet (that I’ll be discussing in more depth in the near future) called “Illustrations of the Croton Aqueduct” by an engineer named F. B. Tower who worked on the Croton project. The Croton dam and aqueduct were absolutely necessary for New …

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“The Big Picture” by Greg Foster-Rice compares the 1969 Plan for New York, the only comprehensive urban plan ever written by the city, to the current state of planning here. The Plan was never enacted in law and was more or less officially abandoned before it was five years old. The question that comes to …

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All In The Context

The archetypical American home is a wood-framed stand-alone house. Despite the growing popularity of apartments, attached townhouses, and other options besides the detached singe-family house, that type still dominates. Using data from the Census Bureau, the estimates are (as of 2017), there are something like 121,560,000 “housing units” in US, of which 76,833,000 are detached, …

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