Urban Planning

Three Articles, One Theme

Eastern Parkway Was Never Meant to Be a Highway by Diana Budds, about the design and use of the widest and most park-like street in Brooklyn. What If We Took the West Side Highway for Bikes? by Choire Sicha, about reclaiming one lane of the roughly 25-year-old street/highway (the replacement for the elevated highway) for non-car …

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Paying For An Old Mistake

That’s a 1910 Sanborn Map of a piece of the Flatiron district. Yesterday’s poster-child for weirdness, the Hotel Victoria, is on the small lower center block, running from Broadway to Fifth Avenue on the south side of 27th Street. The lines dividing it into vertical strips tell everything we might want to know about its …

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Book Review: Gotham Unbound

Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York by Ted Steinberg sounds, at first, like a bad joke: it’s a natural history of the New York City area, which is one of the most heavily modified landscapes in the world. We’re surrounded by all sorts of nature here, including aspects that are impervious to …

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Many Rms, No Vu

As I’m looking for more cool pictrues to comment on, a weird aspect of the old infrastructure of the port of New York jumped out at me: you couldn’t see the water anyplace there were modern piers. The older piers, the nineteenth-century version, were finger piers (that is, with the axis of the pier and …

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