Author Archive

February 24 2014

Revive Traditional Architecture: A Book Review of “The Architecture of Community”

February 24th, 2014Posted by 

Traditional architecture steps out of the shadows of history to challenge today’s results of the modern building process. While critics may find a lot to disagree with in this book, Léon Krier presents a comprehensive treatise of architecture based on harmony and timeless proportions. No matter which side of the traditional versus modern debate you […]

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January 14 2014

Abracadabra: A Book Review of Kunstler’s “Too Much Magic”

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

Have people begun to believe that technology can solve all the world’s problems? Author James Howard Kunstler makes this convincing argument in his newest book Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation. In his first nonfiction book since the The Long Emergency (2005), Kunstler presents new evidence to support his […]

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December 18 2013

Growing a Garden City: A Book Review on Duany’s Agrarian Urbanism

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Is agriculture the new golf? Former skeptic Andres Duany says it very well could be. I was fortunate enough to hear Duany speak on his book, “Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism.” As usual, he didn’t disappoint with his energetic and blunt character that never needs a flashy presentation or pretty pictures to […]

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November 27 2013

How Cities Come Alive: A Book Review of “Life Between Buildings”

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People and buildings are connected – they have been and will continue to be so. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space is a classic that applies substance and quantitative research to the field of urban planning. Jan Gehl, author of Cities for People, takes his analysis beyond urban design to talk about how public spaces […]

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November 21 2013

New and Improved: A Book Review for Charter of the New Urbanism, 2nd Edition

November 21st, 2013Posted by 

It might have been 14 years, but we have a Charter Book back in print again. The Congress for the New Urbanism has updated the classic book, long out of print, based on the CNU Charter that was signed in 1996. The Charter itself remains unchanged; this edition of the book simply advances the original principles […]

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June 27 2013

Planning Steps into the Spotlight: Walkable City Book Review

June 27th, 2013Posted by 

If you’re a planner and have tried to explain to everyday folks the importance of good planning, then you know it can be a difficult topic to interest them. Most either find the planning profession to be too regulatory or know nothing about it at all. In Jeff Speck’s Walkable City: How Downtown can Save […]

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June 13 2013

Transforming Miami: One Ride at a Time

June 13th, 2013Posted by 

Though ranked among the least bike-friendly cities in the country, Miami is improving. With a Bicycle Master Plan, education initiatives, greenways and bike lanes installations, and Bike/Walk city events, improvements are enhancing some of the country’s most dangerous areas for riders and walkers. While these physical upgrades are important, the unity and adjustment of road […]

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May 30 2013

Restless or Multitalented: A Book Review of Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted

May 30th, 2013Posted by 

Walking into Central Park, one admires the beauty, serenity, and incredible vistas this safe haven offers its visitors. It is one of those rare places where the natural and built environments harmonize as an oasis in the middle of the densest city in the country. Charmingly, author Justin Martin has a deep connection to this […]

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May 16 2013

The Magic City’s Three-Year Transformation

May 16th, 2013Posted by 

Miami has found its magic again. With the approval of Miami 21 in 2009, it accomplished an unprecedented feat and became the first major city to adopt a form-based code. With the motto, Your city, Your plan, Miami’s experiment is a solitary example of the importance of public support through outreach and marketing. Thanks to Miami […]

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May 02 2013

Successful Storefronts in South Florida

May 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Window shopping is a popular pastime – but have you ever noticed that some storefronts are simply better for on-foot shopping than others? While conventional retail has given higher priority to faster-moving automobile visibility, the traditional fundamentals of human-based storefront design are often overlooked. The success of local businesses, and the walkability well-designed storefronts promote, […]

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April 18 2013

Unlocking Value in Miami, Florida

April 18th, 2013Posted by 

Miami 21, meant to encourage walkable development and non car-dependent lifestyles, brings new idea testing to places like Midtown Miami. As the economy recovers, this form-based zoning code creates redevelopment opportunities that previously have been unimaginable. Now is the perfect time to assess these principles and redevelop properties in forgotten high-value locations. Below is a […]

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April 04 2013

Miami’s Missing Middle

April 4th, 2013Posted by 

Miami is a melting pot not only of cultures, ethnicities, and cuisine, but also of students, professionals, couples, families, retirees, and tourists. However, contemporary housing fails to represent this diverse population by developing only single-family homes and condos – leaving few options in-between. Miami is missing middle-density building types: townhouses, row houses, courtyard housing, live-work […]

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March 21 2013

Three S’s to a Sustainable Structure in South Florida

March 21st, 2013Posted by 

The housing industry is rekindling in Florida, giving us the opportunity to re-evaluate our approach to modern housing. Recent technology has brought numerous advances; however, the wisdom and building techniques that once created resilient and sustainable architecture have been lost. South Florida’s unique housing market began after Henry Flagler’s FEC Railway extended to South Florida, […]

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March 07 2013

Starchitects Can’t Save Miami, Florida

March 7th, 2013Posted by 

A young city, Miami, Florida is still creating itself. Though a late-bloomer and nicknamed the “Magic City” for its rapid population growth, the metropolis followed the familiar route of other American cities: vibrant early 1900s town to economic depression, to post-war suburbs, to single-use zoning, to highway-dissected neighborhoods, to the massive traffic-congested city today. And […]

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February 21 2013

Remnants of a Dream in Coral Gables, Florida

February 21st, 2013Posted by 

Diversity is a key ingredient for a successful development, or at least that’s what George Merrick, Founding Father of Coral Gables, believed in 1925. Along with The American Building Company and former Ohio Governor Myers Cooper, he created the largest home development project in that time’s history: the Village Project. At the time, South Florida […]

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February 07 2013

Why are South Florida’s Old Buildings So Romantic?

February 7th, 2013Posted by 

“Love is in the Air” as Valentine’s Day approaches – lovebirds making romantic plans together and some committed couples planning their wedding. So what is the venue of popular choice? Old, pre-1950’s, historical buildings. The Biltmore, Deering Estate, and Gables Museum are all Valentine’s Day favorites; just as Vizcaya, Miami Beach Community Church, Cruz Building, […]

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January 24 2013

What Makes Midtown the Best Neighborhood in Miami, Florida?

January 24th, 2013Posted by 

Miami voted. Results were tallied. And Midtown took the “2012 Curbed Cup” contest for Miami’s Best Neighborhood. A former rail yard, now comprised of commercial and condo units, Midtown received more votes than popular destinations like Lincoln Road, Coconut Grove, and Sunset Harbour. What might make Midtown the best Miami neighborhood? The district offers a […]

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