ideas for cities

This Big City on tumblr is your source for ideas that can make cities better. It is curated by Joe Peach and Lucas Lindsey.

Joe founded This Big City in 2009. He is a Marketing professional and works in one of London's most sustainable buildings.

Lucas is an urbanist, futurist, and blogger. He's the child of a suburban nation, but born again believer in an urban future. He lives in Tallahassee, USA.

If you have an idea you'd like to share, click the submit button!

Today we often forget that prior to World War II, every city in America was built for easy walking and biking. In fact, the idea of living in a walkable place is nothing radical. What was radical was the program we undertook to build an entirely new type of human life. We built networks of roadways and freeways like nothing any society had ever seen before. We tore down entire neighborhoods to accommodate these roads as well as the parking lots and garages required by the cars that would travel these roads; at the same time, we ripped out the tracks for streetcars and trains.

Kevin Klinkenberg on the journey we’ve taken to create unwalkable cities

The call to create more resilient cities has become a dominant theme. This can have different connotations: from disaster risk reduction to preparing for and responding to future environmental challenges. It will be a big challenge to ensure that policies, planning and design support the aspirations of poor and marginalised groups of citizens at the local level.

Mathew Wood-Hill on the challenges facing future cities.

Imagine if a private sector entity were to deliver a fully integrated solution. They would design, build, finance, operate and maintain the bikeways, the education, promotion and enforcement – yes they’d operate the cycle proficiency training and they could even go out and book the car parked illegally on the bike path. If they succeeded and met their targets, they’d get paid. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t. Many Councils in the UK privatised traffic enforcement many years ago.

Is privatization the answer for cities looking to improve cycling infrastructure?

Rachel Smith explores this option in our latest post

atlurbanist:

I’ll take this a step further and say that if you have a significant number of these unsafe streets, you designed the entirety of your urban place wrong. How did we end up with so many of these strange, car-dependent things called “arterial roads” adjacent to homes and businesses? That’s a 20th-century placemaking fail of epic proportions.
Fred Kent, founder of Project for Public Spaces, has a great quote:

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.”

If you’re interested in hearing from a guy who knows a lot about the origin of sprawling, car-centric places, I recommend heading to Atlanta’s Manuel’s Tavern this Thursday night where author Ben Ross will be speaking.
Above graphic from Strong Towns

Truth.   High-res

atlurbanist:

I’ll take this a step further and say that if you have a significant number of these unsafe streets, you designed the entirety of your urban place wrong. How did we end up with so many of these strange, car-dependent things called “arterial roads” adjacent to homes and businesses? That’s a 20th-century placemaking fail of epic proportions.

Fred Kent, founder of Project for Public Spaces, has a great quote:

“If you plan cities for cars and traffic, you get cars and traffic. If you plan for people and places, you get people and places.”

If you’re interested in hearing from a guy who knows a lot about the origin of sprawling, car-centric places, I recommend heading to Atlanta’s Manuel’s Tavern this Thursday night where author Ben Ross will be speaking.

Above graphic from Strong Towns

Truth.

urbangeographies:

RURAL-URBAN TRANSECT:  
New Urbanist Andrés Duany created the rural-to-urban transect as a model of urban planning. The transect defines a series of zones that evolve from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. Each zone contains a similar transition from the edge to the center of a neighborhood. The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.
Transect planning can be seen as a contrast to the single land-use pattern favored by modern city zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, involves mixed-use development and therefore decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means.

Very useful. If only it looked so awesome in real life!   High-res

urbangeographies:

RURAL-URBAN TRANSECT:  

New Urbanist Andrés Duany created the rural-to-urban transect as a model of urban planning. The transect defines a series of zones that evolve from sparse rural farmhouses to the dense urban core. Each zone contains a similar transition from the edge to the center of a neighborhood. The transect is an important part of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.

Transect planning can be seen as a contrast to the single land-use pattern favored by modern city zoning and suburban development. In these patterns, large areas are dedicated to a single purpose, such as housing, offices, shopping, and they can only be accessed via major roads. The transect, by contrast, involves mixed-use development and therefore decreases the necessity for long-distance travel by any means.

Very useful. If only it looked so awesome in real life!