Category Archives: Uncategorized

Traffic calming on a city street

This is a small street in London near Covent Garden. The street is a shared space, with little beyond the paint on the pavement to mark it for autos – it would be better if it didn’t have that. The … Continue reading

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The dream of Modernism

A building at Exeter College.  This photo represents the dream of modernism:  elegant buildings situated in lush environments.  The building sits lightly on the land.   The strong, low horizontal form contrasts well with the sloping ground.  The dark skin blends … Continue reading

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Random thoughts….

I continually marvel at how supposedly “unmodern” people built such places of lasting beauty.  Yet we, who are modern, seem incapable of much besides their destruction.  Those people made these places without a grand designer or masterplanner.  They knew their … Continue reading

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“Green” architecture can ruin a neighborhood

I used subscribe to Dwell magazine.  I don’t know why.  I hated Dwell magazine.  I think they should call it Sprawl magazine.  Every issue had some fantasy house out in the country that was described as “green” without mentioning the … Continue reading

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Bridgetown Housing Estate Totnes

Urban planners in the mid 20th century really got a lot wrong.  In fact, from this distance, it seems as if they got everything wrong.  In simplistic terms, they insisted that that old was bad and modern was good, that … Continue reading

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Narrow streets are people streets

This is Smith Street, Dartmouth.  It is clearly a residential street – there are no commercial signs – except one – an historic anomaly or recent intrusion? The street is no more than 12 feet wide; where the nice glass … Continue reading

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picture totnes

I like to think that this picture shows both the days past of Totnes – the need for walls and the dependence on smokestacks – and the future -solar power, green land, true community.

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Points in space

The use of obelisks as points in urban space has long held sway in the minds of humans.  See my post about them in Rome. This is Torquay.  While not an obelisk in the strictest sense, the tower in the … Continue reading

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Historical land use integration

The Quay, Exeter.  In the pic above, we can see three distinct historical land uses and about 200 years worth of buildings.  On the left, a covered commercial market, in the middle are vertical warehouses, and residential on the bluff … Continue reading

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Townscape lessons

For 500 years Exeter was a prosperous and handsome town, with a thriving commercial center.  This center was heavily bombed by the Germans in WWII. Initial rebuilding began in the late 1950s and continued into the early 1970s.  Unfortunately this … Continue reading

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