On Resilient Settlement

Tools and strategies for transition

Unlocking Development Potential on Phoenix Light Rail: Toward a “Pattern Language” Toolkit

NOTE: Sustainable development in Phoenix, like sustainable development around the country and the world, is very often uneconomic in competition with sprawl, unless we take steps to “unlock” the opportunities. That usually means identifying and ad…

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February 18, 2012 · Leave a comment

Unlocking Development Potential on the Phoenix Canals

NOTE: Sustainable development in Phoenix, like sustainable development around the country and the world, is very often uneconomic in competition with sprawl, unless we take steps to “unlock” the opportunities. That usually means identifying and ad…

February 18, 2012 · 2 Comments

The new relevance of New Urbanism

Note: This post first appeared on the Better! Cities & Towns blog (http://bettercities.net/news-opinion/blogs/michael-mehaffy/15771/new-relevanc… ). This past year we passed a little-noticed milestone: the twentieth anniversary of the putative b…

January 8, 2012 · Leave a comment

Retrofitting suburbia in Portland: What have we learned?

Note: This is a longer version of a post that is now appearing on the Atlantic Monthly blog, Atlantic Cities. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2011/10/in-defense-of-portlands-orenco-station/313/ By US standards, Portland, Oregon has …

October 20, 2011 · Leave a comment

The “Jacobs Spillover” as a model of urban dynamics: Can we describe a similar mechanism affecting urban resource use and greenhouse gas emissions?

NOTE: This is a working paper presented at the symposium “Scaling in Cities” at Arizona State University, co-organized with the Santa Fe Institute, University College London and the Environmental Structure Research Group (Sustasis Foundation), in …

October 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

The Untapped Power of Pattern Languages

Radical computer software architects have been using pattern languages with dramatic effectiveness for several decades, thereby revealing a likely missed opportunity for architects of the built environment. The reasons are intriguing – and, we sug…

September 5, 2011 · 1 Comment

Resilience and its failures in Japan, New Orleans — and the world

Another catastrophe has reminded us of the complexity of natural events, and the weakness of our own current technologies – the complexity of their unintended effects — in the face of such shocks. (I mean “technologies” both in the familiar sense…

March 25, 2011 · Leave a comment