An ode to the Wisconsin State Capitol

cc image from alumroot on flickr

As painful and divisive as the recent events in Madison, WI have been, I’ve been overcome by the openness and civic use of the Wisconsin State Capitol and the adjoining Capitol Square. Mammoth recently posted an excellent piece on observations of the social action and public space as they’ve

Continue reading An ode to the Wisconsin State Capitol

Vestiges of DC’s streetcar network

700 Block, 8th St SE

Winter’s freeze/thaw cycle chipped enough asphalt away from 8th St SE to expose the remaining vault of DC’s old streetcar system. The rails themselves are gone, but the underground vault that provided power for the system remains, as does one of the square access panels in the street. The rest

Continue reading Vestiges of DC’s streetcar network

Ad-hoc internet infrastructures

CC image from sarnil on flickr

In this week’s City Paper, Lydia DePillis has a story about an ad-hoc wireless broadband internet network that emerged out of community discussions in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood.

Finally, the group gave up on city assistance, turning to a local IT company that could get them a commercial broadband

Continue reading Ad-hoc internet infrastructures

Thank you for not driving

900 block, M St NW

Imported from Detroit

My favorite ad from last weekend’s Super Bowl was easily Chrysler’s two-minute defense of the Motor City. The ad aired during the 3rd quarter of the game, generating lots of buzz afterward.

The dialogue that’s followed is often conflicted. Was this an ad for a new car, or was it an ad for the

Continue reading Imported from Detroit

The power of skyscrapers

Chicago skyline CC image from 1’UP on flickr

Several friends have pointed me to this Atlantic piece by Ed Glaeser on the power of skyscrapers and density in shaping the city, and the role cities play in our economy. Some snippets:

On the micromanagement of zoning codes:

New York slowed its construction of skyscrapers after

Continue reading The power of skyscrapers