Integrating retail uses into transit stations: opportunities to increase revenue, improve urban design and passenger experience

Integrating retail uses into transit stations presents several opportunities for transit agencies like WMATA looking to increase ridership and revenue. Such retail uses also have the potential to help development projects around stations, providing a key link between the transit station and the surrounding TOD.

Combining retail and transit isn’t exactly a new idea; train

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Tall buildings in European cities

While visiting Europe, I missed most of the local debate on potential changes to DC’s federally imposed height limit (see – and contrast – the final recommendations from the NCPC and DC Office of Planning, as well as background materials and visual modelling, here). But I sure didn’t actually miss any tall buildings; I saw

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 3 – Els that gave Els a bad name

For more, see the series prologue, part 1, and part 2…

A look at some of the Els that gave Els a bad name:

Chicago: The city’s rapid transit system’s elevated lines are ubiquitous; the system is named for them. In the Loop, the Els run above city streets. In other parts, some Els run

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: part 2 – best practices of integrating viaducts into urban designs

Continued from the prologue and part 1… A look at legacy examples of older elevated construction precedents. Some examples drawn from this post and this thread on the archBoston forums.

Berlin: As a part of his writing about elevated rail, Jarrett Walker takes note of Berlin’s elevated rail, and the use of space beneath them:

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A visual survey of selected elevated rail viaducts: prologue and index

Under the Chicago El. Photo by the author.

Elevated rail has a bad name; urban rapid transit requires full grade separation. These two facts are inconveniently opposed to one another. Is there a future for elevated rail in urban and suburban areas? Cheaper elevated construction opens the door for more rapid transit expansion in

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Shaping Silicon Valley

Roosevelt Island Tram – CC image from The Eyes of New York

A couple of items that came across the internet about technology, innovation, the economy, and urban form:

Tech & the City

Nancy Scola pens a long piece in Next American City about the future of the technology industry in the city. The

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What do we mean by ‘density’?

Greenwich Village – CC image from lumierefl

A few more thoughts on recent discussions of density. Better Cities and Towns offers a summary of Richard Florida’s recent speech (video is corrupted, unfortunately – it gets very choppy 1/3 the way through) at CNU. The twitter summary: quality of place trumps density.

Like previous discussions

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Institutional hurdles to dense infill development

dc cranescape – CC image from yawper

A common theme is emerging among those thinking and writing about cities, from Ryan Avent to Ed Glaeser to Paul Krugman – our land use controls have stunted growth in our developed and productive areas – our cities. So, a simple fix would be to just allow

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On density and design tradeoffs

Bethesda Row – note that you don't even see how tall the buildings are – CC image from faceless b

Kaid Benfield’s excellent blog had a post last week on the need for better urban design and management of the public realm in our new, dense infill development. And while I certainly agree with

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Scale, urban design, and architecture

CC image from MV Jantzen

Last week’s City Paper cover story, a profile of DC architect Eric Colbert by Lydia DePillis, contains several jabs at Colbert’s not-so-daring designs:

You may not remember precisely what they look like, though. They form a background blur in neighborhoods where much of Colbert’s work is clustered, blending together

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