Child running home in the destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in the hot summer of 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

When Cities Fall: Urban Histories and Political Memory

Destroyed city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995. Photo by Thom Hoffman.

Our experience of the present is shaped by our understanding of the past. By ignoring the urban narratives of  monuments, structures, city parks, memorials…what messages are we missing for the present?  > Read More

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Save SLO County!

Heading into Paso Robles from the west, 2013

 

Will San Luis Obispo (SLO) County remain predominantly agricultural, or will it sink into the same morass of rural sprawl that took out Orange County? It could go either way, but there’s still hope if we act now. > Read More

Union Iron Works, photo by William Porter, 2004.

Preserving Industry in the Eastern Neighborhoods

Union Iron Works, photo by William Porter, 2004.

 

The Eastern Neighborhoods Plan, adopted in late December 2008, states that “San Francisco is a special place because of the way in which it has always balanced preservation with change.” It is true that despite generations of natural and manmade disasters, demographic shifts, and  radical economic realignment, San Francisco has managed to hold on to its essence as a place that “doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else.” > Read More

Randel Farm Map no. 55, vol. 1, p. 16, showing 101st to 109th Street, from Third Avenue to the East River, July 21, 1820. Used with permission of the City of New York and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

Mash-up at Right Angles

Randel Farm Map no. 55, vol. 1, p. 16, showing 101st to 109th Streets, from Third Avenue to the East River, July 21, 1820. Used with permission of the City of New York and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

 

The 1811 plan mandating an orthogonal street grid helped make Manhattan a paragon of urban form. Today we take rectilinear New York for granted, and love its vitality. An exhibition reveals both prescience and problems in the grid’s rich history.

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Under-utilized parcels of city-owned land in San Francisco, re-imagined by Nicholas de Monchaux as part of his Local Code / Real Estates project, 2009. Image: Courtesy Nicholas de Monchaux

Cities and Spacesuits: An Interview with Nicholas de Monchaux

Under-utilized parcels of city-owned land in San Francisco, re-imagined by Nicholas de Monchaux as part of his Local Code / Real Estates project, 2009. Image: Courtesy Nicholas de Monchaux


Nicholas de Monchaux
is an architect, urbanist, writer and Assistant Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UC Berkeley. His recent book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, unearths the truly fascinating story behind the design of the Apollo spacesuit, which has surprising relevance to architectural and planning discourse, particularly in the Bay Area. > Read More