Durable Growth

Cutting edge may be cool, but not the best use of resources

In my last post, I wrote about how the High Line project in New York City is affecting the conversation about parks in North Bay cities. Some citizens suggest that North Bay cities should be capable of High Line-type projects. However, the suggestion ignores the uniqueness of both the High Line setting and the deep […]

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Not being seduced by the precedent of the High Line

The High Line in New York City

Perhaps because I wasn’t yet writing this blog so wasn’t yet attuned to urbanist news, or perhaps because I simply wasn’t paying attention, New York City’s High Line sneaked up on me, both figuratively and literally.

It was a sunny Saturday morning in the summer of 2010. […]

Durable Growth

Casting shadows on urbanism

Park in Petaluma

Two posts ago, I introduced an argument put forth by renowned baseball analyst Bill James, who also comments with acuity and insight on any other subject that interests him. In his non-baseball role, he contended in his book “Solid Fool’s Gold” that if infinite value is assigned to any single element […]

Durable Growth

Urbanism and senior living: Shedding the extra bedrooms

Typical suburban development

In recent weeks, I’ve been writing about the intersection of urbanism and senior living. Thus far, I’ve largely focused on the forms that senior living can take in urban settings and the steps needed to encourage downtown senior options.

But I’ve also written that many seniors, even if they find walkable […]

Durable Growth

Summing up on neighborhood parks – Part 3

St. James Park in London

After cogitating on neighborhood parks for weeks, I have a concept to propose, a concept that may surprise many. And that’s fine. Many ideas, some of which turn out to be far-sighted, elicit that initial response.

I’ve recently written several posts about parks, particularly the disappointingly low usage of […]

Durable Growth

Summing up on neighborhood parks – Part 2

Forsyth Park in Savannah

In my previous post, I began responding to questions and comments made about earlier posts on park usage. I’ll finish up with a few more responses before moving onto musings about alternative ideas for neighborhood parks in my next post.

To reiterate one point, parks matter to urbanists because walkability […]

Durable Growth

Summing up on neighborhood parks – Part 1

Typical neighborhood park

In recent posts, I’ve written about public parks in Petaluma. As an urbanist, I care that parks are vital places, adding to the life of a neighborhood and a community.

To summarize the discussion thus far, I periodically observe five specific parks in my role on the Petaluma Recreation, Music, and […]

Durable Growth

Are we fooling ourselves about parks?

Eagle Park

I’ve previously written that one of the fuels of drivable suburbia is self-myths, stories about ourselves that we’d like to believe to be true, but aren’t.

Although it’s declining as a demographic segment, let me use the nuclear family as an example. Mom fantasizes about serving drinks in a formal living room […]

Durable Growth

One more lap around the park(s)

Basketball at Leghorn Park

In a recent post, I recounted a tour of five public parks. They were the parks assigned to me in my role as a member of the Petaluma Recreation, Park, and Music Commission. My task was to do occasional oversight, looking for condition and maintenance issues.

I was disappointed to […]

Durable Growth

Thoughtful balancing better than rigid rules

Building in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York

My last three posts might have projected a curmudgeonly air. I didn’t feel curmudgeonly when writing them. But when I read back over them, I realize that I may have come across as grumpy by challenging the civic value of some parks, by suggesting that the environmental […]