Tag Archives | chicago

Proving a Sense of Place

It is fair to say defining a “sense of place” is a tricky proposition at best. Wikipedia’s definition is a good starting point, but remains incomplete. I’ve been struggling for almost two decades to define it, but it still eludes me. I just know it when I see it. Somewhat similar is this year’s presidential […]

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Make Boulevards Great Again

With so much attention paid to buildings and streets and how they relate to each other, we must remember the boulevard is a very important piece of public infrastructure, requiring careful consideration and planning. I’ve observed some very good examples of boulevards that are appropriate for their urban context, and others that need some work. […]

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The Lived-In City

At dinner last night at Shaw’s Crab House in Chicago, my wife and I were trying to find the word to describe why we liked the place so well. Miller’s Pub in Chicago and Murray’s Steakhouse in our own Minneapolis are similar in this regard. Shaw’s is old without being aged, clean without being immaculate, […]

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Chart of the Day: Perceived Disorder vs Ethnicity

A while back, while reading Daniel Hertz’s recent article about Chicago in City Observatory, I came across the work of Robert Sampson, an urban social psychologist at Harvard. The work is over a decade old, but I still find it compelling and relevant. Sampson’s basic thesis is that perceptions of disorder, i.e. a chaotic or blighted neighborhood, […]

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Map Monday: Chicago with Minneapolis’ New Parking Requirements

Via Yonah Freemark (via Councilmember Lisa Bender’s Facebook page), here’s a map of what Chicago’s minimum parking requirements would look like if they adopted the recently proposed “Minneapolis minimums” along transit lines. As Freemark explains, It is important to note that a zoning change eliminating parking requirements is not the same as a parking maximum, which is a […]

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Map Monday: Working vs. Creative Class Chicago

This is from a study mentioned in Business Insider about the disappearance of working-class neighborhoods in US cities. Here’s the description… American cities today experience distinct class divisions. The “creative class” (tech, law, arts, healthcare, professional jobs) occupies the most economically functional and desirable locations, many of which used to be working-class neighborhoods. The “service […]

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