Wilmington, NC: Active living and running buddies

Ever have trouble going out for a run? Know how much easier that gets when your good friend hits the road with you? Partly because you’re talking, partly because you’re just happy to see each other.

This week in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, doing some rezoning work for a community just across the river, I had the same experience, but without the person. It reminded me of when I first met my friend, Jim, years ago. Back then I thought I couldn’t run, because of the usual aches and pains that come from getting started. Our first run together, he ran backwards because I was running so slowly.

Continue Reading

Next Urbanism Lab 02: Planning trends captivate, but…

In not learning from the past we are destined to repeat it. So, in this lab, I’ll examine some of the trends currently dominating planning and begin examining the quirks and pitfalls that can occur when a solution for one city is transplanted somewhere else.

In my last Next Urbanism Lab post, I detailed how my city of San Diego has been built over time through a layering of national planning and development trends — silver bullets, so to speak — in order to chase economic prosperity. Our new convention center, downtown baseball park, mall, and freeway were squished into our traditional urban fabric in order to save our city from some economic malaise at the time.

Continue Reading