Healthy, or Unhealthy, by Design

A few months ago, we talked about how a great city can be like a great running buddy, calling us to venture outdoors into more active, satisfying lifestyles. The photo-essay accompanying that conversation was on the urbanity of Wilmington, North Carolina. Last week, we were in another North Carolina town, Fuquay-Varina, working to create just those sorts of tightly-gridded, walkable streets connecting convivial, complete neighborhoods. Then perhaps the temptation to walk, bike, and run can overcome the lethargy of our modern lifestyle.

Continue Reading

Solid Buildings Last: A tale of public housing, reborn

Earlier this month, as Hazel mentioned in her city-as-running-buddy post last week, our travels took us to Wilmington, North Carolina, where we were doing some long-term master planning for a neighboring town. Part of that job involved a tour around the area, scoping out different models and precedents, and that’s when we stumbled into South Front, the subject for today’s post.

Continue Reading

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