The Single Best Medicine for Improving Your Health:

Sedentary lifestyles are killing Americans. Many of us sit at a computer all day, drive a car to work, and spend our evenings sitting in front of a TV or computer. This lack of activity is built into the very framework of our cities, when we should be designing our communities around activity and physical[…]

How a library can transform Main Street

Here’s a great article from today’s Salt Lake Tribune on the effect moving to Magna’s Historic Main Street has had on the Magna Branch of the Salt Lake County Library.   VODA staff worked on the conceptual landscape and site planning for the library a few years ago. More info on that project here. Magna’s Main[…]

Great Place Wednesday: The Highline; New York City, NY

I’ve had several conversations in the last few weeks about the Highline Park in New York City. This is truly one-of-a-kind park was built on an abandonded, raised rail line running into lower Manhattan from the 1930′s. Abandoned in the 1960′s, the Highline lay dormant for more than 40 years, until the community organized “Friends[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Inner Harbor; Baltimore, MD

America’s been extraordinarily adept at completely ignoring its waterfronts. Most cities in America with a waterfront have turned that waterfront into an entirely industrial wasteland, with little public use, and even less quality spaces.  New York City has only recently discovered its waterfront, and has invested millions in developing more public space along the Hudson[…]

Great Place Wednesday: Old Town San Diego, CA

This summer I spent a week in the San Diego area, my first visit there in many years. We spent an afternoon exploring San Diego’s Old Town, which is truly a great place: San Diego’s Old Town is unique in that it was basically abandoned for a more strategic site for the city, a few[…]

City Comforts: Prohibit Parking Lots in Front of the Building

Based on David Sucher’s, City Comforts, we continue our series on fundamental urban design elements. Sucher selects “Three Rules of Urban Design” as the central tenets of the book, “to preserve and create walkable commercial areas.” 1. Build to the Sidewalk 2. Make the Building Front Permeable 3. Prohibit Parking Lots in Front of the[…]

City Comforts: Make the Building Front Permeable

Based on David Sucher’s, City Comforts, we continue our series on fundamental urban design elements. Sucher selects “Three Rules of Urban Design” as the central tenets of the book, “to preserve and create walkable commercial areas.” 1. Build to the Sidewalk 2. Make the Building Front Permeable 3. Prohibit Parking Lots in Front of the[…]