Tag Archives: aesthetics

The overuse of castle-centric Medieval design

If there is one aspect of classic architecture that does not appear to transfer well into many modern land use applications, it’s the Medieval castle. All too often, at least here in the United States, castle-oriented architecture is the only … Continue reading

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Designer dumpsters of Traverse City

It’s not often you see dumpsters that once could call “artistic,” but here in Traverse City, there is a series of painted ones dotting the downtown alleys between Front and State Streets. These designer dumpsters were painted by elementary school … Continue reading

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Polishing our window to the world

Detroit Metropolitan Airport is very impressive to anyone who arrives there by aircraft. Both the McNamara Terminal and the North Terminal are bright, shiny, modern, busy, welcoming, and clean.  The same cannot be said for those arriving by car or … Continue reading

Posted in air travel, airport planning, airports, aviation, Cars, cities, commerce, economic development, geography, infrastructure, land use, logistics, Passenger rail, planning, rail, Railroads, spatial design, sustainability, tourism, traffic, transportation, Travel, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Utility infrastructure does not have to be ugly

This electrical substation in suburban Chicago (Elk Grove Village) is an excellent example of how, with a little effort, utility infrastructure can be designed to be aesthetically pleasing and blend well with its surroundings. Well done!  

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Don’t face your butt to the street

One frustrating nuance of land use planning is when a business wishes to situate their new structure in a manner that detracts from the adjacent street’s aesthetics by facing the primary entrance away from the street.  This most often tends to occur … Continue reading

Posted in Active transportation, adaptive reuse, architecture, art, cities, civics, consumerism, culture, density, economic development, environment, geography, historic preservation, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, revitalization, spatial design, sustainability, urban planning, walking, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The flaws in prototypical design

In the urban planner’s never-ending quest to avoid bland sameness and looking like Anywhere, USA, one of our arch enemies is “the prototype design.” These are often touted by chain organizations like restaurants and retail stores as the only option available, … Continue reading

Posted in advertising, architecture, cities, civics, Communications, consumerism, economic development, economics, government, history, land use, placemaking, planning, pollution, product design, psychology, revitalization, spatial design, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments