Urban Land

We survey different aspects of urban and regional sustainability having to do with real estate development, design and construction, environmental regulatory policy, and the creation of a visionary tomorrow, learning the lessons from history’s good, bad, and ugly.

Iannis Xenakis
Sound, Urban Land

Iannis Xenakis and the Notion of a Cosmic Utopia

youtu.be/yztoaNakKok

Iannis Xenakis, the Greek-French experimental composer and protege┬ádesigner for the famous architect Le Corbusier, advanced theories of the vertical “Cosmic” city as the only sustainable way forward. Here, he wrote this essay in 1966, decrying decentralization (read: suburban sprawl) in favor of building up, up, up…5 million inhabitants to be housed in a single megastructure, a hyperbolic paraboloid of more than 3,000 meters high and 50 meters wide.

Roselie Enriquez, affordable housing in san francisco
Urban Land

How Cities Can Build Affordable Housing

youtu.be/SJdWYXIr_qE

Alan Durning lays out how many cities have succeeded in building affordable housing with some lessons from unexpected places. Yet constrained housing markets come about from economics, environment, and geography, and sprawl remains a scourge that affordable cities have allowed. No silver bullet here, but ideas…

Pruitt Igoe, Public Housing
Design, Urban Land

Pruitt Igoe Myth: The Death of 20th Century US City

Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure among architects, politicians and policy makers. A 2012 documentary unveiled the many witting and unwitting villains, including urban poverty, public policy enforced racial segregation, and urban disinvestment in favor of the White Suburban Dream.