the urban prospector

Searching for Golden Opportunities in America's Cities

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Breaking the Asylum

There were a great number of horrible things done to cities in the 1950’s and 1960’s that today reverberate like hallucinations. In a rush to force space age modernist solutions onto cities, whole neighborhoods were destroyed. While almost every town has one such area, some places are truly exemplary. Albany, NY, is one such place. While Callie and I were on an anniversary trip in the Catskills, we decided to explore the state capitol of New York.

State Offices

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Newark: Enlarged Parking Crater or Value Creation

Parking TradeoffFor the past few weeks, I have been working with the Planning and Land Use Group (PLUG), which is a group of planners, architects, and activists living in the Ironbound and Newark, in a fight against the continued sprawl of parking in this city. As the 2012 Master Plan notes, there is over 20 acres of parking surrounding Penn Station, which happens to be the best connected transit hub in New Jersey as well as the primary entrance to downtown Newark from transit. Unfortunately this acreage is expanding like a cancer on the city. A new parking lot in the Ironbound was approved in 2012 (though that decision is under appeal) and the Zoning Board was hearing an application to convert an old industrial site into another surface parking lot. Continue reading