“How cars conquered the American city (and how we can win it back)”
Two quotes from the article by Henry Grabar:
John Massengale and I are standing in the middle of 1st Avenue at East 4th Street, in New York’s East Village, and he does not like the feng shui. He points to the thick, white lines in the roadway, directing drivers toward a left turn. “Automobile-scale striping,” he notes. “It’s telling you: ‘This is not a place for you.’”
Part instruction manual, part history, part manifesto, the book argues that it is the street, more than anything, that shapes the city. In traveling to cities around the world and interviewing residents, pedestrians and businesspeople, Dover and Massengale found a remarkable degree of agreement about which streets are nice and which are not. “If there is so much consensus on what makes a good street,” they ask, “then why are we still building so many bad and ugly ones?”
On March 14, 2014, John Massengale and Victor Dover delivered this PowerPoint presentation about Vision Zero to a roundtable organized by the Regional Plan Association.
Victor Dover and co-author John Massengale have been doing a lot of traveling to talk about their recently released book Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns. Recent lectures have taken place in Delray Beach, Florida; The University of Texas at San Antonio; CNU-FL in Sarasota, Florida; Florida International University in Miami, Florida; and the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.
Additional lectures are scheduled in Coral Gables, Florida; Winter Park, Florida; Glendale, Colorado; and Atlanta, Georgia. The Form-Based Codes Institute is also hosting a webinar titled Street Design for Form-Based Codes on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 featuring Victor Dover, John Massengale and Richard A. Hall. Learn more about the webinar and register today.
San Antonio News Express:“UTSA hosting street design experts”—Interview with Ben Olivo
John Massengale and Victor Dover, authors of “Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns,” will talk about the qualities of excellent streets at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at UTSA downtown campus as part of the College of Architecture’s 2014 Spring Lecture Series. Click here for details.
WHEN MY WIFE AND I ARRIVED at our apartment on the Singelgracht a few hours before Victor, I thought we had found an urban paradise. Victor took the cover photo just in front of the building. In the book I wrote, “Solid seventeenth- and eighteenth-century brick houses line both sides of the canal there, most of them in a local Classical vernacular with simple trim and harmonious proportions that relate to the Classical music Amsterdammers love: 1 to 2, 2 to 3, 3 to 4, and so on. The houses are mainly red brick, but some have light-colored brick and some have very dark brick. Most are three bays wide (three windows across), but there are also two-bay houses, and some are four or five bays wide. With the exception of the wonderful shop windows, all the windows are vertical and come from just a few ‘families’ of windows. The window trim and the rest of the trim and moldings are usually, but not always, light stone or wood painted white. All in all, the houses produce a wonderful combination of the order and variety that good urbanism requires.” (page 212)
BTW, I’ve discovered that when you travel with Victor, you get perfect, glorious weather.
The view below is looking south along the Singel canal, towards Huidenstraat and the bridge to the Spui. The Google street view is here.