Weekly update

22-28th November 2010


Meeting with Space Syntax colleagues regarding company strategy in preparation for visit to London next week.

Call with Steve Coast regarding open source software development.

Meeting with Jim Stockard, Curator of the Loeb Fellowship.


Call with Bridget Horner, Director of Space Syntax South Africa.

Meeting with Harvard GSD design student.

Lunch with Sally Young, Program Coordinator of the Loeb Fellowship

Meeting with Kishore Varanasi of CBT Architects, Boston.

Presentation to Kairos Shen, Chief PlannerĀ and colleagues at the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Meeting with David MacKay regarding speaking at an Urban Land Institute event on urban zoning in January 2011.


Call with Steve Coast.




Thanksgiving rcess.

Much much more with much much less

Inspired by a comment by Rahul Mehrotra, “Much much more with much much less” is the theme of next semester’s Loeb Fellowship Public Seminar series.

The four seminars in the series will take place at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

The working titles for the seminars are:

Resources, Money & Economy
Food, Agriculture & Basic Needs
Process, Participation & Engagement

Dates to follow…

Why it isn’t all about common sense…

There is a view that historic cities have all the answers and we just need to look at them. Or, in any case, it’s just common sense. If professionals had a bit more common sense they would make a better set of decisions.

There are at least three reasons why this can’t be entirely the case. Or, if it is, why our definition of common sense needs careful construction. Continue reading Why it isn’t all about common sense…

Connectedness & continuity

There is a view that the creation of continuously connected places leads to sameness.

Looking at real places suggests otherwise – witness the distinctly different quarters of Paris, New York’s strikingly heterogeneous local centres, or London’s urban villages. So what is it that makes this possible? One seemingly counterintuitive factor, it turns out, is a continuously connected street network. Continue reading Connectedness & continuity

Technology – it’s the new concrete!


Pouring concrete used to be the “macho” expression of urban planning power. Today it is technology. “Macho” has translated into “cool”.

Risk – we jump too quickly through the filter of common sense ie the “What’s all this for?” filter.