WEEKEND READING: April 28-May 4, 2007

First things first: Were she still alive, today would be Jane Jacobs' 91st birthday. Unfortunately, and I say this with no sap or cheese involved, the world lost one of its greatest urban thinkers this past April. Oh Jane, you are missed.

Moving on to lighter things...well actually, that was a small lie. This week saw two stories that suggested that maybe Floridian developers are sort of missing the point about walkable, sustainable neighborhoods. 800,000-acre developments and medieval farming communities...ooooh, progressive. Forgive me if I wear my disgust on my sleeve here...

CEOs for Cities had their national conferrence this week in San Jose, California. This led to more than a few blog posts, my favorite of which feature Chicago Architecture Foundation prez Lynn Osmond talking about the Bilbao-esque effect that Millennium Park has had on the Windy City. The experiential playground is certainly a type of park that I would love to see replicated in other cities...with new and equally innovative projects, of course. Though artists will undoubtedly have trouble topping the Bean.

A well-worded and humorous post over at a blog called 13th Floor From Governing that served as partial inspiration for yesterday's Where post. Silly yuppies...grit is for skids. Skid rows, that is.

Sorry. That was a pun. It won't happen again.

Debate over the destruction of Marcel Breuer's Cleveland Ameritrust Tower (covered in the very first non-introductory post of this blog) rages on.

Meanwhile, Urban Paradoxes has shaken its path, so to speak. This already great blog, in plainer terms, has shifted its focus and will now be "[documenting] (in word and picture) the urban life, both the price that urban living extracts and the benefits it provides through as many eyes as possible; [seeking] to understand the paradoxes of urban life without offering condescending solutions or empty accolades." Rock on.

And finally, this little nugget of terror out of El Paso, Texas, that includes one of the most spectacularly awful quotes I've ever read from a public official about public spaces: "It would be great for El Pasoans to go to a Starbucks downtown."

So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly. And then, the very ugly. Happy Friday, everyone.

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