Housing and Community Development

Mariposa 1038 (Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects)

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The AIA Housing and Community Development Knowledge Community (HCD) tracks housing issues and develops relationships with industry stakeholders to encourage and promote safe, attractive, accessible, and affordable housing for all Americans.

Prospects for the American City 2021

  • 1.  Prospects for the American City 2021

    Posted 05-28-2020 20:36

     

    "The silver thread is broken, the golden bowl is shattered, the amphora of the fountain breaks, the bucket falls into the well" (Ecclesiastes 12:6)

    Are cities now on the Fritz, right after the age of cities had been declared? Have they "fallen into the well", is "the golden bowl shattered" for good?

    Widely held global truths have been turned upside down at warp speed, could the prediction that the global citizen will be urban turn out wrong as well?  New York, a flagship of urban renaissance and a trendsetter, was taken down in a brutal strike. Silenced just like that. Since then a lot of grousing about cities has begun in the media and professional world. This article will put some of those doomsday reports into perspective.
    Deserted Times Square (Photo CNN/AP)

    The Atlantic diagnosed "A Make or Break Moment for Cities" and predicted nothing less than "a reversal of the urban renaissance":
    The possible result is nothing less than the reversal of the "urban renaissance" that began roughly a generation ago. Renaissance is a freighted term, to be sure, and it elides as much as it describes, but some aspects of it are unarguable. After nearly four decades of capital flight, investment returned to neighborhoods that had been dismissed as unsalvageable. And so did people. In the 2000 census, Chicago posted its first population growth in 50 years; in 2010, Philadelphia did the same. Most spectacularly, New York City, which lost more than 800,000 residents during the 1970s, has welcomed an astonishing 1.4 million people since.
    This Friday Tom Murphy, Fellow at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) assured a national audience that "cities will succeed, they will always be the centers of civilization". Indeed, the end of cities has often...

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    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
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