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Michael Mehaffy
Urbanist, explorer of pattern languages, wiki, complexity, structuralism, consilience. Practitioner, itinerant prof at 6 grad schools/4 countries/3 disciplines.
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Michael Mehaffy 2h
Replying to @crwolfelaw
Well, not entirely - "gentle densification" is a good strategy, IF it's coupled with geographic diversification. The trouble comes when it's NOT gentle -- when it's "irrational exuberance" for densifying the core with expensive units. Hello Vancouver?
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Michael Mehaffy 2h
Another shallow take that fails to get to the deeper issues. Stop tweeting these ! Find some more thoughtful ones please... ;)
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Michael Mehaffy 2h
Another shallow take that fails to get to the deeper issues. Stop tweeting these ! Find some more thoughtful ones please... ;)
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 15
Alexander was already ill at that point - but his remarkable influence cannot be denied by the informed, including little-known (by architects) but major contributions to the software world, and other design fields, e.g. wiki, Agile, Scrum, and much more.
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 14
Agreed!
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 14
I am for some version of that formulation, but as usual, there are complexities...;)
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 14
Is it time to retire the tired old straw man arguments against Jacobs? Come on guys, read her first at least! "Jacobs’ work illustrates the fact that rejecting rationalism is not equivalent to defending entrenched privilege..." (Callahan and Ikeda, 2014)
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 14
Well, spreading it around has value too - moving some of the concentration to other locations so it can provide benefits to others. The problem is over-concentration in one point - there are too many excluded to be compensated (let alone the politics):
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 14
What Joel Kotkin (and others) got wrong about Jane Jacobs:
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 13
Wow, so wrong. He can't get his head around "beyond ideology" -- or shoving everything into a dualistic economic lens, instead of a polycentric one, much closer to reality. Jacobs was no mindless libertarian - see e.g. and
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 11
p.s. To be fair, there are many built examples of the reforms known as "new urbanism" and it's misleading to single out a few projects to claim all are "creepy" (has the author been there? doubtful). Compared to what -- the 99% that is sprawl? No good effort goes unpunished?
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 11
I think Jacobs had it right - take a polycentric approach, use "chess pieces" and generate more good habitat in more places. But we don't do that -- we do "voodoo urbanism" (because it's profitable):
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 11
I think the problem is not just time but process, and the adaptive evolution of patterns to local needs and contexts - perceived as authentic and beautiful. But the “operating system for growth” mostly prevents that, so designers (modernist or trad) cut corners. Reforms needed!
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 4
Report from the "High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development" and our side event on "Quantifying the Commons": Developing public space indicators for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and specifically Goal 11 and Target 11.7.
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 3
Nice article about my friend Nikos Salingaros and me in Traditional Building magazine. We had a fascinating conference session with Don Ruggles last month in Princeton.
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 1
Replying to @danklyn
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 1
ORIGIN OF WIKIS. Did you know that wiki was invented to share pattern languages? Or that Ward Cunningham, the inventor, conceived of wiki pages as de facto patterns? (Title, iconic image, hyperlinks, summary, discussion, additional links and citations...)
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Michael Mehaffy Aug 25
New post: "The urban dimensions of climate change." In the battle against climate change, urban form will be even more important than we realize. Transportation and buildings are only part of the story, and should not be considered in isolation.
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Michael Mehaffy Aug 25
Replying to @joserafaelUF
Yes, you can find it on many video streaming services and DVD sales outlets. In the US the Amazon link is
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Michael Mehaffy Aug 25
EVENT: "The Battle for the City Continues." A screening of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a film about urban champion Jane Jacobs, followed by panel discussion with long-time Portland neighborhood activists. No admission, donation of $10 appreciated!
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