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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 Nov 10
Resisting the privatization of the public realm in Stockholm: "The problem is the ground ceded to Apple and corporations like it by the state, which... is relinquishing its role as place-maker and ensurer of democratic access to public space."
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Michael Mehaffy Nov 8
That little house they show is one I did in 1982 after developing the construction system with Chris Alexander - using recycled materials and little masonry bags with mortar and insulating waste (wood chips etc). Very durable, passive solar, native landscaping, cool roof, etc
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 27
Great discussion and feedback about this project -- hoping we will have another big group of collaborators now! Paper copy of a new PL launching digital repository. This and other projects will help answer the question, "what is the future of pattern languages?" More to come...
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 21
Yes, they are trying to manage that! A common problem in many attractive old-world cities, of course.
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 19
REMINDER: Free screening of the film "Citizen Jane: Battle for the City," TONIGHT (Friday 19th) 7-10 PM, Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett St., Portland. Panel discussion to follow. Sign up for reservations here: Please forward!
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 16
Replying to @maccoinnich
Citation that discusses Jacobs' ideas, e.g. p. 243: "...ardent competition for space in this locality develops. It is taken up in what amounts to the economic equivalent of a fad... Since so many want to get in, those who get in or stay in will be self-sorted by the expense."
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 16
Replying to @maccoinnich
P208: "What are proper densities for city dwellings? The answer to this is something like the answer Lincoln gave to the question,"How long should a man's legs be?" Long enough to reach the ground, Lincoln said. Just so, proper city dwelling densities are a matter of performance"
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 16
Replying to @maccoinnich
p.s. Jacobs later embraced a lower density in her Toronto neighborhood, very close to NW Portland. RE "over-building in the cores," it's relative -- i.e. to the "elephant in the room," the suburbs, where 80% live (and therefore most challenges really are).
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 16
Replying to @maccoinnich
See D&L Ch. 13, The self-destruction of diversity. Also p. 208, “Proper city dwelling densities are a matter of performance… Densities are too low, or too high, when they frustrate city diversity instead of abetting it.” She was defending higher densities, not mandating them.
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 15
What does Jane Jacobs still offer to Portland, OR for its current challenges? A new film, to be shown at a free screening and panel discussion in Portland on Friday, October 19th, will explore the question and its answers. (Hint: quite a lot!)
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 15
Correction: 7-10 PM. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion.
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 15
THIS FRIDAY: The acclaimed documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the city continues (in Portland!) Free movie and panel discussion. Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center, 1819 NW Everett, 7-9 PM. Free sign-up:
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 10
Replying to @tigranhaas
Tall buildings are about the worst thing there is for public space. Darkness, wind effects, violations of human scale. Vertical gated communities, an inherently expensive housing type. They aren't necessary for density (see below). Come back from the dark side, !
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 10
Replying to @tigranhaas
Research shows benefits of density are not linear and taper off as negative impacts set in - especially from tall buildings. Post-urban madness is all. Time for a "new" urbanism by any other name. Arise!
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 10
Replying to @crwolfelaw
Yes, and jobs from construction are very short-term and not a renewable contribution to the local economy. As far as jobs from the businesses that are supposed to relocate there, to me that's "field of dreams" thinking... plan it and they will come?
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 10
Very good things happening in Porto, PT. From top left: electric bus, cable car and light rail, mayor shows me a beautiful new park, and an active bike culture. Great public spaces, great ways to get around! Not shown: lots of affordable housing, innovative markets, etc etc!
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 9
“Big & bold: High rise transforms Europe’s skylines.” Who is this benefitting? Not affordable housing, sustainability, equity – certainly not beauty. It’s benefitting some architects and financial interests, leaving the cities as a whole much degraded. A professional disgrace :(
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Michael Mehaffy Oct 9
On a road show to discuss implementation of walkable streets and public spaces, this time in Novosibirsk, RU. Presenting Key Messages from the Future of Places on “public spaces as the essential connective network on which healthy cities and human settlements grow and prosper.”
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 24
Stockholm commute, through Gamla Stan, September 24. Note the modal split on a major arterial. Portland, you have a ways to go!
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Michael Mehaffy Sep 24
Meeting with UN-Habitat and city officials et al. at the "Expert Group Meeting" on city-wide public space development strategies.
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