Tag Archives: Urban

Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 5

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Rail Transit

41. Density makes rail transit viable, not the other way around.

42.  If you want rail transit tomorrow, then have the courage to densify today.

43. Rail transit that does not serve large populations most in need on a day-to-day basis is a financial boondoggle. Let the buyer beware.

On Suburban Sprawl

44. Suburban sprawl became a cancerous infection on the American landscape after the Euclid decision in 1926. It is causality, not coincidence.

45. Rome was not built in a day. Suburban sprawl can be designed in about 30 minutes.

46. When it comes to suburban sprawl, it is a non sequitur to say the customer is always right.

47. False pretenses sell suburban sprawl in situations that offer little or no choice. It is a mirage.

On Professionals

48. “The first thing we do (is) kill all the lawyers.” However, half will do.

49. Architects and planners are notorious for making your bed but never lying in it.

On Money

50. You get what you pay for… as long as what you pay for is what you are really getting.

The Issue 6 cometh soon!

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Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 4

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Design

31. Turning movements are about going in circles. Humans are about moving forward in a straight line.

32. The best planning has everything to do with design and nothing to do with bureaucracy or politics.

33. Signage supplements good design and planning. It can never replace it.

34. Front porches have nothing to do with the house and everything to do with the street.

35. All that floats melts in the air.

On Institutions

36. There is a reason why ‘institution’ is a synonym for asylum.

37. Never institute mediocrity in pursuit of consensus. Always pursue excellence in defiance of institutions.

38. Objective science attracts grants. Grants attract subjective science. Always be wary of the difference.

39. Revolution quickens when evolution slackens.

On Developers

40. Profiteering on land value is the mashed potatoes for the developer and cost savings is only the gravy. Either way, mashed potatoes still taste great.

The Issue 5 cometh soon!

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Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 3

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On the Regular Grid

21. Ancient Greeks and Romans built civilization on the regular grid. It is arrogant to think we know better.

22. Underestimating the instrumental power of the regular grid is a mistake and often leads to its abuse.

23. Regular grids are about right angles. Deformed grids are about open angles. Sprawl is where angles go to die.

24. Regular grids are relentless in their rightness… think about it.

25. Thomas Jefferson gave us the American regular grid. A committee of roadway engineers gave us suburban sprawl. Always walk with giants, never ride in the clown car.

On Real Estate Agents

26. Real estate agents are salesmen. They are natural-born obfuscators. Never believe a word they say.

27. Standing on your head while looking in a mirror is usually the best way to detect the realtor’s truth.

28. Real estate agents sell space, not walls.

On Urban Planning

29. If urban planning isn’t about good design, then it’s about nothing and worth as much.

30. “Whatever is best for me” is not a valid philosophy for urban planning… or living.

The Issue 4 cometh soon!

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Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 2

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Cities

11. Cities are vibrant because its residents are alive. Cemeteries are tranquil because its residents are dead. Do not ever confuse the two.

12. People are alive, cars are not. Always build your cities for the living and never for those things that are not.

13. Nothing about cities is ideal, that is what makes them so fascinating.

On Planners

14. A planner who leads never worries about being loved. A planner who worries about being loved never leads.

15. 19th century land speculators were a lot smarter than you think and 20th century urban planners were lot dumber than they pretend.

16. Life is fast enough without urban planners trying to speed things up.

On NIMBYism

17. NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) is polite terminology for “I’ve got mine, Jack, so screw you.”

18. Environmentalism is often the wolf of NIMBYism masquerading in sheep’s clothing.

19. Highly praise altruistic motives but have the courage to condemn selfish ones for what they really are.

On Urban Space
20. Space flows, never congests.

The Issue 3 cometh soon!

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Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 1

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Streets
1. Always ask yourself, what would the Romans do?

2. Curved roads may be pretty but straight roads are divine.

3. Curved roads are only about themselves, straight roads are about each other.

On Right and Wrong in Planning
4. The right thing to do is always right and nothing to do with what your client, employer, or the public wants.

5. Right is objective, want is subjective, and it is always a mistake to confuse the two.

6. Right and wrong really is black and white. When you see gray, others see green. Gray is the color of greed.

On the Urban Pattern
7. Compact block sizes are about community. Ample block sizes are about profit.

8. Journeys should be short and walkable because they can and not because there is nowhere to go.

9. Street inter-connectivity is about the function of ‘us’. Cul-de-sacs are about the dysfunction of ‘me’.

On Urban Space
10. Space is a living thing, not merely the absence of things.

The Issue 2 cometh soon!

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