Jul 22, 2005

Do Urbanism.

A lot of my professional work is involved with a trend called "New Urbanism". New Urbanism is a land-use, planning movement meant to "reintroduce" an America that we wish existed before automobiles took over the world. It's all about anti-suburban sprawl, but new urbanism tends to take place in the suburbs. It's sort of an inner-city for young anglos, a Disneyland version of gritty urban big cities, but without the grit. It's a huge improvment over strip malls, but I prefer Old Urbanism (urban revitalization).

The photos to the left are of a new grocery store/yuppie entertainment establishment in downtown Dallas called Urban Market. Grocery store, bar, coffee shop, quesadilla bar, and bankette; the building is a mixed-use revitallization of the old Dallas Interurban Terminal (Dallas' old electric trolley-transit system from the early to mid twentieth century), which has been home to pigeons and the homeless for the last decade, and prior to that was the headquarters of Continental Trailways before it went belly up. The upper floors are residences and offices, with retail on the ground floor. And unlike suburban new-urbanism, several dozen homeless people can be found just a few yards away at the Main Branch of the Dallas Public Library.

I wish 'em all luck (the developers, proprietors and the homeless). Because UrbanMarket offer free Wi-Fi access, I'll make this a refuge from my network-restricted office. I'm posting this from the bar, enjoying a Hofbrau lager (as contract brewed by the Bavarian State-run Weihenstephaner Brewery, the world's oldest).

Prosit, ya'll!

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