Newburgh, NY, a Case Study in Urban Revitalization.

Newburgh, NY, a Case Study in Urban Revitalization.

It isn’t enough to talk about buildings, or streetscapes, or general urban planning directions to achieve success. One has to understand that it is imperative to provide opportunity and positive attitudes in Newburgh in order to attract ‘new money’ and investment in the community, ideally translating into new residents who can help sustain the economic minimums for individual households and thus result in new sales and property tax income for the city.  Without a change of attitude especially with regards to violent crime including burglary (which undermines a sense of security) people will not feel safe and thus will not risk their own lives to live in Newburgh.  This isn’t to say Newburgh isn’t filled with so many wonderful people, festivals, events and even a symphony.  It’s to say that the urbanism of the CBD is clearly suffering and needs the kind of focus to make the kind of change happen that will help those who feel stuck in what is sometimes referred to the Newburgh slums.  References to ‘slums’ must stop, and those who use the term should be informed to understand how it is doing more harm to families living in those communities than doing good for the sense of ‘coolness’.

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Ugly Buildings, Are Ugly For A Reason

Ugly Buildings, Are Ugly For A Reason

There are nice looking buildings, and unfortunately ugly ones. The ramifications for creating an ugly building means that communities have to live with the results for decades. This simple fact distinguishes Architecture from other professions where a product can be used for a much shorter period of time and then discarded. Because of the financial investment in building, being careful on what you allow to be built is critical to a building’s life and community.
 
Here’s an example of a horrible developer and designer, who was probably a structural engineer or a very unskilled architect. One can just read this residential building and hear the conversation. “Keep it as cheap as possible, but lets add balconies to be a feature that will get people to purchase the units.
 

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[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 22/24

[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 22/24

entranceHandicap Access Attitude: We believe that every space should be accessible by everyone, and that an architectural concept should not be

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[winter] Tips for taking care of snow

[winter] Tips for taking care of snow

Every winter, at least those with a lot of snow, we pull out our shovels and get to it. But there are things you can do to make the snow go away faster, and make the job easier…

It goes without saying that removing snow from sidewalks is imperative to keep people safe from falls and make life easier for those pushing strollers, or for old people to get around.  One winter while shoveling my own sidewalk I looked across a street and saw an elderly woman literally stuck at a crosswalk.  There was no way for her to cross as the snow was just too deep. Upon approaching her with my shovel she quickly apologized saying she had to get to the pharmacy.  So I shoveled a path for her to get to the other sidewalk.  It’s just too bad those who lived on those corner lots didn’t take care of this themselves.

So lets get to the tips:

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[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 20/24

[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 20/24

The Climb:  This proposal embraces the idea that one needs to ‘make the climb in order to accomplish anything in life’ and as such this is an experiential composition.

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[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 19/24

[architecture] Afghan Cultural Centre 19/24

Summer/Winter: The main exterior circular form surrounding the auditorium, called the exterior atrium, has hanging banners during the summer to provide shade which can be removed during the winter months, or changed depending on the venue…

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