Top 5 Things the City of Newburgh Should Do Now.

With several hundred vacant buildings in Newburgh, NY owned by the city, the city needs to take drastic action to stop the decay and reverse the momentum immediately.

While the excuses of lost jobs, crime and the effects of urban renewal can be reflected upon, the lack of motivated intelligent and experienced direction is at the heart of the city’s failures. I too hear the voices of ‘oh I hope someone renovates this majestic structure one day’ and while everyone can share this sentiment it just isn’t enough to affect actual change, for if the city does not drastically modify its approach and attitude all those structures which hold so much potential will eventually need to be torn down, leaving more ‘urban renewal’ effects dotted throughout the city and thus further contributing to the decline of the city. The dam has broken and the water is all but gone.  First step, repair and strengthen the dam in a way that is more self-maintaining, in order to prevent decay or a breach in the future… so the water may once again fill in the cavity.

The following are the five most important things the city can do to begin to stop the negative momentum and change people’s perception of the city as one of opportunity.

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[theory] Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

[theory] Helping Cities Grow: What to do.

An important issue for many cities dealing with circumstances initiated by others in the past, like a blighted looking city filled with parking lot scars, etc. From my experience I’ve witnessed many cities do the wrong thing in order to encourage development. The point of this post is, if you do something, it could have a negative impact on your city, so make sure you do the right thing. Read more

[theory] Teetering towards fulfillment or ruin…

[theory] Teetering towards fulfillment or ruin…

I’m in the market to buy a new house and I’m looking all over Brooklyn to find the right combination of things that will protect my investment, yet the neighborhoods around where I live are very mixed, some are great and, expensive, Read more

[architecture] Building Brick Neighborhoods

[architecture] Building Brick Neighborhoods

Based on the previous post, lets look at what defines a neighborhood.  Certainly in most neighborhoods there is an implied center, perhaps a linear street filled with shops, that becomes the focus of people’s daily needs.   Read more

[financial] Go ahead, throw your money away! (Expensive Blunder)

What do I mean by designs that are a waste?  Well, some projects waste time, money and resources.  One can imagine a project that isn’t financially successful, has wasted resources, as the longevity and usefulness of the building will be diminished.  I’ve witnessed where a renovation is completed and in 2 years, after the tenant moves out the space is re-renovated. Materials are wasted too, in this day when there are environmental concerns, what’s the point of designing and building something that gets torn down in a couple of years? Read more

[theory] Crime and Urban Blight

[theory] Crime and Urban Blight

I’m not sure how to approach this topic, because I really don’t have any proof of what I’m about to suggest, but suffice it to say that I believe that if an urban environment, home, or any place embodies a bad vibe, that it will more likely induce criminal acts. Read more

[theory] When to design contextually, when to make a statement.

[theory] When to design contextually, when to make a statement.

Below is an image of Volterra, Italy, one might call a typical Italian hill town.  Why take note?  It represents a unified composition.  When an artist makes a painting or sculpture, Read more

[theory] Giant, 3-D Billboard Planned For Hole at Midtown’s Heart

[theory] Giant, 3-D Billboard Planned For Hole at Midtown’s Heart

New York Times, July 30, 1992 Giant, 3-D Billboard Planned For Hole at Midtown’s Heart

On a vacant lot at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street – yes, there is a vacant lot at one of Manhattan’s busiest cross-roads – an 85-foot-high, three-dimensional, multimedia, walk-through billboard would rise next year, under plans announced yesterday. Read more

[urban design] Is Brooklyn dead? Creating better cities.

[urban design] Is Brooklyn dead? Creating better cities.

Brooklyn, a ‘city’ onto itself. But has it really matured the way one would hope? For every decision that is made in the building of a city, those who inhabit that city can enjoy or endure the results.  Let us take a quick compare and contrast of Brooklyn in relationship to Boston’s South End.

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