In the Amazon Jungle or a California Subdivision, Sometimes Less Infrastructure Is More

Using Localized “Min-Frastructure” Prevents Costly Runaway Urban Sprawl

The need for more infrastructure is one of the few areas of genuine bipartisan consensus in the United States. But my experiences working in two rapidly urbanizing regions outside this country have led me to wonder whether there may already be too much of it.

Infrastructure is a double-edged sword. For every case in which it is desperately needed, there is another case in which it enables the rapid proliferation of urban expansion and its domino effect of deleterious land use practices.

One project in Ecuador, with which I’ve been involved over …

The Dome Is Where the Heart Is

A Hallmark of Middle Eastern Architecture Helps Muslims Orient Themselves Toward Mecca, and One Another

The green dome of the Omar ibn Al-Khattab mosque in Los Angeles interrupts the low skyline with a quiet gravitas. The mosque has been here since 1982, next door to …

The Surprisingly Modest Start to McMansion Sprawl

Builders Like the Campanelli Brothers Helped Fuel Midcentury Suburban Desire, from Massachusetts to Moscow

After V-J Day—August 14, 1945—millions of World War II veterans came home and began to look for a place to live. New highways, cars, and government-sponsored mortgages encouraged them to …

How an Abandoned Bus Station Became a City’s Creative Hub

Hailed as a Leader in Tijuana's “Rebirth,” the Terminal-Turned-Collaborative-Space Quickly Grew Into a Victim of Its Own Success

Standing under the multi-colored glass ceiling in the former Mexicoach bus terminal, Tijuana native Miguel Buenrostro asked a small group of visitors, “What does it feel like to destroy something …

Why Does Los Angeles Keep Rewriting Its Own Script?

Finding What's Worth Preserving in a City Known for Constant Change and Flux

There’s a classic scene in the 1991 comedy L.A. Story, where “wacky weekend weatherman” Harris Telemacher, played by Steve Martin, is giving a tour around the city of Los Angeles. …