Skyline Stories: Neo-Suburbs by Blotting the Rust Belt, Last of New York’s Meatpackers by Whitney Museum

Are there any urban planning cures for de-urbanizing cities?

Homeowners can snap up adjacent vacant lots, creating block-lots, or blots. / Image via Atlantic Cities.

Perhaps the best one for “smart shrinkage” is “blotting” — when “homeowners in failing neighborhoods are snapping up adjacent vacant lots for their own use, creating block-lots, or blots.” Interboro, a Brooklyn-based urban planning and design firm, says it’s “one-part redevelopment and two parts de-urbanization, remaking the city as more green and less dense,” a neo-suburb or “new suburbanism.” (Atlantic Cities)

These cities could also be resurrected if states ended suburban sprawl, and encouraged renovating existing houses — which created 50 percent more jobs than demolition and new construction. (Atlantic Cities)

Cities could also attract the young, creative class by making them more pedestrian friendly, especially by taking away space from cars. (New York Times)

Improving mass transit would also attract residents. One cheap and quick fix for buses would be to let them use highway shoulders like in Chicago. (Atlantic Cities) And skyscrapers can become more human, watch examples in the new open-source documentary film “One Millionth Tower” about humanizing skyscrapers.
(Atlantic Cities)

Weichsel Beef plant, one of the last meatpackers in the rapidly-gentrifying Meatpacking District. / Image via Vanishing New York.

Lots of New York news — there was the annual Historic House Tour in Queens (Queens Historical Society) and the Brooklyn Navy Yard is now open to visitors! (International Business Times)

In the rapidly-gentrifying Meatpacking District, there’s a cool video of the Whitney’s construction of its new building by the High Line (High Line Blog), near Weichsel Beef, one of the last of the meatpackers. (Vanishing New York)

Finally, endless city mapping possibilities via Bostonography: autumn colors of trees, baseball radio coverage… (Atlantic Cities)

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