March 26, 2007

The Urban Advantage

Urban Advantage (

I continually find myself going back to this site for inspiration. While the City of Saint Louis has progressed leaps-and-bounds from where it was even just 7 years ago when I decided to become a full-time resident, I still dream of the day when every major street corner such as the intersection of
Kingshighway and Chippewa oozes of the true urban spirit like one might see in Chicago: walkable features, wide sidewalks, pedestrian-friendly features, mature trees and street landscaping, bike-friendly features, vertical (rather than horizontal) development.

The site at Urban Advantage ( really gets my blood going. The question I ask over and over when I watch these animated suggestions of creating "urban" spaces is -- why is this considered unique? It makes, to me, so much common sense. Yet day after day, we see buildings being razed and tracts of land reproportioned for wide, sprawling 1-story horizontal strip-mall type develoepments. Is it just so outlandishly more expensive to build UP than build ACROSS? Not to mention the sea of lovely asphault that is created in a horizontal development.

I am not really as "brick-hugging" as I think at times I might consider myself. I am totally of the mindset that development is better than decay. But development for the sake of a quick dollar and no forthought into the future? That's not better than decay in my opinion. We live in such a disposable world. So much of what I often see appears "disposable". One 'dead' strip mall next to the brand new one (example: the north and south side of Chippewa just east of Kingshighway). Why do something "fast and dirty" when, with a little forethought, you could create something that could be a legacy.


September 12, 2006

Welcome to CityBoy's weblog...

Well, the time has come... I've avoided writing down my thoughts long enough. Too often I find myself sharing a (somewhat) profound thought with a friend over some curry at King and I, or telling a former client about the happenings in or around their property -- and then I realized, why not share it with more people!

Thus, PRESTO! It is born. While I know my musings won't be nearly as educated or profound as those of other local urbanites who I highly respect (, for example), nonetheless, perhaps I will find a small following who will banter with me and share info or correct me when I'm in the wrong!

Looking forward to this new medium to connect with those out there in the Saint Louis City community!