Delirious New York: A reaction, not a review

by Sandy Ikeda I started reading Rem Koolhaas's insightful but seemingly endless Delirious New York a couple of years ago and just finished it this morning. Why so long? Well, it's partly because I don't read so fast, but mostly because it's maddeningly obscure, both its structure and prose. Although it has a lot of … Continue reading Delirious New York: A reaction, not a review

Two interesting models of urban redevelopment

by Sandy Ikeda From the New York Times, “An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It”: Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods. The population would be condensed into a few viable areas. So would stores … Continue reading Two interesting models of urban redevelopment

The mirage of the efficient city

by Sandy Ikeda I'm honored to be contributing a short essay to a Festschrift for Jane Jacobs.  Recently, the editor asked me to write an abstract.  The following is the result, which I would like to share with you: A city is not a man-made thing.  Rather, it emerges from the actions of its inhabitants, … Continue reading The mirage of the efficient city

Infrastructure: How the seen crowds out the unseen

by Sandy Ikeda So far I’ve come across no discussion of the consequences that the massive infrastructure spending touted in Stimulus Package I (there will of course be others) will have on what Nathan Glazer called “the fine structure of society” in the local communities it will impact. A new freeway, for example, might make … Continue reading Infrastructure: How the seen crowds out the unseen

New York, the unfinished city

by Sandy Ikeda A friend from France, who is both an artist and an economist, on a visit to New York last year said she loves this place so much because every time she comes here she always finds it new and interesting. Well, couldn’t you say that about any great city? Apparently not. Thomas … Continue reading New York, the unfinished city

Ken-Ichi Sasaki on “Urban Tactility”

by Sandy Ikeda One of the most striking things about the Tokyo skyline, at least for me, is how striking it isn't. Viewed from afar — e.g., from its very-expensive-to-use elevated expressways (Narita Airport is too far from the city center to afford a decent panorama from the air) — the city, with few exceptions … Continue reading Ken-Ichi Sasaki on “Urban Tactility”

No Palazzo Chupi in Bedford Falls

by Sandy Ikeda (Photo by Erik J. Sommer) This is artist and film-maker Julian Schnabel's fantastical condo, "Palazzo Chupi," a multi-story, candy-colored “palace” planted onto an old garage in the West Village in Manhattan. More on this in a moment. But first I’d like to talk about the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. You … Continue reading No Palazzo Chupi in Bedford Falls