In Philly, New Urbanism and Me

I went to the New Urbanism conference last weekend in Philly, which was rapprochement of sorts. For years I felt I had almost been actively urged not to come to these annual events, whereas this time I was invited as a speaker on one of the panels. I enjoyed being there. Despite all my criticisms of the movement, I felt mostly at home there, and ran into all sorts of people I knew.

I was on a panel with Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer on managing the media. Inga, the architecture critic for the Inky, follows a long tradition within newspapers of writers migrating to specialties they at first seem to have no particular background for. Before architecture critic, Inga was a foreign correspondent and covered two quite dangerous wars in Chechnya and Bosnia. I suspect her experience in such areas grounds her in covering subjects like contemporary architecture that are high in passion but short in actual danger, except to people’s egos.