Teaching New Urbanism


Every July for the past few years, architect Andres Duany had taught a three-day workshop at Harvard on New Urbanism, the urban design philosophy he helped mold and promote. A group of architects, developers and other professionals were given the basics of neo-traditional design, while Duany and the New Urban movement got the imprint of Harvard’s esteemed name.

No longer. Before this summer, (1997) Duany fired off a letter saying he could “no longer associate his name with a school that is not fertile ground for urbanism,” said Alex Krieger, an architect and director of the urban designprogram at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

How Urban Should Your City Be?

What “urban” does not mean, to me, is tolerating crime, incivility or trash.

by Alex Marshall
The New York Observer
July – 2001

As the Mayor’s race begins to heat up, perhaps it’s a good time to prompt some discussion about not only crime, schools and jobs, but something both more conceptual and more concrete, such as what kind of city we want to be.

The words “urban” and “suburban” are irritatingly vague, and used as both pejorative and praise. To some, “urban” is still a code word for minorities and crime. To others, it means sophistication and a willingness to embrace rather than avoid, public rather than private, a street-based life. “Suburban” can mean narrow, isolating and sexless, or it can mean families, space and nature.

Those Old Rules Can Come In Handy. Just ask James Bond.

First Published in PORT FOLIO MAGAZINE
SEPT. 23, 1999

Knowing and paying attention to the old rules can come in handy. Just ask James Bond.

When the Russian agent managed to point a gun at Bond’s heart in the novel “From Russia With Love,” Bondmentally kicked himself for not realizing at dinner an hour earlier that the blond gentleman across from him was not who he appeared to be.

The gentleman’s English accent had been perfect. But, while chatting with Bond over a nice filet of sole, the beefy guy had ordered a glass of red wine. Bond had noticed this curious behavior, but only now, with his life in danger, did Bond realize that this had been the sign the proper English gentleman was actually a Russian agent.

Searching For The Heart Of Darkness

JAN. 11, 2001

The fluid in the glass was black and dark, as if someone had emptied out his fountain pen into a glass of water. I eyed it suspiciously, then swirled, sniffed and tasted.

It was wonderful. A rich assortment of tastes cascaded over my tongue, backed up by a healthy dose of tannins. It was like a variation of a good Bordeaux.

I smiled appreciatively at the waitress. I had never heard of the wine she steered me toward: Madiran. I was in a small, French restaurant in Manhattan, Chez Bernard on West Broadway. It had classic French food at reasonable prices — and a wine list worthy of a three-star restaurant in Paris. The waitress had steered me away from the $2,000 bottles of old Bordeauxs, and to this wine I had never heard of, Madiran, for $30.

Romance Novel – To A Man – Reads Like Female Porn

Published: Thursday, March 3, 1994
Section: DAILY BREAK – page B1 Source

My JOURNEY into romance novels began with an article in one of my favorite magazines, Whole Earth Review, the San Francisco quarterly that regularly runs against the mainstream current.In that issue, budding romance novel writer Augusta Wynde defended the chunky paperbacks featuring pectorially well-endowed young men like Fabio on their raised inset covers. These books sell in phenomenal numbers, she pointed out, yet are virtually ignored by the mainstream press and literary world, more so than other types of genre fiction such as mysteries, detective or science fiction.

The Demolition Man

by Alex Marshall
This article first appeared in Metropolis
MAY 1995

Metropolis writer Alex Marshall spoke to Andres Duany about his role in the controversial plan to bulldoze East Ocean View in Norfolk. At the time of the interview, the city had bought few houses and only a small amount of demolition had taken place. Planning officials gave Duany wide latitude in recommencling whether some homes or areas should be saved from demolition. For now, the bulldozers have been idled by a commission that ruled that the housing authority offered a property owner just half of what his property was worth. The authority is appealing, but if the ruling stands, it will drive up the cost of the project to the point that the development would have to proceed in stages, if at all.

When The New Urbanism Meets An Old Neighborhood

by Alex Marshall
This article first appeared in Metropolis
May, 1995

East Ocean View in Norfolk, Virginia, is a neighborhood on death row, awaiting execution by bulldozer. Residents are being forced from their homes to make way for a brand-new village designed by Andres Duany. If this sounds like old-fashioned urban renewal, well, that’s what it is. It employs the same logic: cities can be fixed by plowing down neighborhoods and replacing them with better buildings and wealthier folks.