Walking the Walk

Urban design from the front lines

Kevin Klinkenberg

Using urban design to make our lives more enjoyable and create wealth

This site is for all those interested in the making of cities and towns, and especially the lives of the humans that inhabit them. Kevin Klinkenberg is an architect and urban designer who's practiced from coast-to-coast. 

Rebuilding in Haiti

It shouldn't be any surprise that many very thoughtful people are already working on ideas for how to rebuild amidst the destruction in Haiti. In fact, it's an urgent need, as so many people are homeless. This video documents one of what I think is the more interesting approaches being proposed - by Andres Duany of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. There's obviously much I like about the approach he is suggesting, not the least of which is the careful use of design to solve social, urban design and architectural problems.  Too many people approach situations such as these and don't consider how design can solve many of the pre-existing issues, or certainly how it's critical to look at urban design in addition to simply building design.

A few random thoughts as I watched the video:

- "high-tech" materials such as this always make me a bit nervous, since they've rarely been applied in such a large quantity. I'm interested to see the results on the ground, but also wonder about the opportunity for more traditional building materials.

-I love the "gridded" plan that he proposes for the settlement. It shows again (pet issue of mine) how a seemingly simplistic approach to urban design can in fact have many excellent nuances for daily life

-The scale of this particular problem is staggering. I hope that casual observers can get a feel for how this effort is still just a very small first step. So much needs to be done.

Enjoy the video-