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Welcome - my name is Kevin Klinkenberg, and this site "The Messy City" is my blog and company website. I started blogging on urban planning and design issues in 2007, and began working in the field in 1993. Please feel free to connect with me on any of the social media sites listed here. Thanks for reading.

Quote of the week

Architect Fenno Hoffman of Boulder, explaining what's happened to our cities and towns:

Bill, try this analogy: for many years you ran several high end restaurants in Philadelphia. You were allowed to design your dining rooms and your menus more or less as you saw fit, in order to deliver a superior dining experience - which you did. Now imagine if the health department (your primary regulatory agency) came in and changed all the rules, and only allowed you to serve boiled hot dogs. No buns. No ketchup. No mustard. No sausages. Just plain boiled hot dogs. You would, I think, be a tortured soul, because you would be horribly handicapped, and your customers miserable - until they got used to hot dogs, I suppose. After a generation or two, nobody would remember good cooking. They'd be accustomed to eating hot dogs. In my field, delivering a high quality urban experience, under the rules and regulations that I must operate under, is damn near impossible. These kinds of places, really these kinds of experiences, crossing intersections like this, are the urban design equivalent of being force fed hot dogs. I take these photographs, and post them, as part of my work to change these rules and reawaken our taste for great urban cooking. The critiques are just one part of change, but they are a necessary first step, since most good cooking is still illegal in most of the country. It may be hard to believe that's true, just as it would be hard to imagine only being permitted to serve hot dogs in a high end restaurant, but that's where we are today.

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