The Battle for the Heart of [Downtown] Greensboro

Looking at a map of downtown Greensboro, it becomes apparent that something big is coming. The entire eastern side of the downtown is undergoing a major shift, and much of it is entrenched in public dissent tied to development choices being made by the City and local developers. This is apparent in various current projects in Greensboro, from the Tanger Performing Arts Center, controversy around … Continue reading The Battle for the Heart of [Downtown] Greensboro

Reviving Wasted Pavement

How should we use public space in downtown cores? What is the social role of parks? What form can community action take? Angles sat down with environmental studies and city planning student Caroline Lindquist, a senior undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill, to find out. We discuss the parklet she and her friends designed, built, and enjoyed on September 16th, known fondly by guerrilla urbanists throughout as “PARK(ing) … Continue reading Reviving Wasted Pavement

Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing

A version of the following piece was originally published in the Triangle-based Indy in response to an article about the downtown Durham parking “crisis”. The article mentions that the city of Durham will soon begin charging for on-street parking and that local leaders are debating whether to use two county-owned downtown parcels for parking or affordable housing. The assumption that plenty of parking should be … Continue reading Durham’s Crisis of Priorities: Parking and Housing

Rap and the American City

At its genesis, Hip-Hop was a perverse art form breaking away from cultural norms and mainstream sounds. It’s vibrancy attracted people, it encompassed rapping, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti. The Godfather of Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa, started this community through block parties in the Bronx as a way to unite young people through the medium of music. Furthermore, Lisa Alexander described hip-hop as a way for the … Continue reading Rap and the American City

Free Speech, Signs, and the City

The passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been dissected for its potential impact on litigious issues from campaign finance to abortion.  Yet one surely settled issue is the court’s June 2015 ruling on the limits of control a government may use to regulate signs.  In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court found that the small town of Gilbert, Arizona exceeded its authority when … Continue reading Free Speech, Signs, and the City

Public Space and Conscious Design: A Case Study

Think of your favorite public space. It could be the park near your childhood home. It might be the waterfront promenade where you run, or walk, or ride your bike at sunset. Perhaps it’s a busy downtown street. Now consider: what is it about this particular space that makes you happy? That makes you feel safe, comfortable, welcome, at home? It is likely that your … Continue reading Public Space and Conscious Design: A Case Study

Exploring Downtown Chapel Hill’s Informal Pathways

In this report, authors Aaron Hursey and Melanie Morgan explore the often overlooked ways of getting from here to there. The pair identified and analyzed thirteen informal pathways between Hillsborough Road and Raleigh Road to the East and West, and between the UNC campus and Rosemary Street to the North and South for Professor William Rohe’s Urban Neighborhood Revitalization course. In a report prepared for the … Continue reading Exploring Downtown Chapel Hill’s Informal Pathways


Open Data: an Answer to the Downtown Data Dilemma

Downtown Anytown, USA is a challenging research subject. Vague terminology, idiosyncratic boundaries, and limited data availability have contributed to a disconnected and incomplete body of research on the contemporary downtown. A downtown’s geography is a particularly vexing matter; there is no formal or even consensus definition for downtown; they are not recognized by the government, the Census Bureau, or the Postal Service, so many traditional sources for demographic and housing data are not readily applicable to a city’s urban core. Continue reading Open Data: an Answer to the Downtown Data Dilemma