June 29, 2005
This article examines the development – and eventual demise – of what was the largest municipal coalition of CBDOs in the United States. The Chicago Association of Neighborhood Development Organizations (CANDO) was a leading advocate for CBDOs involved in local neighborhood economic development.
Although fourth grade English test scores in NYC rose, pushing more students into the proficient range, several different trends could account for the growth besides students' skills. The test itself was changed to be more child friendly; more programs focused on test preparation in class; a higher number of ELL students were excempted from the test itself; and the scaling of the test may have been too easy.
June 28, 2005
Mercy Housing's Carter Terrace in Visitacion Valley has 101 affordable units and a waiting list of 3,000...
In Denver, the closed Lowry Air Force base has been redeveloped and now boasts a business district, over 3,000 homes, and new schools. Snags still exist regarding environmental cleanup and a nearby community college, but overall the project appears to be thriving. Lowry has an extensive website promoting immigration through interactive maps depicting schools, housing complexes, business areas, and even highlighting affordable housing. Lowry is especially interesting in light of current redevelopment plans for Treasure Island in SF...
The Urban Insitute and the Brookings Insitution together as the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center researched possible reforms to the Child and Dependend Care Tax Credit (CDCTC), a federal income tax credit of up to 35% of child care costs. The program is neither refundable, nor indexed to inflation. It also does not truly aid low income families who may have no tax liability or who only receive a lower credit rate of 20%. As alternate examples, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are either refundable or partially refundable and increase with family size.
The first section of the paper summarizes the tax treatment of child care under current law. The second section evaluates how child care should be taxed in an ideal tax system. The next section evaluates the effectiveness of current child care subsidies measured against those criteria, and discusses the effectiveness of recent expansions to the CDCTC. The fourth section examines options to reform the credit, while a fifth section examines expansions to the CTC and EITC as alternative options. The final section presents conclusions.
Deyan Sudjic's new book looks highly entertaining. An established critic of modern architecture, the Belgian author takes a flaming pitchfork to the motivations and aspirations of contemporary architects. Architecture is a product for the affluent and the powerful -- such a client base by its very nature twists the architect as well as her buildings.
His implicit lesson is: a principled architect is an architect who does loft conversions. The qualities on which a career in the big time depends include venality, opportunism, egomania, self-delusion, a vacuous manifesto, an insatiable appetite for sycophancy and a willingness to treat with tyrants. A gift for plagiarism is also useful.
UCSF has embarked on a mission to build 160 affordable units for staff housing concurrent with the Mission Bay development project in San Francisco. Not only is it unprecedented for a UC school to attempt to house staff on such a scale (the overall construction will include >430 units for graduate students and junior professors), but the goal of these affordable units is to house service workers, such as food workers, custodians, and administrative assistants.
I haven't had the chance to post about the Supreme Court's recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London, yet. This case strengthens the power of municipalities to take property in the name of "public purpose," even when the public purpose involves economic development via taking property from one private owner and selling it to another private owner. The possibility for abuse of this holding is tremendous, but the Supreme Court ultimately invested the power for future decisions on the limits of eminent domain in the states. The court presumed that the City of New London's actions were valid and found that the Fifth Amendment had not been violated by such application of the use of eminent domain in the public interest. This case harkens back to the most divisive and contested question in land use law and legislation -- is ownership of private property an inherent and individual right, or is it a government granted privilege to claim ownership to a property's "bundle of rights?"
Issue (from FindLaw):
What protection does the Fifth Amendment's public use requirement provide for individuals whose property is being condemned, not to eliminate slums or blight, but for the sole purpose of "economic development" that will perhaps increase tax revenues and improve the local economy?
Justices Thomas, Scalia, and O'Connor dissented, pointing out the original constitutional origin of the takings clause and the possible discriminatory impact of the new ruling. Justice Thomas writes:
Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more.
June 27, 2005
The Council of Education Facilities Planners International put together a report on school and community design in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency as a how to manual for applying Smart Growth principles to education facilities. The report includes nine case study schools that range from rural to urban and include Smart Growth aspects such as green design, walkability, and shared community facilities.
Notes on the case studies in the extended. . .
June 25, 2005
In Baudolino, Umberto Eco details a world of shifting political alliances, deceit and war, all catapulting towards a mysterious quest to find the land of Prestor John. History becomes intertwined with fiction and the mythical (there are enough rocs, blemmyae, skiapods and hypatias to keep the imagination over-active), but the female characters fall into the tired sexist category of submissive, gentle innocence. Overall, Eco provides an entertaining read one esoteric level above murder mystery or harlequin romance.
June 24, 2005
notes in the extended . . .
Report on impact of new learning technologies in Australia, based on literature review and 7 search conferences with 150 VET stakeholders.
Whitaker, Jan, Impact of Clicks on Bricks: VET facilities planning in an information age, Final Report, JLWhitaker Associates, Department of Public Works and Services, PMG/Programs/Education Facilities Research Group for NSW Department of Education and Trianing (TAFE) March 2002.
Notes in the extended...
Google's latest mapping scheme involves driving around with laser mounted trucks to measure buildings in major urban areas and create realistic 3D maps. Now let's just hope they don't print the word "google" over and over in the background like they did with their arials.
Now, a year and a half after the Department declared its commitment to tackling the graduation-rate issue headon17, little has changed— the fundamental problem of states calculating and reporting faulty graduation rates remains largely unaddressed. The states that have taken responsibility and steps to improve their graduation-rate calculations and reporting have done so in spite of, not because of, the Department’s actions. And the states that have continued to calculate and report inaccurate data without consequence have lost yet another year that they could have used to build public support for the hard work of improving results for students.
June 21, 2005
The program has paired students from poor cities like Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and New London with suburban school districts that have room to spare. And so every day, 200 children leave Bridgeport, joining the commuter conga lines on Interstate 95 and Route 15, to attend schools in the Fairfield County towns of Westport, Fairfield, Trumbull, Stratford, Monroe, Weston and Easton.
Demand is so strong for spots in those schools that when 13 openings materialized this spring, the agency that runs the lottery for the Fairfield County schools received 800 applications without advertising. Siblings get first crack, said Diane Wheeler, coordinator of the program in Fairfield County, followed by children in schools identified as failing under the No Child Left Behind Act.
The City Reader is already on my shelf, but it'd be nice to get my hands on Routledge's other Urban Readers, including:
Freddie "I knew him when he was this tall" O'Connell and Mary Mancini
Monday, 8 to 9 a.m., WRVU-FM, 91.1
Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m., WRFN-LPFM, 98.9
Thursday, 8 to 10 a.m., WRVU-FM, 91.1
June 20, 2005
Brooklyn's population is growing; housing prices are increasing; development projects are booming; and, the area is gentrifying...
After decades of disinvestment in Brooklyn, major projects are in the works, among them the development of 175 waterfront blocks, complete with 40-story luxury apartment buildings, along the Greenpoint-Williamsburg waterfront; the construction of an 800,000-square-foot sports complex for the Nets in the Atlantic Yards; and, in Red Hook, the return of cruise ships, including the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2, to a major new pier and passenger terminal.
Glen Ford and Peter Gamble, co-publishers of the Black Commentator produced a scathing response to the Senate's recent apology for blocking anti-lynching laws through seven presidents. Ford and Gamble compose a long list of senatorial failings, including the hypocrisy of this apology, the genocidal nature of lynching, and the failure of America's government to address racial inequity and abuses both within and beyond its borders.
Lynch law was no law at all. It was pure white power – the right to declare oneself a higher form of being, and reduce the “other” to charcoal. The current rulers of the United States are spreading lynch law to the far reaches of the planet. They claim the right to “pre-emptive” warfare, and reject all other people’s rights to live under collectively accepted rules. They wage war against the concept of international law, just as they violated every law that did not enshrine white privilege.
Children of illegal immigrants do not have access to federal financial aid, regardless of how long they've resided in the U.S. (and the numbers grow day by day). . .
One solution is embodied in the In-State Tuition Act, first introduced in the New Jersey Legislature in 2003, which would allow illegal immigrants like Mr. Navarro to attend public colleges at in-state tuition rates. Without legal status, these students, who currently number about 28,000, are charged out-of-state rates that are prohibitively expensive for most of their struggling families.
According to Marshfield's affordable-housing plan, the town must add 68 units of affordable homes per year. In years that it meets that goal, it qualifies for an exemption from Chapter 40B, the state's affordable-housing statute, which allows developers to skirt local zoning.
June 18, 2005
First brought in 1999, Comfort v. Lynn School Committee recently left the federal appeals court in Boston with a 3-2 ruling in favor of Lynn's school district's desegregation plan. The court reversed it's previous decision from October in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger in 2003 -- the court upheld a desegregation plan based on race used by U. Michigan Law.
“Many good things can be said about the Lynn plan,” the dissenting opinion says. “But the overriding fact is that it unnecessarily inflicts racially based wounds on a large and diverse group of its students and, consequently, fails to satisfy the narrow-tailoring requirements set out in the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence.”
The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office has also posted a briefing of the case.
In the past 15 years, the federal courts have moved away from desegregation remedies and have made it easier for communities to get out of existing court-ordered plans. Subsequently, communities have turned to voluntary plans to achieve the desegregation of their schools. The second wave of legal challenges is focusing on dismantling voluntary school desegregation plans. The federal courts are now starting to address whether it is constitutional for local educators to use race as a factor in student assignments after determining it is in the educational interests of their students to prevent racial isolation and segregation in their schools. Distilled to its essence, the big question raised by this case is whether state or local government any longer can try to achieve the clear command of Brown v. Board of Education (to desegregate public schools and strive toward truly integrated public schools) through voluntary non-court ordered action. Although consideration of race has been addressed in other contexts (the limits of affirmative action in employment and government contracting and procurement procedures), this is an issue that has not been directly addressed by the Supreme Court in the factually and legally unique context of elementary and secondary public schools.
June 17, 2005
Southwest Ranches' proposal to pay other cities to fulfill its affordable housing obligation promotes segregation and violates the federal Fair Housing Act, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale.
June 16, 2005
The Met (Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center) in Providence was started in 1996 with a focus on individual, project-based learning. The Big Picture Company, the parent organization of the Met, has since gone on to open 23 schools nationally, with 8 more in the pipe-line (thanks to generous funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). The organization has posted statistics online detailing performance results for Met Providence's classes of 2000-2004:
The Met's graduation rate is ~94%;
Of the 229 Met Providence alumni, 75% (~ 172 students) went on to college or technical training immediately after graduation;
5% (~ 11) of the 229 alumni went on to college or technical training at some point after graduation;
And, of the ~183 alumni who went on to college or technical training, 75% (~ 137 students) have either graduated or are still attending their programs.
In other words, of the 243 (based on 229 = 94% graduation rate) students who attended the Met, roughly 56% are attending or have graduated from either college or a technical training program. I do not, however, know what the average college graduation rates are for students matriculating from Rhode Island public schools, meaning there is little for me to measure these stats against.
One of the Big Picture Company's recent exapansion schools is located in Oakland, CA -- Metwest Oakland.
The New Urbanists have a habit of creating charming, walkable communities where wealthy people live (but commute out for work) and low-income workers commute in for service positions: the traditional neighborhood in the New Urbanist unwritten vision includes hired maids, landscapers, and other low-wage jobs.
So far, the New Urbanism concepts have proved popular with buyers. They are paying from $300,000 in Verrado to well over $2 million at the Parks at Silverleaf. Most observers believe other builders will follow suit with more traditional neighborhood designs. But New Urbanism has its critics. They say the communities are elitist and increase sprawl, and residents are still dependent on cars to commute to work.
Activists demanded living wages for construction workers involved in the renovation of the Oakland Central Train Station and the development of the 29 acre site it is a part of in West Oakland (market rate ~1500 units, 15% affordable). Now, an affordable housing developer in San Marcos has established that affordable housers are not required to pay "prevailing wages" like public works developers, but only market wages. How does the "prevailing wage" compare to "living wage" and the "market wage" . . . ? Regardless, building affordable housing, yet not offering "prevailing wages" does seem a bit hypocritical -- one commentator in the article points out that the workers need to be able to still afford to live in the housing once it's built, but cutting wages does not guarantee those workers a housing unit for themselves. In fact, the waiting lists for affordable housing in the Bay Area can be quite extensive. The journalist's opinion of the holding is clear in the article's title.
June 15, 2005
The article mentions affordable housing, but not how much.... and why is a commercial development venture including housing, retail, and a hotel billed under the title of park?
A 16-acre civic park stretching from City Hall to the Los Angeles Music Center would serve as the centerpiece of a downtown redevelopment project approved by city and county officials late last month.
Projected to cost $ 1.8 billion and mainly financed with private funds, the Grand Avenue project calls for building five new skyscrapers to house a boutique hotel, condominiums, and affordable housing, and surrounding them with retail shops, a supermarket, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
The State of California owns a range of undeveloped properties with several prospects:
State Treasurer Phil Angelides has come up with an idea to put the land to use instead of selling it. Angelides, a former developer, proposes that state lands "be managed like a high-quality real estate business." He would channel the proceeds through a public trust agency to help more California students go to college. Angelides says the endowment could generate $250 million a year for scholarships, counseling, college preparation and other programs. Despite the lack of an inventory, he sees most of the property as commercially viable for business and housing.
As a former kinder teacher, I believe strongly in the importance of 0-5 education, especially in disadvantaged communities and for English Language Learners. A recent study on HeadStart looks at student performance in five areas compared to national averages. Although the study appears somewhat favorable, reporting on the work itself has thrown a negative a spin on the issue. It's dissapointing to see the media harming a reasonably good, slowly progressing program through sensationalistic headlines.
NPR's report Head Start Study Suggests Minimal Benefits:
The results of a new large-scale study of the federal Head Start program suggest that in some areas, the childhood development program produces only minimal, short-term benefits. The findings are from the study's first phase. Program supporters say it's too early to draw conclusions.
Citation from the study itself (isn't the achievement gap what we're really working on here?). Head Start Impact Study First Year Findings, Executive Summary:
Comparing the skill levels of children in the Head Start Impact Study with those of the general population of 3- and 4-year-olds in the United States (including those who were not from low-income families) on the Woodcock-Johnson III Letter-Word Identification test showed that, after one year, the mean performance of Head Start children was still below the average performance level for all U.S. children, by about one-third of a standard deviation (about 5 points). However, at the end of one year, Head Start was able to nearly cut in half the achievement gap that would be expected in the absence of the program (as indicated by comparing the means for the Head Start and non-Head Start groups in Exhibit 4).
Arizona State University's Education Studies Policy Laboratory has put out two studies that do not paint charter schools in a favorable light.
This report argues that evidence exists for the case that the charter school movement is largely a failed reform. The report puts the charter school movement in the context of dissatisfaction with public schools and the public sector in general. It then describes the claims for charters made by the early charter school advocates, emphasizing the advocates’ promise of increased achievement. From there, the report reviews evaluations of charter schools in Arizona, California, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and Texas, as well as several national evaluations.
The review shows that charters have not lived up to their promise of increased achievement. This failure is surprising given that charter schools are small (most have fewer than 200 students) with small classes, two factors known to increase achievement. This failure becomes even harder to understand given the advantages that charters enjoy in their freedom from the rules, regulations, and contracts that are said to bureaucratically burden the public schools.
The second study, City-wide Systems of Charter Schools: Proceed with Caution:
The City of Buffalo, New York has proposed to establish a network of charter schools under the aegis of the district school board. This appears to be the first time a large urban area has made such a proposal. This report addresses what the research literature to date has said about the performance of charter schools. It reviews the record of charter schools in the context of six questions asked in the planning document, Creating a Network of Charter Schools in Buffalo, prepared by the Education Innovation Consortium, a Buffalo think-tank, at the direction of the Buffalo School Board.
- What Does Chartering Bring to Buffalo School Reform?
- Can Chartering Bring Higher Levels of Accountability for Results?
- Can Chartering Provide More Quality Choices for Parents?
- Can a Network of Charters Promote the Transformation of the Entire System?
- How Do Charters Compare Academically?
- Can Chartering Provide Adequate Services to Children With Special Needs?
Counterpoint in the Arizona Republic:
Clint Bolick, president of the Arizona-based Alliance for School Choice, called the report "ideology, not scholarship" and said competition from charters has forced district schools to improve.
Kurt Davis, president of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, said the charter movement has " numerous examples of excellence and, in some cases, a need to improve."
"The charter experience in Arizona is a success in progress," Davis said.
Hanging onto kids who might otherwise leave school is the mission of the Options Complex, a program for students in grades 6-12 who are behind in school by two or more years. Much of the concern about dropout rates has focused on improving high schools. But experts say that struggling middle schoolers, a too-often-overlooked group, are likely to flounder in 9th grade and stop attending school.
June 12, 2005
The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library had a book sale at the Fort Mason Center this past weekend -- books were $1 and children's books only $.25. I managed to snag about six books during a lunch break and read the first of the stack today. Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCourt is a bleak and unsparing memoir describing the author's impoverished childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland. McCourt cleanly recounts death upon death, disease upon disease, and begging for food and coal. Enjoy may not be an appropriate way to describe my experience with this book, but I do recommend it.
June 10, 2005
In fact, the records show, school officials failed to tell state environmental regulators that the fill was already in the ground when the regulators ordered the school district not to use it. L.A. Unified officials kept mum for two years, despite a state law requiring school districts to notify regulators whenever contaminants are detected at a school construction site, records and interviews show.
June 09, 2005
bell hooks's Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, is a collection of essays dealing with race, class, gender, and multicultural pedagogy.
Notes are in the extended entry...
The new Hamilton Avenue School, a pre-K through 5th grade facility now under development in Greenwich, Conn., illustrates the national trend toward sustainable design in educational facilities. The project is being designed by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (SHCA) with Atelier Ten providing high-performance building consulting services. When completed, the 73,000 sq.-ft. school will include 50,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 23,000 sq. ft. of re-used space. The exterior of the existing school, a historic 1938 brick and stone building with a slate roof and signature cupola, will be restored and its interior completely gutted and renovated. Below grade parking will be added, doubling the number of spaces without adding impervious surface area. In addition, adjacent playfields will be redeveloped into a new community park.
These demographic characteristics include: age distribution, racial and ethnic composition, poverty rate, income levels, education attainment rates, English proficiency, and civic participation (political participation/volunteerism). The report examines these demographic differences across and between ethnic groups and ages.
- More than 7 million Californians are second generation immigrants, compared to over 9 million who are first generation, and over 18 million who are third generation or greater.
- For children, poverty rates are 28.7% for first generation immigrants, compared to 24.8% for second generation immigrants, and 13.2% for third or greater generation immigrants.
- For second generation immigrants, 10% of Latinos, 48% of Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 71% of Whites only speak English.
- For second generation Asian/Pacific Islanders, 52% had a college degree compared to 10% of second generation Latinos and 35% of second generation Whites.
A stinging critique of the Death of Environmentalism, a report by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus. Advocate Ludovic Blain focuses on the many ways in which the previous two authors left out the efforts and successes of the environmental justice movement, especially those of minorities and women. One paragraph in particular took a nice swing at Ivy Leaguers:
As an organizer for the past 15 years, I've seen the delusional nature of many privileged, white male advocates. They really seem to think that rather than expanding the group of thinkers and doers, all that's required for social change is that they improve their own thinking. "One of the things I learned at Harvard is most people there assume they are the best and the brightest," said Frances Kunreuther, director of the Building Movement Project, a New York-based organization dedicated to helping nonprofits create social changes through movement-building strategies. "They actually believe they got there by merit, so power and privilege are never in the equation."
This new study, co-authored by University of California economists David Fairris and David Runsten, along with Carolina Briones and Jessica Goodheart of the nonprofit Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, offers the most definitive analysis to date of a living wage law's impact on workers and employers. It provides important new insights on the effects of living wage policies, which have been adopted by more than 120 local governments around the country. The study was funded by the Ford Foundation, the University of California Institute for Industrial Relations, and the City of Los Angeles.
The Economist takes a look at growing commute times using CA as a model for discussion. Solutions to traffic include raising gas prices, HOT and HOV lanes, public transit, and, most interestingly, zoning for fewer parking spaces:
Under the current rules, for every single job in the central business district of Los Angeles there is 0.52 of a parking space; in San Francisco, there is 0.14 of a parking space for each job; in New York, just 0.06. Last week, a $1.8 billion project to revitalise LA's downtown area around Grand Avenue was unveiled: it envisages offices, a 275-room hotel, up to 2,600 housing units—and as many as 5,500 new parking spaces. Land-use policies help explain why San Francisco County's 2m licensed drivers have a mere 382,000 cars between them, while LA County's 5.9m drivers have 5.9m.
June 07, 2005
Ah, the interesting question of for-profit charter schools . . . Although I have friends who work for Edison and the company was founded by Wendy Kopp's husband, the intense focus on direct instruction using scripted curriculum such as Open Court lends itself towards a manufacturing like model of education. Edison has not achieved significant results consistently, either.
Edison, founded in 1992, is the nation's biggest private operator of public schools. It runs about 157 public schools across the country, with mixed success. It stayed only a short time in places like Dallas and Minneapolis, where officials concluded it hadn't improved things enough to justify its fees. In other districts, like Baltimore and Philadelphia, Edison has produced improvements in student performance and won acceptance.
After teaching at five schools and four grade levels in SFUSD within 2 years and being laid off twice, this story had a certain resonance, to say the least.
They knew from their children that there was trouble in the fifth grade at Public School 111 in Manhattan. But it wasn't until teacher conferences in late February that parents learned how badly the class had fallen apart.
By then, the fifth graders were on their third teacher in seven months. The first left before Christmas to get married. And though her departure was widely known by November, the second teacher, a substitute, Emebet Shiferraw, says she wasn't told about taking over that class until she reported to P.S. 111 in early January.
The sub left after two months, she says, because she got little support and things were not going well in class.
The third teacher, Millie Rodriguez, was pulled off her job as a reading specialist at P.S. 111 and handed the fifth grade just days before conferences. Parents were told their fifth graders would not get second semester report cards. "Ms. Rodriguez told me she was just there a week and had no work whatsoever to go on," said Reyna Soriano, whose son Elmer is a fifth grader. "I was so upset. How could this happen? They don't have report cards? Maybe they don't learn nothing."
Much like the Packard Foundation's ABCD (Affordable Building for Children's Development) Initiative.
There are seven child-care, preschool and/or Head Start programs at various apartment complexes throughout the Coachella Valley that were built by the housing coalition.
The Urban Institute took a look at the increasing number of children of immigrants in the U.S.:
Children of immigrants are the fastest growing component of the child population (Hernandez 1999). While immigrants are 11 percent of the total U.S. population, children of immigrants make up 22 percent of the 23.4 million children under 6 in the United States. They make up a larger share of the population under 6 than the population age 6 to 17 (20 percent).
My first encounter with author Marianne Wiggins (the wife or former wife (?) of Salman Rushdie and a professor at USC) has been quite enjoyable -- it's refreshing to find a contemporary writer with such a rich, slowly reasoned palate. Maybe I'm just partial because she writes about Tennessee while living in California. In Evidence of Things Unseen, Wiggins weaves together constantly seeking characters, the physics of light and photography, and the development of plutonium at Oak Ridge to create a story of the lost and the almost found. Although the bulk of the novel flowed smoothly, the ending felt as though the final characters had been set free to try and talk their way out of the book. I'm still looking forward, however, to delving into more of Wiggins work.
Notes are in the extended...
Two days and twenty miles later, I now have plenty of photos of trees. Trees, trees and more trees. Thanks to rcp for inviting us along!
June 03, 2005
The NYTimes continues its series on class, this time with a look at "relos" -- upper middle class families that relocate every few years for work. The piece includes an audio slide show and graphics depicting the growth and income distribution of Atlanta's suburbs.
June 02, 2005
For James' Holston's Cities and Citizenship, Caldeira describes the relationship between modernist design aesthetics and the power of defensible design to segregate by social class. She details development in Sao Paulo, Paris, and L.A., often referencing Sassen's work, as well.
Notes in the extended...
Begun in 1928, San Francisco's Grace Cathedral is the Bishop's seat of the Episcopal Diocese of California. Designed by architect Lewis Hobart, the cathedral's gothic-like towers rise 174 feet above street level, and the north tower houses a carillon of 44 bells. Although historical in style, the building is constructed of concrete and steel.
The cathedral is known for its two pedestrian labyrinths -- one on an indoor carpet and the other in terrazzo outside. The term labyrinth, however, seems a misnomer. Although both pathways wind in and around themselves to reach a central point, neither offers the pedestrian choice in direction; one can walk forward or backward, but not choose an alternate path.
Nearby Huntington Park serves as a decent vantage point for photographing the cathedral, while also boasting bikini clad sunbathers and sensual fountains in counterpoint to the looming church facade.