Author Archives: Theo Mackey Pollack

A NYC Tenement Legacy Persists, Despite Gentrification

Photographer Jacob Riis charted the perils of industrial urbanism, still seen in this corner of the Lower East Side.

No, Edward Hopper Did Not Hate the City

The dark force in Hopper’s imagery is not urbanism—it is the disruptive march of industry.

Glory Days: Reviving Asbury Park, City on the Shore

After decades of decline, the wonderland of Springsteen’s youth is at a hopeful crossroads.

The Mysterious Roman Who Shaped Modern Cities

Vitruvius’ De architectura remains the cornerstone of the canon of traditional Western urbanism.

How Renaissance Cities Built Upon Wisdom From the Ancient World

Contemporary planners have much to learn from past masters as well.

Meet the Austrian Who Invented Placemaking

Camillo Sitte was a champion of traditional European urbanism.

What Makes a Great Street?

A classic work reminds us that placemaking is more art than science.

Time for a Left-Right Consensus on Zoning Reform

Together we can correct restrictions that drive up prices and squeeze potential residents out of our cities.

The Best Urban Planning Book Is a Century Old

As today’s urbanists work to recover the art of planning, Raymond Unwin’s era remains uniquely instructive.

Did the State Destroy the Best Model for Affordable Urban Housing?

Working and middle-class cooperative buildings were an invention of civil society.

The Perfect Apartment Building Is Hiding in Plain Sight

A century ago, unencumbered by zoning, developers built humane urban residences for the middle class.

What Cities Can Learn From the Victorian Era

A lack of regulation led to public-health concerns, but also produced great neighborhoods and innovations.