Lindsey Luria

Current opinion is that dense development, like in Charlottesville's downtown area, is likely more resource-efficient than sprawl. Photo: Matteus Frankovich/Skyclad Aerial

The urban myth: Are denser areas more beneficial to their inhabitants?

The recent arrival of winter weather in Charlottesville has brought interruptions to school, work and business, particularly on the outskirts of town. The snow storm was a reminder that it generally takes longer for snowplows to clear rural backroads and neighborhood streets than it does in the town center, where everything is more concentrated. This […]

Even around Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, fences cordon private-use areas, signalling a disconnect between social groups. Photo: Robert Llewellyn

Where the sidewalk ends: How public spaces affect private lives

In urban design, decisions about road lanes, sidewalk widths and shade trees affect the rhythm of use in outdoor spaces—transportation and commerce, social activity, traffic, safety, recreation and even public health are determined by these choices. Urban planners have long been using the catchphrase “live, work, play” to describe an idyllic mixture of programming, but […]

The completion of UVA's Darden School of Business in 1996 took Jefferson's vision to the extreme by copying the Academical Village, complete with a smaller, stockier Rotunda and its own version of the Lawn. Photo: Jack Looney

Authenticity vs. evocation: When imitation diminishes design

Every new restaurant looks like a factory. Or, so says a recent NPR article. Reclaimed wood, brick walls and exposed beams, the piece asserted, have become so popular in interior design that new furniture is being treated to look weathered, and new apartments are being built loft-style with “factory” windows. Where does this preference for […]