Wednesday
Sep042013

“Community Viz™: An Integrated Planning Support System,” (Michael Kwartler, FAIA and Rob Bernard), Planning Support Systems: Integrating GIS, Models, and Visualization Tools with Robert Bernard, Editors: Brail and Klosterman, ESRI Press, Redlands, 2001

Community Viz™ is an ArcView GIS-based decision support system for community planning and disgn applications. The software is unique in that it fully integrates the words, numbers, maps, and images that planners and designers traditionally use for planning purposes into one, real-time, multidimensional environment. In doing so, all types of data become mutually accountable to each other and the impacts of alternative planning scenarios and designs can be evaluated on the fly. This article outlines the development and general structure of Community Viz™, each of its three components and how the software could be used in a real world planning context.

Tuesday
Sep032013

Planning and Zoning the Mature City: A Working Paper,” (Michael Kwartler and Associates), Planning and Zoning New York City: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Editor: Todd Bressi, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, 1992

The use of the term “mature” to characterize the way New Yorkers think of their city is intended to be both evocative and provocative. “Mature is meant to subsume the biological, mechanistic, and economic metaphors that are used to describe large cities into a broader concept that is suggestive of the complexities, ambiguities, and contradictions characteristic of a state of maturity.

Tuesday
Sep032013

“Legislating Aesthetics: The Role of Zoning in Designing Cities,” (Michael Kwartler), Zoning and the American Dream, Editors: Charles Haar and Jerold Kayden, APA Press, Chicago, 1989

This chapter lays out the history and constitutionality of zoning through the lens of legislating aesthetics or good city form. Using the New York City 1916 and 1961 Zoning Resolutions and subsequent amendments (e.g. Midtown Special District) it explains how zoning determined the character of the City’s districts and neighborhoods, concluding with a discussion of alternatives to the rigidities of Euclidian zoning.

Monday
Sep022013

“Sunnyside Gardens:  The Politics of Common Open Space,” (Michael Kwartler, FAIA and Frank Havelick), Space and Society, Sansoni/MIT Press, June 1984

Almost 60 years after it was built, Sunnyside Gardens in Queens, Long Island, designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, remains a prime example of large scale residential planning in American cities. But it also represents a unique case study of the difficult legal, social, and political issues that surround the use of open land in a contemporary urban community, on  a common basis, where one man’s private property is another’s common ground.

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