Tuesday, July 20, 2010

System & Surprise

San Francisco Planning & Urban Research [SPUR] is a local policy-driven public interest group that has long roots here. They maintain a busy schedule of speakers informing the public debate about the history and future of San Francisco. Their profile has gone up since last year when a new headquarters debuted in SoMa. The location on Mission and Annie Street is in the heart of a re-emerging district balanced precariously between the old city and the very new. Lately, I've been reading more deeply in urban research and new models for infrastructure that both keeps pace with our growth as well as acknowledging the pre-eminence of sustainability. A solid source of interest and information is SPUR's magazine, The Urbanist. I especially appreciate the tone of writing, the presentation that is smart and engaging.
This quote jumped out while reading Julie Kim's piece from June's edition, "Meeting in the Middle: Why Planning Need Design Again."

"Travel stories are always romantic. But they bring me back to what I love most about cities: the mix of efficiency and serendipity. Cities represent the best of both worlds: the logic of a system, and the prospect of surprise."

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