#ForewordFriday: Democratic Design Edition

For decades, collaborative design has helped enliven neighborhoods and promote racial, economic, and social justice. But in an era marked by climate change, growing income inequality, and major advances in technology, designers are acknowledging the limitations of public forums and other conventional methods of community engagement.

#ForewordFriday: Dignified Design Edition

Well-designed spaces are not just a matter of taste or a question of aesthetics; they literally shape our ideas about who we are and what we deserve. Design impacts our health, our education, our community, our sense of self-worth, and more, yet all-too-often design is viewed as a luxury. To address critical problems of access and inequity at home and around the world, good design must transcend the endless coverage of multi-million dollar homes and Silicon Valley office spaces to become a key means of uplifting those who need it most.

#FOREWORDFRIDAY: Urban Design Edition

As the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy overwhelmed his neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York City’s chief urban designer Alexandros Washburn took refuge on the upper floors of his house. For years he had played an integral role in creating the city that has become a model of vibrant urban design, and now he watched as flooding wreaked havoc. When the water receded, he saw devastation—but also dedication. The disaster revealed that what makes New York great is not only its physical setting, but also its citizens’ will to rebuild their communities better than before.


In honor of PARK(ing) Day, Island Press is taking tactical urbanism to the streets. PARK(ing) Day is an annual event where people all over the world transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. These pop-up parks can take all forms--in our case, an outdoor library and reading nook. To learn more about short-tern, low-cost, and scalable interventions like these, check out Tactical Urbanism by Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia.