I was a contributing writer for UrbDeZine from 2014 to 2019. UrbDeZine is/was an online magazine covering urban planning, historic preservation, and architecture in seven US cities. Why the slash/verbs? Because the fate of the magazine is unknown. From its aggregator page at Planetizen, we see the last original article published in October 2019. UrbDeZine has been offline since late that year undergoing a “redesign and reorganization” as described on its currently-static holding page. I write this entry in the waning days of November 2020 noting the relaunch period listed is Summer 2020. I hold out hope it’ll go-live again, but I’ve come to grips with the possibility that UrbDeZine may not come back.
This is dispiriting for a few reasons. First, because UrbDeZine was a passion project of its editor, who always supported the contributing writers, including unpublished and unknown authors, myself included. Second, because the writers added so many original essays, critical reflections, and news stories that advanced conversations on the built environment. Third, and most personally, because I started to find my voice on its pages. My earliest public commentaries on urban planning appeared in UrbDeZine.
My personal attachment wants to see these back online, and there’s interest from some readers, too. The articles pop up in searches but the links don’t work. Now and then, a reader will contact me asking where they’re at. There was enough interest to create a workaround.
Below are my writings from UrbDeZine, in PDF. This list entails works wherein I manually saved the article before it went offline. Most of my articles are accounted for. Some, but not all, of the PDFs retain working hyperlinks in the text. Also, a disclaimer: some of my views have evolved since the original publication of these commentaries (most notably, I’m no longer so stringent about informal housing).
By providing access to these works, I hope to contribute to the public discourse that helped me develop and mature my thinking about today’s vexing urban planning problems.
“We Are a Movement”: Students Advance Embedded Planning at the 2019 National Planning Conference, UrbDeZine. May 14, 2019.
An Urban Planner on the Ground in South Central Los Angeles, UrbDeZine. January 30, 2018.
An Open Letter to the Pasadena City Council Urging a Comprehensive Overhaul of the Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance, UrbDeZine. January 29, 2017.
An Open Letter to the Pasadena Planning Commission Urging a Comprehensive Overhaul of the Second Dwelling Unit Ordinance, UrbDeZine. December 12, 2016.
Epitaph for Edward W. Soja, UrbDeZine. December 17, 2015.
Reyner Banham, Mike Davis, and the Discourse on Los Angeles Ecology, UrbDeZine. July 14, 2015.
Response to Comments: The Informal Housing Debate Remains Open, UrbDeZine. November 12, 2014.
Converting Garages into a Dissertation: A Conversation with Jacob Wegmann, UrbDeZine. June 17, 2014.