The remarkable intricacy and liveliness of downtown can never be created by the abstract logic of a few men. Downtown has had the capability of providing something for everybody only because it has been created by everybody. So it should be in the future; planners and architects have a vital contribution to make, but the citizen has a more vital one. It is his city, after all; his job is not merely to sell plans made by others, it is to get into the thick of the planning job himself. He does not have to be a planner or an architect, or arrogate their functions, to ask the right questions.
In short, will the city be any fun? The citizen can be the ultimate expert on this; what is needed is an observant eye, curiosity about people, and a willingness to walk. He should walk not only the streets of his own city, but those of every city he visits. When he has the chance, he should insist on an hour's walk in the loveliest park, the finest public square in town, and where there is a handy bench he should sit and watch the people for a while. He will understand his own city the better and, perhaps, steal a few ideas.
-- Jane Jacobs, "Downtown is for People," 1958
This blog is a place for me to write down some of my thoughts. I live in the city of Boston, MA and I work in the field of Computer Science. I use my two feet, augmented by mass transit, to get around. Although I am not an urban planner, I try to pay attention to the city around me, many parts of which we take for granted. I am attempting to figure out why some cities decline, why some succeed, and how we can help.

walking bostonian at gmail.com.


  1. I was delighted to find this blog. It's refreshing to encounter someone who knows more than I do about mass transit technology AND enjoys reading Robert A. Caro!

  2. This blog is a fantastic resource for those who care about urban planning in Greater Boston and see great potential for its future as a more livable place. Thank you for your efforts!


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