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Good City Design: The Bike-Friendly, Anti-Homeowner Edition

Meet Rick Potestio: Portland architect and loudmouth. He's apparently a veritable celebrity in his hometown-he's been called one...


Meet Rick Potestio: Portland architect and loudmouth. He's apparently a veritable celebrity in his hometown-he's been called one of the design community's most engaging thinkers-and given some of his ideas about city planning and design, the rest of us might want to get to know him, too.A lifelong biker and an advocate for compact dwelling and housing diversity, and is the kind of guy who thinks people should reclaim the streets from cars, and make them beautiful, pleasant places to hang out. Take these nice-sounding ideas a little further, though, and people get a little testy. The flip side of pile-'em-in-style neighborhoods is the homeowner-with-lawn American Dream. The flip side of reclaimed streets is commuters who want more lanes to get around town. These are classic conundrums, and he has some wild solutions.There's a great profile of him by Bridget A. Otto in the Oregonian, where the writer gets into some of his more controversial ideas. I also recommend you check out the conversation after the piece. The commenters are a particularly feisty bunch (sample: "this guy is just another selfish bicycle rider who wants to take your car away by not giving you enough lanes to drive on"), which is not surprising given what we already know about how seriously Portlanders take their urban planning.
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