Houston We have a Problem


‘Doughnut City’ – Incredible photograph of parking lots in the city of Houston, Texas / photograph from the book: The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History

The term Doughnut City is used to describe a phenomenon that affects the physical shape of some cities of the North American Sun Belt. It consists of the concentration of urban activity on the ring road (where the newest and most advanced generation of housing estates and office parks are located) and the parallel physical disappearance of all that remains inside (the interior is affected by an accelerated process of obsolescence that leads to the demolition of a multitude of buildings). Viewed from a European perspective, the Doughnut City is a phenomenon that goes against nature. If in the cities of the Old Continent proximity to the center means an added value, in the Doughnut City quite the reverse is true: the most eligible urban areas are on the final periphery. (text source)

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5 thoughts on “Houston We have a Problem

  1. For me as a european, this truly goes against nature. I guess cities have a different foundation history here, with central marketplaces as the heart of just about every city.

  2. When the value of the land dedicated to parking exceeds the parking revenue, you will get consolication of lots into parking structures. In the mean ime I expect that the people like convenient parking.

  3. Having been to Houston without a car, I can assure you that this kind of urban planning is just that – designed urban space, not a space designed for urban use

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