KunstlerCast - Suburban Sprawl: A Tragic Comedy
James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and World Made By Hand, takes on the converging catastrophes of the 21st century. Features a new guest each month. (Note: Episodes 1 - 214 featured conversations between Duncan Crary and JHK during the years 2008 through 2012 and focused on the topics of suburban sprawl, disposable architecture and the end of the cheap oil era.)
Frederick Law Olmsted is most noted for designing Central Park in Manhattan. His method of landscape design now serves as the main model for how we design parks in America. But James Howard Kunstler believes that our ongoing attempts to replicate the Olmsted park have created many urban parks with serious shortcomings. Kunstler also warns listeners not to ask for "green space" in their towns because "green space" is an abstraction. Instead he urges people to learn the vocabulary of landscape architecture to be able to ask for specific park features.

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<b>Direct Download:</b> <a href="http://media.libsyn.com/media/kunstlercast/KunstlerCast_25.mp3">KunstlerCast_25.mp3</a> ( 19 MB | 27 mins.)

Direct download: KunstlerCast_25.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:13pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler continues his walking tour of one city block in downtown Saratoga Springs, N.Y., a classic Main-street American town. We resume the tour on the corner of Division Street and Railroad Place, where a major urban infill project has produced a brand new urban street that is well defined on both sides by five-story high buildings, with dignified frontages, ground-level retail space and apartments above. Kunstler points out some architectural problems and weird transitions but he's mostly pleased by the new buildings in this neighborhood. As we leave the new urban street, things completely fall apart when we encounter the results of the urban renewal schemes of the 1960s. Most of the 20 acres in front of us is surface parking, occupied on the fringe by inappropriate suburban buildings.

[Note: Use Google Street View to follow along with this program. Visit: http://maps.google.com and enter this address: 402 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. Cross Broadway, head up Division Street and turn left at Railroad Place.]


<b>Direct Download:</b> <a href="http://media.libsyn.com/media/kunstlercast/KunstlerCast_24.mp3">KunstlerCast_24.mp3</a> ( 14 MB | 20 mins.)

Direct download: KunstlerCast_24.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:06pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler often describes Saratoga Springs N.Y. as a classic Main Street American town. In part one of this special program, we take to the streets of Saratoga to experience the sense of place in this small city. Kunstler brings us from the busy sidewalks along Broadway to a sidestreet leading to a major urban infill project. He explains the urban sensibilities of the 19th century structures, points out the boneheaded decisions of the 1960s one-story development, and the promising efforts of mid-1990s new urbanism.

[Note: Use Google Street View to follow along with this program. Visit: http://maps.google.com/ and enter this address:   402 Broadway  Saratoga Springs, NY 12866]

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Direct download: KunstlerCast_23.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

James Howard Kunstler explores the consequences of handicap access laws and codes, and how they have unintentionally promoted suburban sprawl throughout much of America. In many instances, developers feel it's easier and cheaper to just build one-story buildings rather than multi-story handicap accessible buildings. These laws can also discourage the retrofitting of second and third story retail space in old "Main Street" buildings as well. So while handicap access codes may make it easier for some people to use our built environment, they can also indirectly make it more difficult for those do not own a car.

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Direct download: KunstlerCast_22.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:52pm EDT

In preparation for the Fourth of July, Jim and Duncan celebrate the God-given right of every American to convenience, Cheez Doodles and happy motoring pleasure. Jim says convenience is the product of a particular set of circumstances that are coming to an end in this country. The diminishing returns of American convenience are apparent in things like Baluchitherium sized-people, short attention spans and road rage. This program includes other rants against cell phones, Trustafarians and the miracle of email. *Note: some cursewords

(Info about program and theme music at KunstlerCast.com)

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Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:48am EDT