OpenCity Weekly Review

Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you curiously iconic city foods, a history of wearing masks in public, and a prescription for undoing decades of bad zoning.

  • If I’m eating chowdah I must be in Boston
  • Knishes and arepas are both widespread in New York but only one is classically associated with that city’s identity. Take a stroll through Harlem with Lisa Feldstein and ponder the role of food in our sense of place and self. (via Planetizen)
  • Mask Panic: Past and Present
  • Covering your face in public is a powerful act. “Even children,” writes Dylan Reid, “carry an implicit threat when they walk the streets in disguise at the end of October.” Unlike with the niqab in France or bandanas in Toronto, however, governments have yet to try to ban masks at Halloween. (via The Toronto Review of Books)
  • INTERVIEW: Emily Talen and the rules that shape cities
  • You can’t build a good city for people, argues author Emily Talen, without good rules. And despite 60 years bad city-building rules — zoning, spending, financing, and so on — that have deformed American cities, Talen is a self-described optimist who is hopeful that form-based zoning codes can mend the urban fabric. (via Next American City)

Photo of a street vendor in New York City by thekylejones from Flickr (cc)

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