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Welcome - my name is Kevin Klinkenberg, and this site "The Messy City" is my blog and company website. I started blogging on urban planning and design issues in 2007, and began working in the field in 1993. Please feel free to connect with me on any of the social media sites listed here. Thanks for reading.

My top 5 blog posts of 2013

It's been an interesting year when it comes to the world of planning, real estate and walkable communities. The market is clearly improving in general and the demand for walkable places is beginning to come front and center in the general media. The topics that we planning geeks have been into for a decade are now becoming mainstream, which is encouraging to see. Planners are embracing the world of bottom-up planning in increasing numbers, including "tactical urbanism," "lean urbanism" and other catchy buzzwords. It's fascinating to see just how much crossover there is between the world of business lingo and planning lingo. But I digress. For me personally, 2013 marked the year I signed a book deal with New Society Press for my book Why I Walk, which is scheduled for publication in 2014. More to come in that area.

On the blog itself, I covered a wide range of topics as always, but especially anything that interests me touching architecture, design, planning and transportation. Since the world is loaded with urban design and design-related blogs, I like to focus on what interests me first and foremost and sparks some deeper thought and connections. To the extent that others read this and like it, I'm very appreciative. And, judging by my Google Analytics numbers, traffic to this site continues to do well and improve year over year. Thanks very much to all of you who read and contribute. I have a number of changes in mind for 2014 for this site, most of which involve ways to have even more regular content. Since I do this on my own without pay, it's always a matter of what I can make time for.

That all said, let the drumroll begin - here (in reverse order) are the top 5 most-read blogs I wrote this year. I used Unique Page views as my indicator, since I think it best represents my reach. Interestingly, just off the list in #6 was a post from mid-2012 on The Pervasive Myth of Homeownership. It's amazing that that post still gets so much traction, well over a year later.

#5 - The Torch is Being Passed - Gen X, are you ready?

I love these little cross-cultural pieces, and am fascinated with media narratives. Definitely makes me happy to see this one made the list.

#4 - Kansas City: Car City, USA

No doubt my KC peeps stepped up to read this one, and I'm glad. This piece was one that was difficult to write, but also pulled together a number of observations and thoughts from over the years. I know from some feedback that some KC folks thought it was harsh. But hey, the truth hurts sometimes. The first step is awareness, right?

#3 - Architects: Get Local

Possibly my favorite piece of the year, and one that resonated with a number of readers. I hope to continue this theme into 2014 and write more on the need for architects to give up tired, old ideas of "zeitgeist" and embrace the spirit of local, tradition-based and quality.

#2 - The Case for Unremarkable Buildings

Another architecture post here, which is consistent with a lot of my analytics. Interestingly, those posts most tailored to architects seem to get solid traffic. At any rate, this was also a fun one for me, as it elaborates on a pet peeve of mine for so many years.

And finally...

#1 - The Cognitive Dissonance in Transportation Funding

From all the way back in January, this post was the clear #1 of the year. There really isn't a more important issue today when it comes to what shapes our cities than how we spend our infrastructure dollars. So, it's a real treat to see this one top the list. I expect you'll see the thoughts expressed in this one to get more and more discussion as we wrestle with our infrastructure deficit, sprawl, the changing markets and much more.

Thanks for reading, and here's to a joyous 2014 to all-






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Friday photo 1/3/14: Where am I?

Friday photo 1/3/14: Where am I?

Friday photo 12/27/13: Where am I?

Friday photo 12/27/13: Where am I?