My name is Paul Fritz. I am an architect with a desire to be more involved in urban design. Most of my architecture experience has been in housing, particularly multi-family affordable housing. I’ve spent about 10 years working in firms with a focus on affordable housing, but have been on my own since 2010 (my architecture practice is called Paul Fritz Architecture/Planning). Many of the architecture projects I have worked on have been on urban infill sites which has helped to satisfy my inner urban designer. This blog will allow me to further explore urban design issues.
I am extremely interested in urban design issues particularly as we examine our built environments and how they will evolve as we look toward the future. I am interested in creating pedestrian-oriented urban environments that allow us to reduce our dependency on the automobile. For too long our built environments have been design around the movement of the automobile. I believe we should be developing vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods in order to preserve open space and reduce our energy consumption and to create stronger communities. I want to educate people on the benefits of creating pedestrian friendly environments, and taking back some of our built environment from the impact of cars.
I live and work in a small northern California town that I plan on using as a case study for many of the issues I address in my blog. The town, Sebastopol, has a population of just under 7,400, according to the 2010 census. Sebastopol has a functioning downtown with great potential that is not being fully realized. The issues surrounding this unrealized potential are what I plan to discuss in this blog. I believe many of the issues faced by Sebastopol are faced by other communities large and small across this country. And lessons learned elsewhere could be very well applied here. My hope is that this blog will contribute to the conversation regarding the future of our cities.
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