13 episodes

A show about how we shape the places we live, and how they shape us—our behavior, relationships, opportunities, and imaginations. If you've ever looked around your neighborhood and thought, "I wonder why it's like that?" ... the answer is often: "we built it that way."

Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark.

Edited by Jordan Clark.

We Built It That Way Jordan Clark + AJ Fawver

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

A show about how we shape the places we live, and how they shape us—our behavior, relationships, opportunities, and imaginations. If you've ever looked around your neighborhood and thought, "I wonder why it's like that?" ... the answer is often: "we built it that way."

Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark.

Edited by Jordan Clark.

    Density: Just a fancy term for overcrowding?

    Density: Just a fancy term for overcrowding?

    Is urban density good or bad??? This is the type of question we'd prefer not to answer.
    But if you're okay with a little nuance, hop on in while we take a stroll through what density means, what it does and doesn't do, and why the topic riles so many people up.
    We talk about:
    What density measures
    Arguments people make against density
    Arguments people make in favor of density
    A theory on why density tends to be a fixation in North America
    Different ways to reach the same density
    How cars factor in (and cars always factor in!)
    What is overcrowding? And how that relates to "density"
    How talking about urban intensity allows for greater specificity
    And a lot more!

    Links:
    Want to learn more on this episode’s topic? There has been no shortage of words written on the virus and our cities. Here's just a tiny sample:
    https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fh0032706 (June 1972 article from Psychological Review, titled "On the distinction between density and crowding: Some implications for future research" by Daniel Stokols)
    https://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/june-2021/we-need-to-focus-on-the-problem-of-crowding-not-density-in-our-cities/ (June 22, 2021 article in Policy Options Politiques, "We need to focus on the problem of crowding, not density, in our cities" by Valerie Preston and Brian Ray)
    https://www.tvo.org/article/density-is-a-planning-problem-crowding-is-a-money-problem (June 1, 2020 TVO Today article, "Density is a planning problem. Crowding is a money problem" by John Michael McGrath )
    https://www.governing.com/archive/gov-density-americans.html (January 2019 Governing, "Why ‘Density’ Is a Bad Word: It’s often used to describe how people live in urban spaces. But it shouldn't be." by Alex Marshall)

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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode includes: Sounds of the Supermarket, https://www.sessions.blue/ (Blue Dot Sessions), bummies. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkFbda5rUJoJv0lTGsNUEYg (on YouTube)), a 1986 recording from The Weather Channel, lukrembo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eWIffP2M3Y (on) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua7Qfc1xu90 (YouTube)), https://freemusicarchive.org/music/C_Scott/ (C. Scott), Isaac Horwedel, and Dead Moon ("Too Many People")

    • 57 min
    Extra Credit: When Cars Kill

    Extra Credit: When Cars Kill

    In this Extra Credit episode, we have a chat about a frankly glum topic: when cars kill people. We discuss a fantastic https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-local-correspondents/when-cars-kill-pedestrians (piece in the New Yorker) about a growing movement to end pedestrian and cycling fatalities in NYC and beyond.
    Lots to cover in this show, and we talk about:
    ingrained attitudes about transportation (and whose experience counts the most)
    policy choices that inevitably lead to avoidable death
    individuals and families bearing the burden of collective failures
    learning from other countries: whether safe streets are a "cultural" thing or a policy result
    Vision Zero as a response to traffic deaths
    neighborhood politics
    the concept of "windshield bias"
    a few simple design approaches that make streets safer for all people
    ... and more

    Let's dive in!
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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode: Sounds of the Supermarket, a 1985 Weather Channel broadcast, Isaac Horwedel, and Cullah ("GroOvy" and "Western Firefight 2").

    • 37 min
    Cover your ears: Why are cities so loud?

    Cover your ears: Why are cities so loud?

    In this episode, we talk about noise pollution—a much bigger problem than you might realize!
    Some of the things we discuss include:
    the most common (and annoying) sources of outdoor noise
    adverse mental, physical, and social health effects from too much noise exposure
    what safe noise levels even are
    ways to reduce noise in cities (hint: it has a lot to do with cars, like basically everything we talk about)
    and a whole lot more

    Links:
    Want to learn more on this episode’s topic? There has been no shortage of words written on the virus and our cities. Here's just a tiny sample:
    Book: https://islandpress.org/books/curbing-traffic (‘Curbing Traffic’ by Melissa and Chris Bruntlett)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/why-city-noise-is-a-serious-health-hazard (Why City Noise Is a Serious Health Hazard)
    https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp.1307272 (Environmental Noise Pollution in the United States: Developing an Effective Public Health Response)
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/07/light-noise-pollution-animal-sensory-impact/638446/ (How Animals Perceive the World)
    https://www.salon.com/2014/11/02/the_sounds_of_our_lives_suck_how_to_make_cities_better_by_ending_the_blight_of_noise/ (The sounds of our lives suck! How to make cities better by ending the blight of noise)
    https://youtu.be/CTV-wwszGw8 (Cities Aren't Loud: Cars Are Loud (Video))
    https://www.technologyreview.com/2022/06/14/1053771/sounds-smells-vital-to-cities-as-sights/ (Why sounds and smells are as vital to cities as the sights)
    https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20210830-paris-caps-speed-limit-to-30km-h-in-further-boost-to-soft-transport-road-safety-hidalgo (Paris caps speed limit to 30km/h in further boost to 'soft' transport)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-02/the-sensory-assault-of-18th-century-cities (The Sensory Assault of 18th Century Cities)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-26/road-traffic-noise-pollution-is-linked-with-a-heightened-risk-of-central-obesity (Road Traffic Noise Pollution Is Linked With a Heightened Risk of Central Obesity)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-03-26/the-science-of-quieter-cities (The Science of Quieter Cities)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-06-21/traffic-noise-might-give-you-a-heart-attack (Traffic Noise Might GiveYou a Heart Attack)
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-03-26/the-science-of-quieter-cities (The Science of Quieter Cities)
    https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/how-silence-became-a-luxury-good/408412/ (How Silence Became the Ultimate Luxury Good )
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-20/the-basically-complete-health-case-for-urban-parks-trees-and-nature (The (Basically) Complete Health Case for Urban Parks, Trees, and Nature)
    https://interactive.wearepossible.org/noisycities/#/?city=nycandlanguage=en (NOISY CITIES) (interactive map)
    https://maps.dot.gov/BTS/NationalTransportationNoiseMap/ (National Transportation Noise Map) (US DOT)

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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode includes: Sounds of the Supermarket, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats ("Rocket 88"), Scott Joplin ("Pineapple Rag"), Bob Dylan ("Piano Mood").

    • 55 min
    Extra credit: Who is to blame for climate gentrification?

    Extra credit: Who is to blame for climate gentrification?

    Time for another installment in our 'Extra Credit' series, where we take a reading and discuss our takeaways, for your listening pleasure.
    In this episode, we discuss a piece in Shelterforce titled https://shelterforce.org/2022/05/09/are-urban-planners-staying-silent-on-climate-gentrification/ ('Are Urban Planners Staying Silent on Climate Gentrification?') – written by Colleen O'Connor-Grant.
    The built environment is the embodiment of countless decisions, each of which is a vote for what matters to us (or, to be honest, what matters to those with power and influence). In the case of climate gentrification, zoning rules, economic development practices, affordable housing policies, and other "boring" things create an unequal, ecologically degraded world. Which shapes each of us who live in it.
    Let's dive in!
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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode: Sounds of the Supermarket, a 1985 Weather Channel broadcast, Isaac Horwedel, Scott Joplin ("Reflection Rag"), and Lead Belly ("Bourgeois Blues").

    • 38 min
    Pandemics change cities. They also spotlight their problems.

    Pandemics change cities. They also spotlight their problems.

    In this episode we look back on just a few ways this current pandemic had an impact on how we see and use our built environment. (ARE CITIES DEAD?!?!?!)
    Links:
    Want to learn more on this episode’s topic? There has been no shortage of words written on the virus and our cities. Here's just a tiny sample:
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-01-03/the-unequal-geography-of-covid-s-open-streets (What the Pandemic's 'Open Streets' Really Revealed)
    https://archive.curbed.com/2020/5/20/21263319/coronavirus-future-city-urban-covid-19 (Coronavirus is not fuel for urbanist fantasies)
    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/dept-of-design/how-the-coronavirus-will-reshape-architecture (How the Coronavirus Will Reshape Architecture)
    https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2022/1/10/driving-went-down-fatalities-went-up-heres-why (Driving Went Down. Fatalities Went Up. Here's Why.)
    https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2020/10/14/oaklands-open-streets-programs-are-still-a-work-in-progress-thats-a-good-thing (Oakland's Open Streets Programs Are Still a Work in Progress. That's a Good Thing.)
    https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-04-22/coronavirus-pandemics-architecture-urban-design (Past pandemics changed the design of cities. Six ways COVID-19 could do the same)

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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode: Sounds of the Supermarket, ERLAX (https://youtu.be/MK8eBCD0a5s (YouTube)), Stockwave (YouTube), and Scott Joplin ("Reflection Rag").

    • 38 min
    📕 Extra Credit: Should we tear down highways?

    📕 Extra Credit: Should we tear down highways?

    We're trying something new! This is the first in our 'Extra Credit' series, where we take a reading and discuss our takeaways, for your listening pleasure.
    In this episode, we discuss an article that ran in Texas Observer in 2021: https://www.texasobserver.org/the-road-home/ (What If the State Department of Transportation Tore Down Texas Highways?) by Megan Kimble.
    We talk about:
    what impact urban highways have on cities (and how they are different from rural highways)
    the "interesting" ways Texas's Department of Transportation publicly talks about transportation
    why people want to tear down some highways (are they just maniacs??)
    pros and cons of urban highways
    and a lot more!

    We also mention an article in The Guardian that came out the week we recorded:
    https://theguardian.com/us-news/2022/apr/29/texas-highway-expansions-project-displacements-protests (‘It’s just more and more lanes’: the Texan revolt against giant new highways)

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    Check us out on https://twitter.com/webuiltitpod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/webuiltitpod/ (Instagram) @webuiltitpod.
    Hosted by AJ Fawver and Jordan Clark. Edited by Jordan Clark.
    Music in this episode: Sounds of the Supermarket, Isaac Horwedel, a 1985 Weather Channel broadcast, and Wire ("Lowdown")

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

BJM2010@&$1 ,

So funny and witty and smart and good

Come for the deep, super insightful dives into city planning stuff — like signs! And congestion! And development patterns! — by Jordan and AJ, then *definitely* stay for the funny sketch comedy and *chef’s kiss* sound effects 😄 But seriously, you can tell how much heart goes into this pod. A little late to the game here, but this pod is gold and you should listen to it if you care about your town.

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