Lyon’s Legacy is an essay I wrote and serialized for ARLnow.com in early-mid 2021. It uses the story of Frank Lyon to say something about the history of housing and racism in Arlington County, and to suggest a reform to our zoning code that would make housing more affordable and undo some of the exclusion that Lyon and his peers left us with.
|I made buttons that say “Arlington is Nonbinary”, and I’m selling them to raise money to support transgender people in need. I suggest that, for each button, you share the amount of money you would make in just 15 minutes of work.|
If you’re an educator, social worker, or other person intending to share these buttons widely, please order as many of them for whatever price you like, and just send me an email (email@example.com) explaining what you’ll be doing with them.
All of the money from this will be going straight to local organizations that offer direct aid to transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. That means I’ll cover the cost of making the buttons and shipping them to you.
Please allow up to 3 weeks for the buttons to arrive, I’ll be making them to-order
As part of my research with the Center for the Study of the Built Environment in Jordan, I used the Global Walkability index to assess a number of neighborhoods and generate a measurement for the entire city. Here is my report, and here is the presentation I gave at the Congress for the New Urbanism.
I’m the Youth Advocacy Representative for Arlington’s Plan Lee Highway Community Forum, and so I recently worked with Mireya Vitela, Coordinator of the Buckingham Youth Brigade, to organize an activity involving the Youth Brigadiers in Plan Lee Highway. Here’s my report, which I sent to Arlington staff and to others involved in the PLH process, and here are a few other documents related to the activity:
Since the end of 2018, I have been working as a freelance journalist, writing about urban design, planning, and development, mostly in the DC area. My articles cover a range of topics, from mobility planning to gender inclusivity to development explainers.
- Dec. 14, 2018: Street ownership in the DC area
- Jan. 7, 2019: Implications of 5G regulation in Tysons
- Jan. 17, 2019: Art galleries in Tysons
- Feb. 6, 2019: Gender-neutral bathrooms in DC
- Feb. 8, 2019: International art in Tysons
- Feb. 12, 2019: Use of green space
- Feb. 14, 2019: Sidewalk design
- Feb. 19, 2019: Affordable housing development in Arlington
- Feb. 25, 2019: Comprehensive planning in DC
- Feb. 26, 2019: Pedestrian infrastructure locations
- Mar. 4, 2019: Transportation planning in Crystal City
- Mar. 5, 2019: Transportation demand management
- Mar. 12, 2019: Local music in northern Virginia
- Mar. 13, 2019: Bikeshare ridership in Tysons
- Mar. 14, 2019: Plans for intersection retrofit in Tysons
- March/April 2019: Series on Districts in Tysons
- May 13, 2019: Rhode Island creating model for people-focused transit corridor in downtown
- July 2, 2019: The Washington region remains one of the most walkable in the country
- Aug 15, 2019: Transportation is more than traffic: Measuring the impact of development on walkability
- Oct 18 2019: Check out these beautiful color-coded maps of the region’s streets and roads
- Nov 6 2019: Arlington is Nonbinary
- Nov 27 2019: What’s the future of Arlington’s Route 29? You can help decide.
- Feb 4 2020: What Tysons can learn about walkways and mall paths from other cities
- Feb 21 2020: This book treats Northern Virginia—not just DC—as a global capital
- Mar 27 2020: How some big-box stores are adapting to denser spaces in Tysons and beyond
- April 14 2020: Could some streets in Tysons and other areas in Fairfax County be repurposed for recreational use?
For about two years, as a hobby, I have been teaching myself to sketch architecture and urban scenes. I’ve enjoyed it very much, and it has helped me develop an appreciation not only for buildings and spaces but for visual art in general. It’s also helped me keep a record of places I’m lucky enough to visit, including counties I toured on my way going to Jordan.
Here is a brief selection of some sketches I’ve made over the past year, some for more practical and other for more artistic purposes.
Welcome to the Memory Advent Calendar.
The mainstream American holiday season, as it is often celebrated, follows a thematic arc, moving from the modern past to the ancient past to the future.
Thanksgiving in late November is the first holiday of the season and functions as an introduction, setting the stage by focusing on tradition. Thanksgiving is usually celebrated in old places, where people tell old stories and eat old kinds of food. Together with the Fourth of July it honors, in however mythologized or confabulated or ridiculous a way, the origin of a group national identity.
Throughout December, our attention stays focused on the past. We go “home for the holidays”, often returning from our modern urban lifestyles to a family house in the countryside. We practice traditions of the “old world.” We sing old songs. We play old games in the snow. The month of December, the month of the winter solstice, is a time to observe recurrence.
Christmas arrives as the centerpiece of tradition, even for many families that are otherwise secular or even of non-Christian faiths. On this day, and on its eve, we’re made to consider the origins of Christianity. While Thanksgiving brings us back 300 years, Christmas brings us back 2,000. It is a time to contemplate past continuity and change, change in our mass identity as well as change in our families.
Less than a week later, when we’ve barely recovered from yule logs and eggnog, the narrative shifts abruptly. We suddenly look to the future. We make a flurry of New Year’s resolutions and start planning for the months to come. Christmas and Thanksgiving are holidays meant for those old enough to reminisce; New Year’s is a holiday meant for those young enough to drink and celebrate well into the morning.
In the spirit of this narrative, I would like to focus on the span of time leading up to Christmas. These weeks have great potential as a time of reflection and memory, but often become swallowed up in day-to-day affairs: buying presents, planning trips. To help guide my friends toward consideration of the past, I have assembled a Memory Advent Calendar. By providing your email address below and signing up for the calendar, you will receive, every morning from December 1 until December 25, a brief email containing a prompt that asks you to consider some aspect of your personal history. I hope that it can be a source of mindfulness. The prompts are not religiously-oriented, and people of any or no faith are welcome to subscribe.
In return for these daily prompts, I ask that you consider donation to a charitable cause. The holiday season is also a time of generosity and giving. I do not require it, but I suggest that you donate perhaps ten dollars to a local food bank such as the Arlington Food Assistance Center: https://afac.org/donatepage/donate-give/.
To sign up, please contact me directly and let me know what your email address is. You can reach me at dtr(at)DavidTaylorReich.com or, if you know them, my phone number or facebook account.
I wish you a happy holiday season.
Riding public transit in Jordan can be very confusing. Although buses run fixed routes, it is hard to learn what those routes are. Unlike in the US, the government does not publish official maps of the various bus routes, and almost no marking exists at street level. The clearest indication of where a bus might be headed is usually a young man, leaning out of its door, hollering the name of the destination – but even then, intermediate stops are ignored. Ma’an Nasel, a local nonprofit, has helped solved this problem by publishing خطوطنا / Our Lines, an unofficial map. Volunteers rode buses, figuring out where they went, and the data was gathered and publicized.
Although Ma’an Nasel addressed this issue, to an extent, within Amman, the intercity Jordanian lines can still be quite mysterious to outsiders, particularly those who do not speak Arabic. Seeing this opportunity to contribute, I collaborated with Ma’an Nasel and led a group of volunteers to gather information and produce maps of Amman’s major intercity stations. I indexed the various lines radiating from the capital, gathering information on fares and hours of operation, and began synthesizing the information into user-friendly maps to assist Ammanis and visitors in making use of the country’s extensive intercity network.
To view a draft of the map of North Station (the final versions will be produced in collaboration with an Amman-based graphic design firm), see this link.