Faithful followers of Urbanscale will have noticed that things have been very quiet hereabouts — a quiet which is probably more acute for the contrast with the pace of commenting we’d kept up since the launch of the practice at the beginning of last year. In part, this sense of quiet is illusory, in that there’s been the usual amount of work and travel going on in the background, but it also clearly speaks to some pretty major transitions in the nature of the practice.
Rather than trying to continue the level of output we’d been keeping up, I’m going to be trying something a little unusual, which is putting the practice per se on pause for an indefinite period while I concentrate on finishing The City Is Here For You To Use. The book has gone through a lot of changes since I first announced my intention to publish it, way back at the beginning of 2008, and while I think it will unquestionably be better and more useful for having matured over this extended period, it really does demand my total attention now. Demands my attention, that is, in a way that’s inconsistent with the realities of running a client-service business honorably and with a focus on detail.
We’ve wrapped up work on all the projects we had in the shop, shipped our final outstanding deliverable, and will be putting things in hibernation until such time as I am once again free to pursue active design and development work. This is certainly a strategy with its share of risks, but ultimately I think it’s the best way of fulfilling my obligations to the book, to the people who have already invested in its appearance, and to the networked cities and citizens I care about so passionately. (I am continuing to take on a limited number of public-speaking engagements, so as ever you should feel free to get in touch if this is of interest to you.)
I want to thank Mayo, Jeff, Leah and J.D. for their talent and fervor; our collaborators Ryan Sullivan, Benedetta Piantella, Justin Downs and Todd Bailey for theirs; and everyone who’s responded to what we’ve been trying to do with such enthusiasm and love for that wonderful and truly affirmative energy. This includes each and every one of you who have followed our weeknotes, reposted our essays and videos, come to our FRIDAYS AT 7 events and, yes, sported our stickers.
For my own part, I would encourage you to think of this not as a departure, but as a shift into a different mode of investigation. The mission is a very long way from completion, there are many loads left to lift, and miles to go before we sleep. Take care and stay in touch.