For a network dedicated to covering cities—where people live, what gets built, how history is woven into the built environment, and how the real estate market affects growth—where would Curbed be without urban design? It’s part of the broadloom Curbed fabric, but we’ve never had a dedicated writer on the topic. That is, before July 11, when we welcome Alissa Walker as Curbed’s first ever Urbanism Editor.
Walker, who comes to us from Gizmodo, will maintain a national focus from her home base in Los Angeles. She’ll cover the systems that govern our cities—like infrastructure, transportation, and policy—and how they are adapting with technology that allows those systems to be increasingly shared. And don’t just expect to see Alissa’s viewpoint on the Curbed websites: As Facebook Live, Snapchat, podcasts, and conferences ramp up in our readers’ consumption habits, we’ll be along for the ride. Think of Walker’s purview as a complement to Alexandra Lange’s architecture criticism: a thoroughly modern, and informed, way of looking at the design of cities, from micro and macro.
Walker, who’s spent more than a decade championing LA design through writing, reporting, programming, advocating, planning, podcasting, and investigating, explains her new role best:
Curbed LA has felt like my second home on the internet for over a decade. The vision of the site epitomizes everything I’ve been working towards in my own writing career: To get people to love and care about where they live. Curbed helped to transform me from a design writer into an urbanist, into someone who understood that the story doesn’t stop when you leave a building or property line.
Los Angeles is, in a way, its own laboratory for all the big ideas that are currently being tested in the United States, and a microcosm for most major urban problems that cities are facing. I’d finally be able to dive deeper into important LA stories but also extrapolate those stories to have national relevance. There is no city that is reshaping its urban experience more ambitiously, and there are lessons for everyone in our successes and failures.
Read up on Alissa Walker’s mission as walker and urbanism champion, and join us back here on July 11 for much, much more where that came from. In the meantime, you can follow her on Twitter (@awalkerinla) and Instagram (@awalkerinla).