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Strategic architecture: a new approach to revitalizing cities gains steam

“Instead of completely altering the existing aesthetic of the neighborhood through the development of overly-ambitious or tin-eared design initiatives, these architects and designers have demonstrated a devoted effort to transform urban environments without disrupting them. Lange has a name for this unique approach to design; she calls it “strategic architecture.” Typically supported by advocacy organizations and citizen action groups alike, this type of design stems from “an understanding of past civic hopes and redesigning them to meet the future.” In cities ranging from Houston to San Francisco, architects and developers are demonstrating this approach to urban design, one that “combines the forces of community activism and historic preservation with government muscle.” The strategy encourages future growth through “eye-catching design” and allowing residents connectivity to the “parks, plazas, bike paths and libraries that give neighborhoods a center.”

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