Inga Saffron is the Architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
A new biography of the great city planner is welcome and timely amid today's visions of urban design.
Philadelphia is a city that struggles with certain disadvantages. It is not easy being stuck midway between the nation's financial and political capitals. It doesn't regularly produce winning sports teams. We don't have enough corporate giants headquartered here, or enough of the philanthropists who trail in their wake.
- Gallery: Philly's new skateboard park
For far too long, it was assumed that skateboarding and public parks went together about as well as oil and water. A decade ago, that notion led to skaters' being driven from Philadelphia's LOVE Park, an internationally heralded mecca for the sport. Skaters were seen as an undesirable subculture and a danger to those pursuing more traditional park pleasures, like sitting on benches and eating lunch.