Small-Scale City

15 EpisodesProduced by Built Blocks

The podcast about cities, architecture, nature, and the built environment.

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Winslow Food Forest: Growing food in the city

February 6th, 2018


What exactly is a food forest? I wanted to find out more so I visited the Winslow Food Forest located on the border of Milwaukie and Portland, Ore. 

I visited in the fall, and even then, the place was thriving with …

Episode 14: For the love of beer (and community): Hops On Lots Pittsburgh

September 23rd, 2017


This episode's guest, Pete Bell from Hops on Lots Pittsburgh (HOLP), calls it "the wall."

Sure, it's a wall. But it's a wall—with hops growing up it, …

Episode 13: 168 LAT

August 30th, 2017


The world keeps getting smaller.

For instance? Instagram is one of my favorite apps – I like to follow people from different cities, towns and …

Episode 12: Building communities through breweries: An interview with SUM Design

June 29th, 2017



The first time I visited Ex Novo, a brewery in Portland, Oregon, I was struck by its design. It felt…designed. It wasn’t a cold space with some …

Episode 11: We can make our cities better with placemaking, incrementally

June 1st, 2017


So, how is the DNA of a place defined? Is it the architecture? Is it the cool, hip shops? Park benches? It’s some of that – but it’s way more. What …

Episode 10: Bourbon and buildings: An interview with John Patrick Winberry, UP studio

May 8th, 2017


What do design, branding, good bourbon, and a Norwegian architect firm have in common? It’s the thread to this episode’s interview with John Patrick Winberry, founding partner, chief wrangler, and architect at the UP …

Episode Nine: Agriculture meets architecture: It's called Agritecture

February 25th, 2017


You’ve heard of agriculture – and urban ag, or growing food in cities. And then there’s architecture.

And then, there’s agritecture.

Wait, …

Episode Eight: Defining the suburbs

February 6th, 2017


For many, the suburbs are an easy target. For good reason. Many of the homes are ugly and out of scale. They promote sprawl and auto dependence thereby increasing obesity. They use tons of energy and are a huge drain on …

Episode Seven: The Fair-Haired Dumbbell

January 1st, 2017


I first learned about developer Kevin Cavenaugh’s work years ago when I was managing editor of a building trade magazine that focused on development, building techniques, and exciting topics like cemeticious siding and …

Episode Six: Walking in the city

December 7th, 2016


There are three questions on Max Grinnell’s website that ask:

  1. How do cities work?
  1. Why are people both fascinated and repelled by cities?
  1. How can …

Episode Five: Growing food in the city

November 5th, 2016


Urban farms, or, farming in the city,  on rooftops, vacant lots, front yards. I've alway been intrigued with farming in the city and the potential there to feed its people.

A couple years ago I read  Jennifer Cockrall …

Episode Four: Randy Simes, Urban Cincy

October 12th, 2016


For more than a year I’ve been obsessed with Cincinnati, Ohio. While doing research on old churches being retrofitted as brewpubs, I stumbled across …

Episode three: Architecture, blogging and old buildings

September 17th, 2016


This episode I’m speaking with Brian Libby, a journalist and critic living in Portland, Oregon. Among the magazines and newspapers he has contributed to include The New York Times, The Atlantic, Dwell, CityLab, …

Episode two: Modular architecture meets music

August 22nd, 2016


This show I speak with Aaron Holm. He’s the CEO of Blokable. The company manufactures “high-performance modular building assemblies that are easily …

Episode one: Downtown LA and its unwritten history

August 10th, 2016


Episode one: Downtown LA and its unwritten history: Our guest is Kim Cooper.  Kim edited Scram magazine in the early 90s up to the mid 2000s and  …

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