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  • Writer's pictureSteve Price upgrade

Updated: Apr 9, 2018

Urban Advantage images have evolved over the years,

but the web site lagged.

Photo-simulation of change to San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA (1996)

I've been creating photo-simulations of positive urban development for over twenty years. The image above was my first one. The images were cruder back then: they were lower resolution; the lighting was less convincing; I wasn't paying close enough attention to the sizes of things. (Check how big the people are!)

Nevertheless I still see people using twenty-year old images in presentations—a testimony to the educational power of before-and-after visualization. A planner friend recently described them to me as the longest-lived planning products he knows of. (Hmm. I know some comprehensive plans that old.) From the beginning, because of their power to help people rethink the built landscape around them, I felt the images deserved a wide audience. I redesigned the Urban Advantage web site to market my services, but more importantly as an exhibit space where people could easily see the photo-simulations.

Over the years, lots of new technologies have been introduced adding to our understanding of the built landscape and providing new ways to communicate that understanding: Google Earth, Sketchup, traffic modeling software, digital photography, online street design tools, multi-level mapping and scenario analysis software—more tools are showing up all the time.

Nevertheless, there still is the need to put flesh on the bones, to make design ideas palpably real for ordinary people. The hundreds of photo-simulations I've created over the years can help people imagine the unimaginable: streets, parking lots, brownfield sites, and declining shopping centers that look hopeless, transformed into walkable places that communities can be proud of.

Now it’s been years since I last changed the form of the site. I periodically updated content, but the site's form predated the arrival of smart phones, tablets, and faster Internet speeds. As of November 2016, mobile web browsing traffic exceeds desktop's. It was time to get multi-modal. I redesigned the site from the bottom up. Check out the new site here:

I'll add new images to the site on a periodic basis. I hope you enjoy the new site. If you have thoughts about it, let me know.

—Steve Price (April 2018)



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