Author Archive

September 27 2012

Lillian Mathews: So Long, Farewell to The GRID

September 27th, 2012Posted by 

Writing is a vehicle. And it continues to drive me, from the place I began, to where I am heading today. Hard to believe, but six months have passed since I began my blogging position with The Grid. Just a few months ago, I was a senior in college, interested in pursuing a path that […]

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September 13 2012

Between Daydream and Design: Ensuring That Community/School Partnerships Work

September 13th, 2012Posted by 

An overgrown parking lot clings to the fringe of an urban center. Rundown school buildings wait for a sorely needed upgrade. Somewhere outside of these places, sleekly dressed design students stay up late with their rulers and tricked out software in hand. How about combining the two? This type of collaborative thinking has become increasingly […]

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August 30 2012

Landscape Architecture Digs Up a New Definition for Itself In Light of Environmental Challenges

August 30th, 2012Posted by 

Garden designer? How about ecological warrior? Landscape architects may be due for a new reputation, and for good reason. As a field, landscape architecture has changed rapidly over the past two decades. It is too simple to assume that architects focus only on floral gardens and upscale stone walkways. As human environmental impacts become more […]

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August 16 2012

What’s in a Neighborhood? Classifying Our Streets in a Rapidly Urbanizing Age

August 16th, 2012Posted by 

Classifying neighborhoods has always been more art than science. Despite an urban planner’s best intentions, the original vision of a few city blocks doesn’t always pan out. As populations tend toward urban living and countries invest money into the construction of new cities, it’s important to shift attention not just towards infrastructure, but community building […]

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August 02 2012

Foodies Tackle Urban Distribution Challenges with Community Kitchens: Providence, Vancouver, and San Francisco

August 2nd, 2012Posted by 

Food talk is hot these days. Urban planning councils and governments now implement sustainable food mandates, and city revitalization projects transform old buildings into gourmet mixed-use shopping centers. It’d be easy to assume that food producers have an easy time getting their products to city consumers. Yet even with a growing appetite for their goods, […]

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July 19 2012

Rhode Island Park Design Favors Functionality (and Food) with New Edible Forest

July 19th, 2012Posted by 

It’s July 2012, and new saplings and shrubs at Roger Williams Park hover around three feet tall. But in five years, the site will sprout tubers and leafy greens – even offering medicinal herbs free of charge to visitors. In 30 years, the small pocket of land will provide nuts, mulch, fruit, and fuel to […]

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July 05 2012

Radical Cartography Produces Unlikely Maps and Design Partnerships in the United States’ Northeast

July 5th, 2012Posted by 

As map-making software grows in popularity, more people than ever have cartography at their fingertips. In response to the growing trend, many mapping projects have begun distinguishing themselves as radical cartography, choosing to highlight, not hide, the process and politics associated with map-making decisions. At Rhode Island School of Design’s (RISD) Digital+Media graduate program, the […]

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June 21 2012

Blue Prints and Backpacks: Pre-College Design Education Offers Options to Students

June 21st, 2012Posted by 

In light of recent coverage on the value of a design education, organizations across the country have begun to open up the field to a more unlikely population – middle and high school students. As the contemporary education system faces continued criticism, alternatives like Citizen Schools and Afterschool Alliance have developed student programs to supplement […]

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June 07 2012

Web-Based Crowdsourcing: Power to the People or the Planners?

June 7th, 2012Posted by 

With the growing popularity of crowdsourced funding platforms like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, many urban planning professionals have begun to explore the potential of a good web-based brainstorm. In 2011, the development firm Renaissance Downtowns partnered with the city of Bristol, Connecticut to solicit feedback on the piazza feature of its mall redevelopment plan. After receiving […]

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May 24 2012

Providence, Rhode Island Halts on Highway Redevelopment Area as Citizens Get Creative

May 24th, 2012Posted by 

In 2011, Providence, Rhode Island (R.I.) demolished I-195, a section of interstate highway that had bisected the city for half a century. A new stretch called the Iway had already been built for $446 million, helping to reconnect the city’s Jewelry District to the rest of the downtown and open up 40 acres of land. […]

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May 10 2012

From Green Thumb to White House: University of Massachusetts Permaculture Makes Big Strides

May 10th, 2012Posted by 

College lawns are not just for Frisbees anymore. The UMass Permaculture Initiative snagged top honors at the White House Campus Champions of Change Challenge this March 2012, beating out 1,400 applicants and 15 finalists in a social media voting campaign. The project, founded in October 2010, is just one of many efforts in a growing […]

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April 26 2012

Growing Food, Growing Power: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Urban Farmer Tours the Northeast

April 26th, 2012Posted by 

The podium microphone could not quite reach Will Allen, standing six-and-a-half feet tall and in front of a sold-out lecture hall in Providence, Rhode Island. Allen, a former professional basketball player and MacArthur Genius Award recipient, was speaking on behalf of his work at Growing Power, a Milwaukee-based environmental non-profit focused on sustainable urban farming […]

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April 12 2012

FarmHack Descends on Providence, Rhode Island: Agriculture Meets Design

April 12th, 2012Posted by 

In Providence, Rhode Island, farmers huddled up alongside students, scribbling on Post-it notes, and throwing around phrases. Efficiency. Integrated design. Awareness. The event was FarmHack, a collaborative design charrette and open-source sharing platform started by the National Young Farmers’ Coalition. The event’s aim, while simple, has big goals – what happens when you bring together […]

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