Author Archive

July 11 2013

Looking at the “Planet of Slums,” by Mike Davis

July 11th, 2013Posted by 

We often think of migration in terms of the push and pull forces that cause people to move from one place to another, and the demographic statistics that accompany these shifts. But many people skip a whole part of the story: what is the status of this migration now? As researchers, we don’t want to […]

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July 11 2013

A Farewell to Global Site Plans and The Grid From Maxwell Vidaver

July 11th, 2013Posted by 

Six months went by awfully quickly. I started writing for The Grid during a wet and cold January in Milan, Italy; it is now July, hot, and sunny. The internship happened to coincide with my last semester of graduate school; classes are over, and the once-distant light of graduation is within reach.  The way these […]

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June 27 2013

Is Urban Sprawl Always Sprawl?

June 27th, 2013Posted by 

In the United States, we often refer to the widespread suburban, non-city center areas as sprawling neighborhoods. They have streets that wind in and out, causing disorientation and creating minutes-long drives just to enter or exit some developments. In contrast, we often consider the “European context” to be a dense urban paradigm that balances the […]

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June 13 2013

The Future Cities Are Smart Cities

June 13th, 2013Posted by 

In the midst of rapid technological innovation, our cities are becoming “smarter.” We may have passed the first part of the digital revolution, but the fact stands that technology is now an inseparable part of our lives. Smart cities around the globe are adopting new digitally based infrastructure and introducing new services in this arena […]

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May 30 2013

Green Cities are Successful Cities: From Piazzas to Pocket Parks

May 30th, 2013Posted by 

It is no secret that successful cities are also green cities. By green, we are referring to the physical “greenprint,” or the physical green infrastructure of the city. This includes tree-lined boulevards, large regional or central parks, and smaller, neighborhood-scale pocket parks. The idea of a small neighborhood green space is not new. This type […]

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May 16 2013

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping: Urban Planning for a Better Mall Experience

May 16th, 2013Posted by 

Milan is rich in industrial history. A nearby site includes the former Innocenti factory, most notable for producing Lambretta Scooters in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The present service-oriented economy means that many old factory sites are claiming vast swaths of land, acting as holes in the urban fabric. Overcoming such obstacles is a contemporary theme […]

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May 02 2013

Stadiums: Making the Most of Space

May 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Roaring crowds, bright lights, and elaborate shows are all part of the visceral human feeling we have at stadiums. For a long time, people have been fascinated by the experience of large performances. These concerts and sporting events, as well as their buildings, are essential components of the human experience. Looking at one of our […]

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April 18 2013

Green Parks Are More Than Green Recreation

April 18th, 2013Posted by 

Besides infrastructure and built urban form, one of the most important aspects for cities is its physical green space. Nature can be aesthetic or functional, but it always serves the same purpose: to remind us that cities are living places bound to the laws of nature. While built space represents the structured evolution of our […]

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April 04 2013

What Transportation Says About Lifestyle

April 4th, 2013Posted by 

Each day, millions of people depend on reliable transportation for access at a high level of efficiency; and in this way, cities are the largest people movers around. From a logistical standpoint, the efficiency as well as effectiveness and sustainability of these systems is directly correlated with intelligent planning techniques that are able to react […]

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March 21 2013

Old Dog, New Tricks: Urban Transformation in Milan

March 21st, 2013Posted by 

While we often think of cities according to their skylines, we overlook the fact that these are constantly changing in cities around the world. Because of cities’ organic nature, the essence of the city is thus manifested physically in the urban format. New transformations and new skylines are indicative of changing attitudes, and in many […]

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March 07 2013

The Dirty Truth About Urbanization in Milan, Italy

March 7th, 2013Posted by 

What happens when we run out of farmland, green recreation space, and forests that inhale carbon dioxide? An increasingly significant global problem is the amount of land and soil that is lost to urban development. With 70% of the world’s population expected to live in an urban area by 2050, efficient urban planning is essential […]

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February 21 2013

“Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life:” Milan Expo 2015

February 21st, 2013Posted by 

The Universal Expo is coming to Milan in 2015, and construction is already underway for the major six-month event. The Universal Expo occurs only every five years, and encompasses a “universal” theme that is global in nature. This convention’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” in which sustainable development regarding food supply and […]

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February 07 2013

“Cities of Tomorrow:” Bologna, Italy as the City of Cities

February 7th, 2013Posted by 

The term “city” is a broad one at best to describe our heavily populated urban centers. What defines a city? Who puts the boundaries in place – often political and arbitrary – and our main issue: what is the essence of our cities? Patrizia Gabellini, Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning of Bologna, introduced in 2007 […]

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January 24 2013

Modernizing the Ancient: A New City Plan for Milan, Italy

January 24th, 2013Posted by 

It is well known that urban planning has historically been a complicated affair. The process is often convoluted, requiring the coordination and cooperation of multiple public-private actors and stakeholders to approve new projects. In light of these facts and current economic trends, is it sensible for cities to continue major investments into this area? Milan […]

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