Archive for the ‘Government/Politics’ Category

March 10 2014

Book Review: ‘Rebel Cities’ by David Harvey

March 10th, 2014Posted by 

David Harvey is unabashedly political in his book Rebel Cities, published in 2012. He roots urban planning firmly in the realm of human rights and draws a distinct ‘line in the sand’ between cities which honor the rights of its citizens and those which have been ‘bought out’ by greater powers.   “The results of […]

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March 07 2014

A Significant Problem: Lack of Public Libraries in Istanbul

March 7th, 2014Posted by 

In an age with the digitalization of libraries, one still looks for a cozy place to wonder around the shelves of millions of different stories. When was the last time a hand from the fifteenth century grasped onto your shoulder in the dead of silence? Or when was it last that you spaced out within […]

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March 05 2014

The Great Local vs. Chain Store Debate, as seen from Somerville, MA

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

It’s Sunday morning in Union Square, Somerville, located some twenty minutes by bus from downtown Boston. Should I get breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts, or at Union Square Donuts, which has hazelnut donuts? Should I get groceries at Target, or at Capone, a local deli? Should I get my prescription filled at Rite Aid or at….then […]

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March 03 2014

River Transport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Two new river transport companies will soon begin business in Abidjan to compete with the Abidjan Transport Company (SOTRA). SOTRA still holds a monopoly in the country’s economic capital four months after the Ivorian government announced plans to liberalize the transportation sector. According to the Ivorian minister Gaoussou Touré, this measure should “put an end to […]

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February 28 2014

The Irish Aversion to High-Rises and How Dublin is Dealing with Urban Sprawl

February 28th, 2014Posted by 

Urban sprawl in Dublin can be attributed to the hostility to high-rise living felt by many people in Ireland. The demand for homes is there, but it is not being met with apartments for two main reasons. Firstly, a majority of Dubliners don’t want to see high-rise buildings in the city. Dublin City Council recently […]

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February 27 2014

Baltimore’s Revenue Base on the Rise as “Change to Grow” Increases Population

February 27th, 2014Posted by 

The City of Baltimore is in dire need of new residents. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to have her sights on so-called “new Baltimoreans” to fill the city’s empty houses. Baltimore’s current population of 621,342, while a spirited group, is not enough to support the services provided by the City. Gaining new residents via immigration has […]

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February 26 2014

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, A New Hope

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… the dark side ruled over a city on the coast of the Mediterranean. But that was a long time ago. Redefining the Imaginary Marseille has since rebelled, and its role as the European Capital of Culture has inspired a new hope. Despite also being a […]

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February 25 2014

Decentralizing Population Growth in Victoria: The Melbourne 2030 Plan

February 25th, 2014Posted by 

Like any thriving city in the western world, population growth and congestion is a major issue facing urban planners in Melbourne. Cities such as Melbourne have started to use generic plans to solve these issues. Furthermore, the city has a legacy to protect; in the past few years it was hailed as the most liveable city in the world. That […]

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February 25 2014

Street Furniture in Bogotá: Changing the City from the Bus Stops

February 25th, 2014Posted by 

‘Street furniture’ or mobiliario urbano as we call it in Colombia, comprises all the objects that form the landscape of a city and are installed in the public space: Benches, railings, lamp-posts, fences and bus stops – in general, elements created with the common purpose of serving citizens. In that spirit, modern street furniture isn’t conceived, designed, […]

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February 17 2014

Constructing Infrastructure, a Catalyst for Development in Brazzaville, The Republic of the Congo

February 17th, 2014Posted by 

The Congolese capital of Brazzaville hosted the Build Africa Forum from February 6 to 7th, 2014. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou Nguesso, in a hall of the city’s exposition center where the former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and other officials were also in attendance. […]

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February 12 2014

The Electric Bicycle is Taking off in Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France

February 12th, 2014Posted by 

The electric bicycle is doing quite well in Toulouse. Especially for a form of sustainable transportation that appeared not so long ago. The proof: an additional branch of “La Bicyclette Electrique,” a business specializing in electric bicycles, is set to open its doors in the heart of Toulouse’s downtown in March 2014, taking the place […]

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February 11 2014

Urban Tunnels in Colombia: Cali’s “Big Dig”

February 11th, 2014Posted by 

Recently, Cali’s mayor Rodrigo Guerrero inaugurated the longest urban tunnel in Colombia, whose main goal is to solve traffic jams in a vast zone of its city center. The Avenida Colombia tunnel is just the beginning of a long-overdue transformation that this Colombian city needed. Like the Bostonian “Big Dig,” it was a project full […]

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February 10 2014

Why Dallas, Texas is the USA’s Worst City for Cycling

February 10th, 2014Posted by 

In 2012, Bicycling Magazine named Dallas, Texas the worst city for cycling for the second time. The lowest percentage of cyclists in the country and the lack of a single bike lane played a major role in the decision, but the title was given in great part because of the city’s failure to follow up […]

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February 05 2014

Horrible Historic Preservation in 3 Easy Steps

February 5th, 2014Posted by 

Historic preservation has come a long way from the protesters in front of the old Penn Station in New York, and today it also focuses on issues such as placemaking and the revitalization of neglected buildings and neighborhoods. However, when it is done badly, historic preservation can hinder development and even unintentionally destroy what it […]

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February 03 2014

The Historic Revenge of Workers’ Neighborhoods in Bergerac, Aquitaine, France

February 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Since mid-December 2013, Saint James street has donned some new finery, worthy of the diversity of its architectural heritage. It shows with the new gateway to the historic downtown area, at the exit of the street and the Saint Jacques Church. Good taste is not necessarily unheard of as far as urban development is concerned. […]

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January 29 2014

Demolition? Approaching Demolition in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

January 29th, 2014Posted by 

Demolition, as anyone will agree, is never an end in itself. Resorting to this rather violent measure requires at the very least a serious assessment, a plan, and a method. The diagnostic itself must investigate several domains. The urban dimension should be assessed through analyzing the features in play on-site and in the surroundings, and […]

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January 28 2014

Belfast Culture Night: A Benefit or a Burden?

January 28th, 2014Posted by 

Every year since 2009, Belfast has hosted Culture Night. Inspired by the success of similar events in other capitals such as Dublin and Copenhagen, Belfast hosts Culture Night every September allowing organisations, groups or individuals to host any cultural event within the Cathedral Quarter. While participation in the event is free, there is obviously a […]

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January 27 2014

Book Review: ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change is an extended summary of Peter Calthorpe’s thought leadership in the areas of urban planning and its impacts on the surrounding environment. Arguing the holistic nature of planning decisions, Urbanism is full of quotable lines and beautiful graphics demonstrating how our carbon footprint continues to grow despite advances […]

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January 27 2014

The Modern Algerian Architect – Nothing More than an Underling?

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

In Algeria, it is a nearly unanimous observation that the country’s architectural output is mediocre. This opinion also occurs at the highest levels of the government, considering that in 2006, the President of Algeria himself commented negatively upon “the inadequacy and repetitive nature of the majority of architectural output.” We could legitimately place the blame […]

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January 23 2014

Kansas City, Missouri’s Mayorial Climate Action Plan

January 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Currently there is no universal agreement on the degree, cause, or the severity of climate change. There is, however, a significant agreement on the rise of global emissions due to the quantitative aspects of measures and their contribution to these changes. Regional industries are all highly impacted by climatological change or are subject to likely regulatory or […]

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