Archive for the ‘Government/Politics’ Category

December 18 2013

Taking the Bus in Quebec City, Canada: From Wishful Thinking to Action

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Attitudes toward urban lifestyles are rather hostile in Quebec City. Our mayor proved this point when exiting a recent electoral debate organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Quebec. The slip up: “I’m not sure that you could find 100 people who would dream of taking the bus.” In other words, who would be able […]

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December 18 2013

Amy Cortese Discusses Hometown Economics In “Locavesting”

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Amy Cortese’s Locavesting: The Revolution In Local Investing And How To Profit From It is a must-have for anyone interested in small-business financing, economics, or community development. The purpose of the book is to expose readers to a multitude of alternative investment mechanisms that help local and regional businesses grow and thrive. Although Cortese explores […]

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December 17 2013

The Transformation of Conflict: Urban Displacement in Colombia

December 17th, 2013Posted by 

In previous posts I’ve discussed the situation of Colombian cities and a country that after decades of conflict is finally witnessing a resolution to its problems. And for the first time in years, has started talking about a future of development and welfare for all its citizens. However, many problems can’t be ignored with a […]

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December 17 2013

Nothern Ireland Considering Demolition of Historically Significant & Listed Buildings

December 17th, 2013Posted by 

Belfast has a vast array of historically important buildings that reflect how the city has evolved. Even though these buildings have been labeled as protected, they are still at risk of demolition. The PAC (Public Accounts Committee) has said that the “body responsible for safeguarding the buildings is not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable.” The […]

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December 16 2013

Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France, and (Old) New Forms of Transportation

December 16th, 2013Posted by 

The magazine Ville Rail & Transports has recently singled out the Toulouse Metropolitan Area’s programs by awarding them with the “New Forms of Transportation” prize. It is time to express appreciation for everyone involved in these policies. This distinguished project has been based on a great deal of voluntary action. It’s interesting to note that […]

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December 11 2013

University as an Engine of Urban Transformation in Milan, Italy

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

Industrial areas can be actors that promote urban transformation in cities. Milan had a strong industrial and economic production, which can be seen today in its large industrial sites. The area of Bovisa is an ex-industrial area in the north-east region of the city outskirts, close to the new Milano Fiera and future Expo areas. […]

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December 11 2013

Prospects for a Tunnel Beneath the Harbor in Geneva, Switzerland

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

In the beginning, Michèle Künzler, a state councillor formerly employed in the Department of the Interior and Mobility, implied that voting for the “Let’s Save our Parks” initiative could condemn the project for a tunnel under the city’s harbor. I have to say that hearing the representative from the Verts, an ecological political party, utter […]

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December 11 2013

Let’s Start Sharing: #TheGrid Discusses How an Emerging Movement is Shaping Cities

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

The sharing movement is beginning to transform cities. Businesses in various sectors are looking at new ways of sharing space and resources. It is a simple concept that has stemmed from informal practice, but it may change the way cities operate. Before diving further into the concept, think of the last time you shared something. […]

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December 10 2013

Reimagine Phoenix: Boosting the Economy with Trash

December 10th, 2013Posted by 

Phoenicians have been searching high and low for a new identity to give to their sprawling Bird on Fire, branded by Andrew Ross in 2011 as the “World’s Least Sustainable City.” Last year, the City of Phoenix, Arizona State University (ASU), and St. Luke’s Health Initiative decided it was time to Reinvent Phoenix through transit-oriented […]

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December 09 2013

Pipeline Explosion Exposed Qingdao’s Shortsighted Urban Planning

December 9th, 2013Posted by 

“Was it a planning problem or a design problem? Was it a technical problem or a management problem? Was it a business enterprise issue or a governmental issue?” China State Administration of Work Safety Chief Secretary Yang Dongliang asked these questions at a press conference after Sinopec’s Donghuang oil pipeline explosion caused sixty-two deaths and […]

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December 09 2013

Jennifer Keesmaat is Attacking the Deep-Rooted City-Suburb Divide of Toronto

December 9th, 2013Posted by 

Jennifer Keesmaat, the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto and one of the fifty most influential people in Toronto, is directing attention to the importance of walkable neighbourhoods. Unlike the focus of most development hype, she is concentrating not just on the prosperous, mixed-use downtown and surrounding area, but also on the car-oriented, former suburbs […]

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December 09 2013

Closure of The Champlain Bridge: Transportation Sustainability in Montreal, Quebec

December 9th, 2013Posted by 

It’s hard to look past the topic of the week: the Champlain Bridge! The closure of several lanes on the bridge deck caused huge traffic jams over several kilometers at the beginning of the week, with the same happening at all road accesses crossing the St. Lawrence River. And that is only the start of […]

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December 06 2013

Detroit Controversy over Converting I-375 into a Pedestrian-Friendly Surface Road

December 6th, 2013Posted by 

Detroit, Michigan is at a crossroads of urban development. I’ve covered the many urban planning controversies being discussed in the area: development and gentrification in Midtown and Downtown, transit problems, and increased bicycle use among them. If you’re interested in following a case study of urban ills and opportunity in the new American context, Detroit […]

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December 05 2013

Planning Mixed-Income Communities: 5 Ways Yesler Terrace Does it Better

December 5th, 2013Posted by 

Can the barriers between people at different income levels be broken by simply having them live near each other? Seattle is attempting to answer this question through planned mixed-income communities. Yesler Terrace is a bold project operated by the Seattle Housing Authority. It aims at completely redefining the area, which happens to be the oldest public […]

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December 04 2013

Demolition and Development: 52 Rue Montesquieu in Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France

December 4th, 2013Posted by 

On November 18th, the community board of Lyon passed a decision that proved to be controversial in the neighborhood of La Guillotière, in the city’s 7th arrondissement. As part of the redevelopment project for the Mazagran sector, the matter in question is the demolishment of the building located at 52 Rue Montesquieu. A portion of […]

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December 03 2013

Colombia, the Country of Sweet Coffee, is Becoming the Country of Great Cities

December 3rd, 2013Posted by 

In Colombia, since the beginning of the twentieth century, when one spoke about moving to la gran ciudad (“the great city”), one always referred to Bogotá. This process of migration was historically viewed as a last resort: in a country rich in natural resources, moving to the city was considered a treason to the national […]

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December 02 2013

Homelessness on the Rise: 13,500 Tenants Evicted in Greece

December 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Athens and other major Greek cities, due to the economic crisis, are experiencing a sad mismatch between the increase of the overall homelessness and the rise of vacant buildings. Many middle- and lower- class people of moderate educational backgrounds that before the economic crisis could live in relatively good standards, now populate the decadent streets […]

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November 29 2013

What’s Happening to the Land of Lakes? A Case Study of White Bear Lake

November 29th, 2013Posted by 

Growing up in Mahtomedi, MN, White Bear Lake had a stronghold in my life. As a child, my nanny would take me there to learn to swim. Growing older, it became the location of my friend’s biking and summer adventures. Although this lake is typically considered one of the deepest, largest, and cleanest in the […]

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November 27 2013

Architect Michel Cantal-Dupart Warns of Grand-Paris’ Mediocrity

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

To reduce Grand Paris to metro and train lines is to forget the demands for integration made by neighborhoods, and also solidarity with our less affluent fellow citizens. It ignores the imperative to conduct urban planning, and it is also an assault against residents. All of this is summarized in a twenty page report given […]

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November 27 2013

Boston: The Importance of Not Being Just a “Fair-Weather” City

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People who live in and visit the Boston area are spoiled for public spaces, for places to enjoy nature, to play, relax, read, picnic, and engage with others. The city’s streets abound with quirky street festivals, public libraries, and dogs and children playing with Frisbees along the esplanade of the Charles River. Yet how many […]

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