Archive for the ‘Urban Development/Real Estate’ Category

March 10 2014

A New Urban Park for Foch Avenue in Paris, France?

March 10th, 2014Posted by 

The designers for a proposed development on Foch Avenue, the Constructions et Développements urbains (CDU) company and the architectural firm Hamonic, Masson, and Associates, summarized the birth of their project with the following words: “Everything started with a gut-feeling. While smoking a cigarette outside of a restaurant in Paris’ 16th arrondissement during a summer night […]

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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 06 2014

Why Have a Car When You Have Snow? Getting Around in Wengen, Switzerland

March 6th, 2014Posted by 

For some people, imagining a life without cars is impossible or just unrealistic given their dependence and lack of other transit options; but alternative urban planning schemes for transportation can help places function better without the automobile. Some of the best examples can be found in small sized towns, but a city doesn’t have to […]

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March 05 2014

Sustainable Development: 100% Self-sufficient Buildings in Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

After having covered some rather outrageous projects in this blog, let’s focus on a more realistic undertaking. The project in question is a partnership for research and development that was signed in January by Bouygues Construction and the city of Grenoble ordering the construction of a block of multi-unit apartment buildings. This experimental project, set […]

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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 04 2014

Tapping into a New Market: Affordable Housing in Phoenix, Arizona

March 4th, 2014Posted by 

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “affordable housing?” Crime, low property values, poor design? These negative connotations cause many cities and private developers to approach affordable housing projects with excessive caution, leaving many opportunities untouched. Despite government incentives, such as federal grants and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, there is still an enormous […]

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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

Seattle’s Issaquah Highlands Redefines the Term “Village”

February 27th, 2014Posted by 

About twenty miles East of Seattle, a suburban area called the Issaquah Highlands, is now referring to itself as a “village.” Hillside residents are excited by the transformation. It infuses new retail, parks, and homes with front porches rather than dominating driveways. Architecture and streetscape design is more focused on people, and cars don’t dictate the […]

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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 26 2014

Consortium of Developers Wins Urban Boundary Dispute in Waterloo, Ontario

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

The Region of Waterloo, a regional municipality located in Southern Ontario, created an Official Plan that sets growth and density targets over the next twenty years. With the goal of intensification, the region limited urban boundary expansions to only seventy to eighty-five hectares from 2011 to 2031. In response, a consortium of developers took the […]

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February 25 2014

Urban Farming in London’s World War II Bomb Shelters

February 25th, 2014Posted by 

Urban sprawl around the world has created an agricultural epidemic due to the decreasing space available for farmland. Ideas about how urban farming can improve the agricultural sector, as well as the sustainability of the produce, has become more apparent within the last ten years. Recently, an urban farm was built under Clapham, London, showcasing […]

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February 20 2014

Funding a Revolution: The Rise of Fabricated Housing in Kansas City, Missouri

February 20th, 2014Posted by 

Due to higher efficiency and better performances of factory production and assembly lines, manufactured homes are increasingly becoming more popular due to affordability in urban design and housing contexts. Local organizations such as the Legal Aid of Western Missouri, are exploring the option of building manufactured homes on lots in the area as part of their Economic Development […]

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February 13 2014

Should Seattle Be Worried About Affordability?

February 13th, 2014Posted by 

Compared to some of its counterparts, Seattle is not terribly expensive. But as population quickly grows, decision makers will have to grapple with affordability. Recently elected Councilwoman Kshama Sawant made rent control a staple of her campaign. Others believe relaxing planning rules so developers can build is the best remedy. The enigma of affordability plagues […]

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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

Contesting the Renovation of the Historic Poste Centrale in Paris, France

February 5th, 2014Posted by 

Even though the Poste Centrale of Louvre Street is not found within the area usually covered by the “Vivre Le Marais!” blog, the restoration of the largest distribution center for mail in France is important. The project, entrusted to the architect Dominique Perrault in 2012, is rather illustrative of the difficulties that arise between contracting authorities (the Groupe La […]

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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 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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