Archive for the ‘Urban Development/Real Estate’ Category

January 16 2014

A Historical Chinese Industrial Building’s Fate Left to Government Hands

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

As the rate of industrialization and urbanization accelerates in China, more and more factories are becoming deserted. Preserving and developing industrial cultural heritage has become an issue that gathers the public’s attention.  The Zhongyan Hongsifang Joint-Stock Company complex was built in the 1950s in Anhui Province, China. The industrial site had a glorious past, but […]

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January 16 2014

Rethinking Placemaking: Book Review of “Urbanism Without Effort”

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

Ideas about cities are always changing, but the fundamentals of urban living stand the test of time. Urbanism Without Effort, written by Seattle native Chuck Wolfe, suggests that we consider the basics when faced with the complexities of planning cities. Using illustrations of various urban environments around the world, it articulates an idea that I have […]

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January 14 2014

Xiamen Encourages Public Participation in the Planning Process

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

On December 26th 2013, Xiamen Planning Department director Zhao Yanjing held a press conference to discuss the public participation initiatives that the planning department would carry out in the city’s future planning projects. Reporter: The recent Yuandang Lake Pedestrian Path project and the park bench donation program have attracted significant attention from the citizens. Will […]

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January 13 2014

The Country’s Largest Light Rail System

January 13th, 2014Posted by 

City life in many places is synonymous with using public transportation- especially rail systems. However, when it comes to measuring the stretch of light rail miles, Dallas, Texas takes the top spot. The city has the longest light rail system in the country, spanning eighty-five miles and utilizing sixty-one stations. While the expanse of the light […]

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January 09 2014

KCP&L Using Complexity to Simplify Problems with the SmartGrid

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

The energy industry is a gigantic web of information and non-linear processes that have different networks, feed-ins, and balances between supply and demand on a second-by-second basis. Even at the city level, providing power adequately to all citizens and incurring minimal losses is a challenge all in itself. In the context of global emissions, energy […]

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January 09 2014

A Farewell to The Grid, from Gina Kiani of the East Bay, California

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

It’s hard to believe that my internship with Global Site Plans (GSP) has come to an end. Being a contributor to The Grid has helped me hone my skills as a writer; to more effectively convey and articulate my topics of interest. Focusing on topics of urban planning, through the lens of sustainability and geographic information […]

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January 08 2014

Transforming Movie Palaces into Religious Temples in Lima, Peru

January 8th, 2014Posted by 

The crowd slowly gathering outside the former grand movie theater on a Sunday afternoon is not so different from the crowd that used to gather in this same spot a few decades ago. These people, however, are not here for a show, but to attend a religious service. In Lima, these vintage cinemas no longer […]

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January 06 2014

The Alleys of Quebec City, Canada: Lagging Behind their Montreal Counterparts

January 6th, 2014Posted by 

The program for beautifying the alleys of Quebec City has found little success in Limoilou. There is so little happening that $600,000 of available funds are sitting in the city’s coffers. “The program does not work at all” explained the official responsible for the report, Sonia Ratté, during a recent plenary committee meeting. “The challenge […]

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January 02 2014

Planning Decision-Making in China Calls for More Accountability

January 2nd, 2014Posted by 

Recent incidents of shifting plans without notifying residents have triggered the Chinese society’s attention on planning issues. For example, a proposed apartment building plan was changed to a gas station in Zhuzhou, and an underground parking lot in Changsha became a market. Some experts have said that local government officials change the plans without a […]

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January 02 2014

Seattle’s Metropolitan Improvement District is Bringing People Downtown

January 2nd, 2014Posted by 

When people are sprawling further away from city centers to shop and eat, downtown businesses need to stay competitive. Seattle is using a Metropolitan Improvement District (often known as Business Improvement Districts) to make its downtown a better place for businesses, residents, and shoppers. Most large cities in the United States employ Business Improvement Districts. There […]

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December 30 2013

400 New Housing Units in Rennes, Brittany, France

December 30th, 2013Posted by 

It’s done! After more than ten years in the making and several large changes, the future Madeleine development zone behind the Nantes Bridge was approved by the Municipal Council. The first incarnations of this operation date back to 2002. At the start, the project consisted of restructuring Pompidou Boulevard. It was too large, not very […]

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December 26 2013

Civic Participation in Jinan, China’s Historic Preservation

December 26th, 2013Posted by 

A couple weeks ago, a series of photos were posted online that showed some historic buildings in the city of Jinan were under threat of demolition as a result of a construction site. The photos attracted a lot of comments on the Internet, and many people accused the developers of damaging the century-old buildings. The […]

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December 25 2013

A Farewell to The Grid from Alexandra Serbana

December 25th, 2013Posted by 

As my internship with The Grid is ending and the last month of the year 2013 goes by, I find myself standing at another one of life’s many crossroads. It is a bit ironic that the end of my blogging experience for Milan is due as I am about to leave the city that was […]

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December 25 2013

The Unwelcomed “Mini-Disneyland” of Puteaux, Île-de-France, France

December 25th, 2013Posted by 

Multiple Santa Clauses, candy and cookies, and a Christmas tree. Recently, the city council organized a festival for the inauguration of the “theater village” made up of about ten stores surrounding a fenced-in area overlooking Richard Wallace Boulevard, directly in line with what was supposed to be a “green area.” The grouping of buildings was […]

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December 24 2013

Unexpected Champions in Phoenix’s Fight for Shade

December 24th, 2013Posted by 

When it comes to shade tree coverage in Phoenix, Arizona, the city has been fighting an uphill battle. In a region potentially facing a 5 to 8ºF temperature increase in upcoming decades, vegetative shade is a critical amenity, but covers less than 13% of the city’s ground area. Phoenix is currently losing its trees at […]

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December 24 2013

A Farewell to The Grid, from Laura Granieri

December 24th, 2013Posted by 

After graduating from Ball State University with a degree in urban planning and development in May of 2012, I knew that I wanted to relocate from my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio to Indianapolis, Indiana. When I discovered The Grid and Global Site Plans, I was in the middle of completing a position as an Americorps VISTA […]

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December 23 2013

Toronto’s Victorian Distillery Becomes a Popular Pedestrian-Only Cultural Hub

December 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Ten years ago, if you mentioned “Gooderam and Worts,” you likely got a blank stare. Today, mention the area under its new name, the Distillery District, and Torontonians will list many things they love about it: brick pedestrian-only streets, historic buildings, arts and theatre, boutique shops (no chains allowed), restaurants, the Mill Street Brewery, and […]

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December 19 2013

Soaring Skyscrapers: Local Governments Have Fallen Into Height Worshipping Trap

December 19th, 2013Posted by 

Starting from the first skyscraper in Shanghai Lujiazui to the Broad Group high profile announcement of the world’s tallest building – Changsha ‘Sky City’ plan, there has been increasingly dense concrete jungle growth during the past two decades. Compared to the heated growth of skyscrapers in America in the 1930s, which represented the rising power […]

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December 19 2013

How Hidden Architectural History Shapes Seattle’s Downtown

December 19th, 2013Posted by 

Louis Sullivan famously stated “Form follows function.” One of the main functions of a downtown building should be to be usable to the public. In Seattle, this is done through privately-owned public spaces and architectural nuances. Sometimes this is obvious; but often the best public spaces are in hidden places. The Seattle Architecture Foundation leads […]

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December 17 2013

Integrating Western China’s Urbanization with the New Silk Road

December 17th, 2013Posted by 

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently published the Western China Development Report, which shows that the urbanization rate in Western China reached 44.93% in year 2012, compared to 60% in the Eastern China. The central government proposed to integrate urbanization in western China with the development of the “New Silk Road.” Among all the agendas, international […]

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