November 20 2012

Creative Industries Against the Right to Access Water: Who Can Claim the City?

November 20th, 2012Posted by 

The Mayor, urban planners, and economists agree: creative industries are key to Berlin’s economic development. In a city that doesn’t rely on larger industrial facilities, that holds a special position due to its historical heritage, that was perceived as an island for decades – music, film, and new media industries have started to settle; building […]

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November 16 2012

Three Good Reasons for the Rising Cost of Parking in Austin, Texas

November 16th, 2012Posted by 

“Free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.” – Donald Shoup, Parking may not be an obvious urban design issue, but it affects the traffic patterns, environmental health, and landscapes of our cities. As the population in Austin, Texas continues to skyrocket, the city certainly […]

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August 02 2012

Foodies Tackle Urban Distribution Challenges with Community Kitchens: Providence, Vancouver, and San Francisco

August 2nd, 2012Posted by 

Food talk is hot these days. Urban planning councils and governments now implement sustainable food mandates, and city revitalization projects transform old buildings into gourmet mixed-use shopping centers. It’d be easy to assume that food producers have an easy time getting their products to city consumers. Yet even with a growing appetite for their goods, […]

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July 24 2012

A Pragmatic Interpretation of Foucault’s Biopower

July 24th, 2012Posted by 

Michel Foucault (October 1926- June 1984) was a French philosopher and activist, pivotal in the conception of contemporary postmodern theory. They are bred in the suburbs, and then sent to school. They attend Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. They are pumped with pertinent education, and then are […]

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July 04 2012

Why the City of Spokane, Washington is Wary of Adopting More Neighborhood LID “Storm Gardens:” A Fear of Expensive Popularity

July 4th, 2012Posted by 

The City of Spokane, Washington implemented two of their first-ever SURGE (Spokane Urban Runoff Greenways Ecosystem) projects in 2010 with AHBL: Lincoln Street on the South Hill; [Bottom] [Official Surge Report]; Broadway Street in the West Central Neighborhood. [Top] [AHBL's Presentation to the City]. Both were the first of their kind in Eastern Washington, and […]

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June 20 2012

Spokane, Washington’s Waste-to-Energy Plant’s New Recycling Center Design

June 20th, 2012Posted by 

Waste Management broke ground October 2011 on behalf of the City of Spokane for their new 62,000 square foot, state-of-the-art recycling center. October 1st, 2012, they are scheduled to open and ready for almost a dozen new recyclable materials. The Spokane Material and Recycling Technology (SMART) Center will receive many things dubbed as trash until […]

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April 24 2012

Yesilist: The Greenopia of Turkey

April 24th, 2012Posted by 

An internet search for “green living” in Turkey does not yield very many results. While environmental problems have been developing throughout history, the emergence of an environmental consciousness doesn’t happen overnight. In Turkey, the concept is still young, boasting both a developing field in environmentalism and a growing green industry. The National Environmental Action Plan […]

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February 16 2012

Featured Urban Planning and Urban Design Conferences of 2012

February 16th, 2012Posted by 

Today, thanks to social media, innovative planning strategies and sustainable technologies are shared globally within the environmental design community. Are you part of that dialogue? If you’re reading The GRID, you’re off to a good start.  Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are also valuable resources, but there is something to be said for attending these discussions […]

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February 09 2012

Transformers in Disguise: Compact Home Design to Optimize Space Efficiency

February 9th, 2012Posted by 

Can you imagine a small apartment, let’s say about 344 square feet, transforming into 24 different rooms? It’s possible. Well, at least when architects and engineers choose to focus on such a concept anyway, but the fact is that it has been done. Space is becoming more of a commodity, particularly within the city, such […]

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January 05 2012

Detroit, Michigan International RiverWalk: Vision and Collaboration Make It A Reality

January 5th, 2012Posted by 

World-class entertainment, respected athletic teams, a prominent automotive headquarters, and a celebrated arts and cultural district set along an international waterway – Detroit, Michigan has always been a great events city. However, one of the city’s greatest assets, the Detroit riverfront, lay underutilized for years due to limited access and lack of connectivity. Then in […]

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December 21 2011

Water Taxi: An Innovative Public Transit Opportunity in Tampa, Florida

December 21st, 2011Posted by 

One of the nice things about living in Florida are ample beaches and water. Besides possessing your typical tourist attraction, Florida’s beaches and waterfront allows transportation and urban planners to be creative with public transit. Water taxis are gaining popularity in the state, and the Tampa Bay area can utilize water taxis to connect two counties […]

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December 08 2011

Urban Farms Changing the Detroit, Michigan Landscape

December 8th, 2011Posted by 

Shrinking cities, such as Detroit, Michigan, present challenging obstacles for urban planners, city council members, and residents, because they do not shrink uniformly from the perimeter inward. Instead, we are left with gaps in the urban fabric; vacant land and empty lots expanding like dark matter in our city and urban neighborhoods.  Urban farming can […]

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November 17 2011

Zipcar: Promoting Sustainability for the Future with Car-Sharing?

November 17th, 2011Posted by 

One concern for contemporary city life may be how to implement and incorporate sustainability. Every day, each person who chooses to walk, or travel by bus or subway contributes to a cleaner and more sustainable environment. Chemically, it means fewer pounds of soot, carbon monoxide exhausted from automobiles, hydrocarbons naturally found in petroleum, and other […]

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November 10 2011

IntelliStreets: Lighting the Way for Sustainable Cities

November 10th, 2011Posted by 

Fall 2011, independently organized TEDxDetroit assembled an impressive line-up of Michigan entrepreneurs to share their Big Ideas with Detroit’s active social network.  The focus of the day was sustainability: responsible business, exceptional education, strong communities, and innovative technologies.   So, what’s the Big Idea for cities? Intelligent Streets. The IntelliStreets name demonstrates the importance of branding […]

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October 18 2011

Best Uses of Social Media for Urban Planning

October 18th, 2011Posted by 

From the beginning of its practice, planning has always been a discipline of engagement.  Without engaging and interacting with city residents and constituents, planners would be lost with regards to making effective decisions and city plans.  Now, with technology virtually omnipresent and more of these residents having access to data and city information, it’s imperative […]

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August 25 2011

Car Free Towns and Cities Around the World

August 25th, 2011Posted by 

In a previous blog, I wrote about the car-free suburb in Vauban, Germany. However, whether by intentional design or chance circumstances, quite a few other cities around the world continue to operate without automobile usage. Here is a selection of some of the more idiosyncratic car-free towns and cities around the world. Supai, Arizona is […]

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August 10 2011

Placemaking: How America Has Lost its Notion of “Place”

August 10th, 2011Posted by 

What makes a place?  And why is it important?  I have been thinking about these two questions quite a bit lately.  They are probably deeper questions than any of us realize; partly because the questions seem so simple, but also, I think, because the meaning of the word “place” has been so watered down by […]

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July 05 2011

Cities Around the World Find Energy at Home: From Sun to Sewage

July 5th, 2011Posted by 

Ever stood in the middle of a big city and thought What a lot of energy! You’re right. Any thriving metropolis is teeming with energy – sun beating down; feet and cars bearing down; offal and detritus decomposing; and often, sea tides pulling and pushing. At the turn of the 21st century, an untenable rise […]

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June 14 2011

Urban Planning Departments To Follow on Twitter

June 14th, 2011Posted by 

With more and more city residents becoming engaged in social media, municipal planning departments are taking notice. Across the country, many cities are responding to the trend by embedding themselves within social media networks and reaching out to constituents like never before. The cities are putting themselves out there on Twitter and allowing anyone to […]

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March 02 2011

Electric Cars: Saviors or the Final Undoing of American Cities?

March 2nd, 2011Posted by 

If the oil spike a couple years ago – and the one we are in the middle of now – has taught us anything, it is that something drastic needs to be done about our dependence on oil.  Eventually, the price reaches a point that demand falls as people look for other ways to travel; […]

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