November 26 2013

Beijing Develops Tongzhou New City as its Sub-Center

November 26th, 2013Posted by 

On June 29th, the eleventh Beijing Municipal Party Congress positioned the development of the Tongzhou New City as “the sub-center of Beijing.” Liu Qi, Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China said in the government report that it’s time to speed up the pace of urbanization, and to further implement […]

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November 26 2013

Phoenix Catches a Ride on the Walking School Bus

November 26th, 2013Posted by 

A Walking School Bus seems a little counter-intuitive at first glance, but it may be one of the most effective ways for cities, like Phoenix, Arizona, to spread awareness about walkable neighborhoods. With a group of kids, a couple of community volunteers, and a safe route to school, communities can reshape the next generation’s view […]

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November 19 2013

A Missing Core: Architectural Education in Northern Ireland

November 19th, 2013Posted by 

Architectural education is vitally important, as both the public and professionals alike can stimulate a collaborative community seeking the best for their future. The diagram below shows how architecture, planning and urbanism, and landscape architecture in the UK are treated as three separate areas. I believe the missing core to this diagram is the education […]

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October 23 2013

Dear, Old, Dilapidated Places: Communal Relics that Connect Citizens

October 23rd, 2013Posted by 

The din of construction equipment echoes from sunrise to sundown in Astana – the cityscape itself remains under construction; commercial, civic, and institutional projects abound. As this Kazakh city evolves, what role should aged places play? In the final decade of the last century, Astana, formerly known as Akmola, Tselinograd, and Akmolinsk, became Kazakhstan’s capital. […]

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September 19 2013

Santa Rosa Infill Project Falls Short of Expectations

September 19th, 2013Posted by 

The idea began with great intentions: tear down a blighted building in Santa Rosa’s underused Courthouse Square and replace it with a multi-story mixed-use tower. The building in question, an antiquated AT&T long-distance switching facility, is an architectural eyesore and a barrier to Santa Rosa’s potential to create a thriving downtown. However, three years and […]

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September 16 2013

New Orleans to Re-Unite 28,000 People Through Design

September 16th, 2013Posted by 

For nearly seven years, plans have been in the works to redevelop a three-mile corridor; the once Carondelet canal and railroad, which runs through the center of New Orleans and spans twelve extremely diverse neighborhoods. The corridor runs between Claiborne Avenue in the French Quarter to Canal Boulevard in Lakeview. The main goal of the project is […]

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September 12 2013

Exclusivity at Any Expense: The Lack of Affordable Housing on Chicago’s North Shore

September 12th, 2013Posted by 

The Village of Winnetka has taken a hostile stance towards the affordable housing expansion In March of 2012, the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka, IL soundly defeated a referendum expanding affordable housing options in the village. The anti-affordable housing group Winnetka Home Owners Association (WHOA) had campaigned for a year to gather signatures to place […]

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September 09 2013

Micro Actions, Macro Changes: A Review for “Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model”

September 9th, 2013Posted by 

During the last few years, there has been a significant shift of interest towards grassroots interventions in the urban realm. A book like Handmade Urbanism: From Community Initiatives to Participatory Model is not just a compilation of grassroots initiatives, but an effort to set the foundations of a theoretical discussion around grassroots-driven urbanism. This endeavor […]

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September 04 2013

The 2013 Top 10 Websites For City Builders – With Coverage of the Top 20

September 4th, 2013Posted by 

Shortly after posting our last Top 20 list, Brent Toderian, an engaged Twitter follower and professional urban planner, suggested we compile a list of websites for “multidisciplinary urbanists / city-builders.” To make a slightly longer story short, we took his idea to heart and created this new list. We gathered every relevant site, none of […]

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August 06 2013

Cardinal Greenways: Biking on Muncie’s Rail-Trails

August 6th, 2013Posted by 

Biking has been mainly promoted in the past ten years as a healthy transportation alternative in major American metropolitan cities. In smaller communities though, biking remains mainly recreational. In addition to the health benefits of urban biking, it also provides the opportunity to interact with nature and wildlife along trails. In 2012, Muncie, Indiana developed […]

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August 01 2013

Chicago’s Crosswalks: Planning for Pedestrians in the Windy City

August 1st, 2013Posted by 

While crosswalk paint may not be the most glamorous part of an urban planner’s job, it represents an integral part of their vision. The City of Chicago released its first-ever Pedestrian Plan last fall as part of a long-term effort to improve safety. The city has double the national average for hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities, and […]

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July 24 2013

Lakeview Commons Triumphs with Summer Placemaking in South Lake Tahoe

July 24th, 2013Posted by 

One of the greatest ways a city can bring a community together is through a public park. Public parks benefit our cities in many ways, from public health and recreational opportunities, to strengthening the bonds between friends and families. Most of us can remember when a park we frequented was torn down and converted into […]

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July 19 2013

Farewell to The Grid: Geoff Bliss

July 19th, 2013Posted by 

I began writing for The Grid in December 2012. At this time, I was preparing to move to New York City for employment, having relocated back to Woodstock, NY temporarily in August of that year. I was eager to start writing. I researched a number of potential ideas which could explore emerging planning and design themes […]

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July 18 2013

The Peculiarity of Aldermanic Privilege

July 18th, 2013Posted by 

Urban planners and developers everywhere often need to contend with onerous local zoning codes and wind their way through arduous public approval processes. It’s simply part of the art of placemaking. Yet nowhere is this process as politically peculiar as in the city of Chicago. The city is divided into 50 political wards, each of […]

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July 12 2013

Parting Words: Farewell From Michael Jenkins

July 12th, 2013Posted by 

It started with a single hashtag and tweet after a week long Sustainable Decisions and Organizations at the University of Nottingham Business School. It was then that I followed and was followed back by Global Site Plans. I found an incredible interest the articles posted by the urban design blog site. Not once did I imagine that I […]

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July 11 2013

Thinking Regionally: Sonoma County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

July 11th, 2013Posted by 

Sonoma County has been a tourist haven for wine connoisseurs and recreationalists for decades. In more recent years, the county has gained notoriety for its commitments to climate protection, alternative transportation and sustainable communities. This is evident in the planning efforts of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) and the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan […]

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July 10 2013

Lake Tahoe Golf Course to Expand and Diminish Keeping Tahoe Blue

July 10th, 2013Posted by 

If you have ever visited Lake Tahoe, you have probably seen the bumper stickers “Keep Tahoe Blue.” Community members feel very strongly about preserving this national treasure. But over the years, the area has faced increased pressures from logging, gravel mining, and development pressures to make Tahoe a top tourist destination. Unfortunately, giving into these […]

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July 09 2013

The Infamity of Muncie, America’s Forgotten Middletown

July 9th, 2013Posted by 

In 1924, Muncie, a small city 60 miles north-east of Indianapolis in Indiana, was the subject of a socio-economic research conducted by Robert and Helen Lynd. In 1929, the Lynd’s published the results of their study in “Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture,” a book that will set this small industrial community as a […]

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July 05 2013

The Big Sort: Essential Reading for Aspiring Urbanists

July 5th, 2013Posted by 

Sharing with contemporary masterpieces such as Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone or David’s Brook’s 2004 publication of On Paradise Drive, The Big Sort – written by Bill Bishop in 2009 – delivers a critical examination of the nature of contemporary American political culture. The idea for the book originated in 2002 when Bishop became interested in researching why certain […]

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July 03 2013

Shanghai’s Yongkang Lu: Gentrification and Tension

July 3rd, 2013Posted by 

Strolling down a quaint street on a bright, spring afternoon, passing an international array of bakeries, small bars and cafes, you might think you had been transported to a quiet Parisian street. Instead, Yongkang Lu, located in Shanghai, is a street that seems to have changed overnight from a typical Shanghainese street into a European […]

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