November 20 2013

Homeowners’ Associations: Friend or Foe of Aesthetic Diversity?

November 20th, 2013Posted by 

While in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I observed apartment-dwellers’ eclectic modifications to their balconies. As these extended from otherwise homogeneous Soviet-period apartments, I noted how this eccentricity contributed to the distinctive character of Almaty’s cityscape.                             In the United States, condominium and home owners’ […]

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October 29 2013

Amsterdam-Noord: From an Abandoned Shipyard to Amsterdam’s Creative District

October 29th, 2013Posted by 

While waiting for the ferry at the wharf behind Amsterdam Central Station, the Eye Film Museum designed by the Viennese architectural firm Delugan Meissl Associated Architects stands with its futuristic design as a landmark on the IJ Lake northern shore. A fifteen minute ride on a free ferry took me along the shore, to what is […]

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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 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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July 31 2013

Will Daring Architecture Produce Monotony in Astana?

July 31st, 2013Posted by 

Astana has a predilection for post-modern, avant-garde architecture. The construction of wildly creative, contemporary architecture in Dubai and Tokyo cemented these cities’ reputations as modern urban centers. Likewise, Astana will be “the Dubai of Central Asia,” according to Kazakhstan’s government, a bastion of modernity in a region that tends toward the traditional.  This penchant for […]

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July 31 2013

Shadows of Doubt: Will Melbourne’s Planned Density Affect Its Liveability

July 31st, 2013Posted by 

As Melbourne’s population grows, our city’s planners are pushing for densification. By concentrating growth, Melbourne is hoping to ease the strain on housing supply by promoting smaller lot sizes, as well as ease the burden by extending infrastructure to its urban fringes. However, a by-product of this densification is the physical dominance that high-rise developments […]

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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 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 03 2013

(The GRID Blogger) Allyson McAbee: New Orleans, Louisiana

July 3rd, 2013Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Allyson McAbee from New Orleans, Louisiana. Allyson McAbee is a graduate of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Currently living in New Orleans, Louisiana she works at a residential design, build firm while volunteering at gardens and farms around the city. Traveling […]

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July 01 2013

Where Architects Go: The Top 10 Architecture Websites for 2013 – And Coverage of the Top 20

July 1st, 2013Posted by 

Last year we scoured the web to uncover the Top 20 International Architecture Websites 2012. After a thorough search, and with the help of Alexa International Rankings, we found the most popular sites used by both professionals and enthusiasts within the architecture community. Now one year later, it is time to click the refresh button […]

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June 27 2013

Planning Steps into the Spotlight: Walkable City Book Review

June 27th, 2013Posted by 

If you’re a planner and have tried to explain to everyday folks the importance of good planning, then you know it can be a difficult topic to interest them. Most either find the planning profession to be too regulatory or know nothing about it at all. In Jeff Speck’s Walkable City: How Downtown can Save […]

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June 12 2013

Crowdsourcing the Evolution of an Industrial Neighborhood: The Granary District’s Journey at The Congress for the New Urbanism’s CNU21

June 12th, 2013Posted by 

James Alfandre, Kentlands Initiative James Alfandre, Executive Director at the Kentlands Initiative, opened the session by defining crowdsourcing. He thinks of crowdsourcing as an “open call to an undefined group of people.” It’s essentially Wikipedia’s open source model applied to urban revitalization and development. Alfandre said that there are two major steps to creating the […]

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June 06 2013

Infill and Adaptive Reuse in Phoenix, Arizona

June 6th, 2013Posted by 

The American dream of homeownership (that picket fence, the half-acre lot) has been embedded in our consciousness for decades, and no more so than in cities like Phoenix, Arizona. The problem with this vision is that it has caught up to us; the reality is not the fantasy that urban planners of the 1940’s and […]

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May 31 2013

Ano Poli, Thessaloniki: The Charm of Architectural Integrity

May 31st, 2013Posted by 

In almost every city, there is a specific area that everyone visits to spend hours just walking, taking photos, and relaxing. Can it be a coincidence that this area almost in every city is the so-called “old town?” In Thessaloniki, Greece, the prominent “Ano Poli,” meaning “upper side of the city,” is one of the […]

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May 17 2013

How Skate Parks Can Transform Urban Areas

May 17th, 2013Posted by 

Nowadays, skateparks seem to be the new form of the traditional town squares we all remember visiting during our childhood and adolescence years. It’s not surprising that more and more people gather in this type of park to meet with their friends, spend their evening and, of course, practice sports like skating, roller-skating, and BMX […]

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May 14 2013

Tidal Wave Energy: Is it Ecologically Sustainable?

May 14th, 2013Posted by 

Global energy demand continues to grow and tidal wave energy generation devices can provide a significant source of renewable energy. Technological developments in offshore engineering, and the rising cost of traditional energy, means that offshore energy resources will be economic in the next few years. Tidal wave energy is a form of hydropower that converts the energy […]

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May 08 2013

Shanghai’s Jiashan Market: A Model for Community Based Development?

May 8th, 2013Posted by 

In a city of over 20 million people, with about 3500 people living in each square kilometre, finding a space that provides an intimate sense of community may seem next to impossible. Within this urban maze, however, exists a number of places seeking to foster a greater sense of community and neighbourhood. Envisioned by Brearley […]

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May 02 2013

Successful Storefronts in South Florida

May 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Window shopping is a popular pastime – but have you ever noticed that some storefronts are simply better for on-foot shopping than others? While conventional retail has given higher priority to faster-moving automobile visibility, the traditional fundamentals of human-based storefront design are often overlooked. The success of local businesses, and the walkability well-designed storefronts promote, […]

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May 01 2013

Writing on Buildings and Cities: A Review of Michael Sorkin’s “All Over the Map”

May 1st, 2013Posted by 

  Michael Sorkin is opinionated to the point, and passionate about protecting architecture from the politics that too often smother innovation. A well-known architectural critic, author of several hundred articles, professor, and principal of the Michael Sorkin Studio, Sorkin lives, eats — “architectural flesh has always proved tasty to me”, and breathes architecture and urban […]

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April 23 2013

Talking Sustainability: An Interview with Orlando, Florida’s Creative Village Developer

April 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Technology, education, and sustainability are the driving forces behind Orlando’s upcoming Creative Village, a 68-acre infill project in downtown Orlando. Craig Ustler, 50 Most Powerful People in Orlando mainstay and co-developer of the site with the City of Orlando, sat down with me to talk about the carefully chosen, innovative urban planning practices he plans to […]

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