April 05 2013

Transit-Oriented Developments are One Answer to Austin’s Growth Need

April 5th, 2013Posted by 

As Austin, Texas strives to grow as a more environmentally and socially sustainable city, it has turned to Smart Growth principles to obtain its growth goals. One way in which the city has met this challenge is through the implementation of Transit-Oriented Developments, or TODs. The principles are transit-centric and consist of the following: ●     […]

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April 04 2013

Miami’s Missing Middle

April 4th, 2013Posted by 

Miami is a melting pot not only of cultures, ethnicities, and cuisine, but also of students, professionals, couples, families, retirees, and tourists. However, contemporary housing fails to represent this diverse population by developing only single-family homes and condos – leaving few options in-between. Miami is missing middle-density building types: townhouses, row houses, courtyard housing, live-work […]

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April 02 2013

Floating Life: Is It Achievable?

April 2nd, 2013Posted by 

The Netherlands is a relatively small country, however it has a considerably sizeable population that is currently in and around 16.5 million. This makes it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with almost 83% living in urban regions. It is an extremely low lying country with about 50% of its land […]

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March 28 2013

Phoenix, Arizona Innovates with Crowdsourced Planning via “MyPlanPHX”

March 28th, 2013Posted by 

For the first time since 2002, the City of Phoenix, Arizona is undergoing a General Plan Update. The current plan is being updated in order to comply with Arizona state statutes, particularly the Growing Smarter Act, which requires cities to update their general plan every 10 years. This time around, Phoenix has created an interactive […]

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March 27 2013

Creative Space in the City: Shanghai, China’s M50 Art District

March 27th, 2013Posted by 

In rapidly developing and changing cities, creative spaces are often given low priority compared with other more lucrative ventures. In Shanghai, the art district of M50 has become an international creative cluster over the years. Located along the South banks of the Suzhou River just north of the city’s center, M50 is a collection of […]

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March 22 2013

Lack of Green Spaces? Pocket Parks are the Solution

March 22nd, 2013Posted by 

When one thinks of a park, one usually imagines a large plot full of trees in the centre of the city with routes for walking or jogging, and shaded sitting areas where people can enjoy the fresh breeze during the hot summer days. But what happens in cities, like Thessaloniki, Greece, in which green spaces […]

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March 22 2013

The Alley Flat Initiative: Affordable and Sustainable Design

March 22nd, 2013Posted by 

The Alley Flat Initiative is a collaborative project between the Gaudalupe Neighborhood Cooperation, the Austin Community Design and Development Center, and the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development. The initiative’s goal is to demonstrate affordable and adaptable housing types with efficient design and sustainable technologies. The alley flats are “small, detached residential units, accessed […]

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March 18 2013

Rise in Global Temperatures Felt in Colorado

March 18th, 2013Posted by 

While not everyone is on board that climate change is a real issue, the effects are increasingly felt across the globe. From higher ocean levels to warmer temperatures, one cannot argue that the environment has not changed over the years, whether the belief that it is the fault of civilization or not. An article out […]

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March 11 2013

A Skate Park Without Spending a Euro in Times of Crisis

March 11th, 2013Posted by 

The nongovernmental organization “Our Park” is behind a successful story of synergy between private and public actors, as well as participatory design, for the creation of an open public space in the heart of Athens, Greece. For over a year, “Our Skate Park” in downtown Athens has set a useful and optimistic precedent in urban […]

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February 18 2013

Blazing Trails in Buena Vista, Colorado

February 18th, 2013Posted by 

As discussed in a previous post, Revamping the Riverfront, residents of Colorado like to stay active. Whether it is public or private open space, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, kayaking, or another outdoor activity, Colorado doesn’t lack opportunity. Recently, the town of Buena Vista has taken steps to strengthen its local trails system. First, one must realize […]

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February 13 2013

Up and Down in Hong Kong: The Mid-Levels Escalator Systems

February 13th, 2013Posted by 

With increasing urban density, cities are being forced to find sustainable alternative solutions to problems of transportation in urban centers. In cities like Hong Kong, where urban density remains a major issue, creative projects have dramatically changed the urban landscape. The Mid-Levels is a residential area built on the steep slopes of Victoria Peak. It […]

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February 08 2013

An Architectural Challenge: White Tower Square in Thessaloniki, Greece

February 8th, 2013Posted by 

When one thinks of Thessaloniki, Greece, often the first thing that comes in mind is the White Tower, a monument that was  built around 1450 and today has become the city’s landmark. This is why the regeneration of the White Tower’s square is considered as one of the most important projects that the city can […]

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January 30 2013

Preserving History in Shanghai’s Former French Concession

January 30th, 2013Posted by 

In the middle of one of the busiest and fastest growing cities, lies Shanghai’s former French Concession. With tree-lined avenues, small cafes, boutique shops, parks, and quiet residential streets, the area is markedly different from many of the surrounding areas of immense residential towers and offices. Not only is the FFC (Former French Concession) wildly […]

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January 28 2013

(The GRID Blogger) Maxwell Vidaver: Milan, Italy

January 28th, 2013Posted by 

A big Global Site Plans welcome to our newest blogger, Maxwell Vidaver from Milan, Italy. Maxwell Vidaver is a graduate student in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, and also holds a B.A. in Geography from Binghamton University, where he focused on urban economic analysis. He is originally from […]

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January 25 2013

Making the Connection between Downtown Family Housing and a Sustainable City

January 25th, 2013Posted by 

The central areas of Austin, TX continue to transform with the addition of shopping districts, new office space, condominiums, and apartments. The city’s aim is to create more compact and walkable neighborhoods/areas in order to encourage healthier and more sustainable lifestyles among its residents through reduced car and land-use. It appears that there has been […]

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January 24 2013

What Makes Midtown the Best Neighborhood in Miami, Florida?

January 24th, 2013Posted by 

Miami voted. Results were tallied. And Midtown took the “2012 Curbed Cup” contest for Miami’s Best Neighborhood. A former rail yard, now comprised of commercial and condo units, Midtown received more votes than popular destinations like Lincoln Road, Coconut Grove, and Sunset Harbour. What might make Midtown the best Miami neighborhood? The district offers a […]

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January 21 2013

Making Athens, Greece Bike-Friendly

January 21st, 2013Posted by 

I live in Athens, Greece. For the last two years there has been a big increase of people traveling by bike in the city. It seems that the economic crisis, which began in 2010, has a positive effect, at least for the environment. Fuel prices, as well as the increasing cost of mass transit tickets, […]

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January 21 2013

Kane County, Illinois: Uniting Health and Urban Planning

January 21st, 2013Posted by 

Does the design of your environment, the man-made structures and infrastructure that permeate nearly every aspect of your life, influence behavior directly related to your personal health? The government of Kane County, Illinois thinks that it does, as this is evident from their new comprehensive plan, the “Kane County 2040 Plan: Healthy People, Healthy Living, […]

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January 16 2013

Honolulu Commuters Want Your Input: What are Your Rail Station Must-Haves?

January 16th, 2013Posted by 

Let’s begin with a bit of word association. When you hear “Honolulu,” you probably imagine palm trees gently swaying in the wind along sunny beaches abutting the clear, cool ocean. While Honolulu is renowned for its lovely beaches and, of course, the famed Mai Tai, it is also notorious for its traffic. Bleary-eyed commuters are often at […]

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January 11 2013

Establishing Connectivity, Sustainability, and Energy with Landscape Architecture: The Revitalization of Waller Creek in Austin, TX

January 11th, 2013Posted by 

“There is the opportunity to imagine a different Waller Creek, one that is a vital component of urban infrastructure, an open stage for social interaction, and a restored source of natural beauty.” Waller Creek is an urban riparian ecosystem that meanders for seven miles from the northern part of Austin, TX, southward through The University […]

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