November 07 2013

Zoning Changes Will Take Seattle to New Heights

November 7th, 2013Posted by 

All great cities are judged by their skyline – including Seattle. Postcards of Seattle will not look the same after newly approved zoning changes take effect all across the South Lake Union Neighborhood as building’s reach new heights. Almost all buildings are currently under 100 feet, but with the newly approved zoning changes this height […]

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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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October 17 2013

Alliance for Community Development: Promoting an Inclusive Economy in Oakland, CA

October 17th, 2013Posted by 

The Alliance for Community Development (ACD) is a non-profit organization focused on economic community development for low and moderate income communities. The ACD hosted the Bay Area Capital Connections Conference VI: Investing in an Inclusive Economy on October 3rd, 2013, 
at the Kaiser Auditorium in Oakland, California. The Alliance for Community Development of Oakland, CA. provides resources […]

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October 15 2013

Rabat, Morocco: On A Quest to Become A World Class Capital or Elitist Capital?

October 15th, 2013Posted by 

Rabat is Morocco’s political capital. For most Moroccan citizens, Rabat is sooner or later a necessary stop due to its concentration of major administrative, health and educational facilities. The city also offers better employment and career development opportunities compared to other Moroccan cities. But since 2000, Rabat has wanted to be more than just Morocco’s […]

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October 11 2013

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s ArtPrize Invites Commentary on Public Space and the Built Environment

October 11th, 2013Posted by 

This year, Grand Rapids is celebrating the fifth year of their revolutionary art competition, ArtPrize. Since the fall of 2009, ArtPrize has taken over downtown Grand Rapids and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to the West Michigan city. The premise: any business within the ArtPrize district downtown can become […]

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October 01 2013

Morocco’s New Cities Program Lacks Basic Service Accessibility

October 1st, 2013Posted by 

In 2004, development work was launched in the first site, Tamansourt, nearby Marrakech, of Morocco’s “Villes Nouvelles” (New Cities) program. By 2020, the program aims to create 15 cities evolving around the major country’s urban centers to host a total of 1,150,000 residents. With an investment of over $12 billion, this program had opened 5,000 […]

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September 25 2013

Expo 2017: “Energy for the Future” to be Held in Astana, Kazakhstan

September 25th, 2013Posted by 

Kazakhstan, a country with extensive oil and natural gas reserves, will hold an international exposition on sustainable energy in 2017. Expo 2017  - “Energy for the Future” is one of the international expositions regulated by the International Exhibitions Bureau. Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, bested Liege, Belgium in the 2012 bid to hold Expo 2017. Each city […]

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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 13 2013

Kalamazoo, Michigan Farmers Market Opens to SNAP Bridge Card Payments

September 13th, 2013Posted by 

My weekly Saturday morning routine during summers in Kalamazoo, Michigan is anchored around a trip to the Bank Street Farmer’s Market. Having made this a habit the past few years, I have seen this major Kalamazoo market explode in popularity: the number of vendors has no doubt shot up along with customer traffic; and new […]

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September 05 2013

Pedestrianization and Popups Expand Downtown Oakland Business Opportunities

September 5th, 2013Posted by 

The temporary pedestrian plaza, Latham Square, had an introductory opening at Telegraph Avenue and Broadway on August 16, 2013, with a Grand Opening targeted for September and the permanent revisions to be completed in 2014. After months of community outreach, numerous local stakeholder meetings, a public design forum and study of area traffic, the pilot […]

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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 29 2013

Infrastructure Innovation: The Chicago Infrastructure Trust

August 29th, 2013Posted by 

In an era of declining tax receipts, urban planners the world over are grappling with the challenge of securing financing for needed infrastructure improvements. As early as 2007, Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel floated the idea of a National Infrastructure Bank, an entity that would be able to leverage private investment dollars to fund […]

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August 22 2013

Economic Development for Sustainability in Oakland, California

August 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Economic development can often be overlooked in the pursuit of sustainable urban planning, however, the three E’s of sustainability consist of Ecology, Equality and Economy. In promoting economic sustainability, Oakland’s Business Assistance Center (BAC) provides resources for economic ventures, of which, Oakland Grown, a program of the Sustainable Business Alliance, is a prime example of organized […]

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August 12 2013

A Second Dive Into the World of Participatory Planning of Nabeel Hamdi

August 12th, 2013Posted by 

In The Placemaker’s Guide to Building Community, the latest book by Nabeel Hamdi (2010), the reader continuously travels among practice and theory, bottom-up interventions and top-down policies, uncertainties and certainties, informality and formality.  After a short introduction about the evolution of the development planning practices in the combat against urban poverty, the reader follows Hamdi into […]

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August 08 2013

Putting Nature to Work in Oakland California

August 8th, 2013Posted by 

Awarded the Proposition 84 Urban Greening Grant, Urban Biofilter has launched the Adapt Oakland planning initiative to clean up the city with the power of nature. Past projects deployed by Urban Biofilter include collaboration with the EPA on a superfund clean-up site, bamboo planting in the Oakland Trucker OT-411 lot, the Fishbone project which established a […]

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August 07 2013

Lake Tahoe: A Product of the 1960’s Winter Olympics

August 7th, 2013Posted by 

Although discovered by John C. Fremont in 1844, the area of Lake Tahoe was slow to develop mainly due to its harsh winters and alpine location. However, as more people came west due to the Gold Rush, Lake Tahoe slowly began to develop into a tourist destination, especially when silver was found nearby in Virginia […]

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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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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 23 2013

Student-Oriented Developments on the Rise in Muncie

July 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Every fall Muncie, Indiana grows its population by almost 30%. This addition represents the 20,000 students enrolled at Ball State University in Muncie, many of whom close new housing contracts or renew old ones on- and off-campus. The university alone runs twenty-nine residence halls and 533 apartments, hosting almost 45% of on-campus students with its […]

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July 19 2013

Should We Still Be Inviting Private Corporations to Redevelop Detroit?

July 19th, 2013Posted by 

Many revolutionary types in Detroit today will tell you that the City’s downfall was brought on largely by the influence corporate automakers have had historically over urban planning and policy. Even the 1987 film Robocop was a comment on corporate overreach and the preference for privatization in the city. You’d be hard-pressed to find an […]

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