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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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 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 05 2013

The State of Transit in Southeast Michigan

July 5th, 2013Posted by 

Transit has been a topic of interest in 2013 Detroit. With the M1 Woodward Avenue rail project given the go-ahead and news of the expansion of Interstates 94 and 75, organizations and movements like the Detroit People’s Platform and Convention are shifting their focus to organizing for transit justice. Issues like sustainability and economic viability […]

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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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July 01 2013

Cultivating Communities From the Bottom-up: Small Change by Nabeel Hamdi

July 1st, 2013Posted by 

Small Change, a 2004 book by Nabeel Hamdi, is a participatory design and place-making journey from the bottom-up. Through its pages the reader can witness the conception of a community and then follow its bit-by-bit emergence, gradual development and finally, its vitality. Nabeel Hamdi’s long experience in housing, in conjunction with his career as a […]

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June 28 2013

Thessaloniki’s Metro: A Dream Come True?

June 28th, 2013Posted by 

Thessaloniki’s Metropolitan Railway is one of the most controversial projects in Greece. Almost a decade after the construction of the subway in Athens, it was Thessaloniki’s turn to be upgraded in terms of public transportation. The construction started in 2006, although the idea was originally proposed more than 20 years ago. The whole project should […]

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