April 04 2013

Courtney McLaughlin: A Farewell to Global Site Plans and The Grid

April 4th, 2013Posted by 

They say that when something is meant to be, you begin to see signs of it everywhere; life begins to push you in the direction you are supposed to go. I can certainly attest to this phenomenon in my experience with urban design. Once I discovered how strong my interest was in this field, I […]

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March 26 2013

Cities as Brands: Global Recognition of Local Cultures through Place Branding

March 26th, 2013Posted by 

In a global economy, where places are in tight competition for investors, companies, workforce, and tourists, creating a place brand has become a powerful tool. Cities like Paris, London, and New York have distinctive features that tell a story about their urbanity, history and lifestyle. These images are commonly created not by accident, but are […]

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February 15 2013

Visualizing Our Shared Urban Ecology Through the Welikia Project

February 15th, 2013Posted by 

On the surface, the iconic 200-year-old urban grid of New York City’s Manhattan Island towers over the surrounding hinterland. John Randel Jr., who surveyed & engineered the future of NYC urban growth from 1818-1820, used hand drawn maps that effectively mapped out today’s modern metropolis. But New York City, like all cities, also carries a […]

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January 03 2013

Matthew Traucht: A Farewell to Global Site Plans and The Grid

January 3rd, 2013Posted by 

Global Site Plans has been an important part of my development as a writer and I am proud for having had the chance to work with Renée van Staveren and the crew there. My work as a master’s candidate at the University of Minnesota has exposed me to many of the issues that I wrote […]

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December 20 2012

From the Cradle to the Grave at the Historic Fort Snelling, Minnesota

December 20th, 2012Posted by 

If the act of naming something validates its existence, the Dakota War of 1862 is overwrought with meaning. That same conflict, one that killed hundreds of whites as well as Native Americans, is variously referred to as Little Crow’s War, the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, the Sioux Uprising, the Dakota Uprising, the Dakota Conflict, and […]

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December 06 2012

Innovating the Landscape from Ordnance to Ordinance in Minnesota

December 6th, 2012Posted by 

Brownfield remediation is becoming a common process in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. A few miles from the heart of one of the more successful projects – Mill Ruins Park – lies UMore Park (University of Minnesota Outreach, Research, and Education), a planned 5,000-acre development for 25,000 people in eco-friendly homes and neighborhoods. Sadly there […]

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November 28 2012

A Farewell To The GRID, From Kennith George

November 28th, 2012Posted by 

Nearly a year ago I took on the adventure of blog writing to fuel my passion for urban planning and to help interested readers stay informed about local planning from a New Urbanism framework.  I literally had no idea what I was doing as I dove into the online world of blogging. Soon after launching […]

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November 22 2012

The Ghetto in the Sky: From Slum Removal to Urban Renewal in Minneapolis, Minnesota

November 22nd, 2012Posted by 

One of the most iconic viewsheds in Minneapolis – hated by some, loved by others – are any that include the Riverside Plaza apartments. From many places in the city you can see the Brutalist concrete buildings, with their primary-color panels and blockish tower-structure, towering above their surroundings. In 2010, Riverside Plaza was included in […]

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November 16 2012

Three Good Reasons for the Rising Cost of Parking in Austin, Texas

November 16th, 2012Posted by 

“Free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.” – Donald Shoup, Parking may not be an obvious urban design issue, but it affects the traffic patterns, environmental health, and landscapes of our cities. As the population in Austin, Texas continues to skyrocket, the city certainly […]

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November 08 2012

Reconfiguring for Razzmatazz: The Debate Over Peavey Plaza

November 8th, 2012Posted by 

Just over a year ago, in October 2011, the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota revealed new plans for the redesign of historic Peavey Plaza.  Those plans were scrutinized in the media and public outcry mourned the loss of such an iconic design. Today, this “Marvel of Modernism,” designed by noted landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg in […]

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October 26 2012

10 Twitter #Chats to Follow in Urban Planning and Urban Design

October 26th, 2012Posted by 

The new wave in social media communication is quickly creating a method for discussing topics relating to urban planning, architecture, and community development. The social media site Twitter is leading the charge in this evolution by creating a way for people from around the world to gather in one centralized location to discuss and solve various […]

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October 04 2012

Retooling the Assembly Line at the Ford Plant in St Paul, Minnesota

October 4th, 2012Posted by 

In 2011, Ford closed their 122-acre St. Paul, Minnesota plant after 86 years of production. The community has developed around the plant and Ford’s impact on the area is a fixture of this cultural landscape.  The closure of automotive plants in the US is not a new phenomenon: In the last 33 years, 267 of […]

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September 28 2012

5 Facts About Revitalizing the City of Richmond, Virginia’s Downtown

September 28th, 2012Posted by 

A healthy downtown is an important economic component for any city that desires to increase revenue, improve tourism, or revitalize local neighborhoods. Thus, the local downtown is by and large the life-blood of any metropolitan area. Like many other cities and small towns, urban planners from Richmond, Virginia have been working tirelessly to revitalize the […]

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September 20 2012

Why You Should Care About New Design Guidelines in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Zone, Minneapolis, Minnesota

September 20th, 2012Posted by 

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, new design guidelines are being recognized to preserve the context and character of the historic heart of the city.  Following an extensive public hearing period and intensive research, these guidelines express value systems surrounding such notions as streetscape, access to the Mississippi River, potential archaeological remains, views, and the historic integrity of […]

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August 27 2012

Accepting Blogger Applications Until September 21, 2012

August 27th, 2012Posted by 

Global Site Plans is happy to announce the acceptance of applications for the Fall Environmental Design Blogger Internship program. Applications for the Fall program close on September 21, 2012 and the internship will begin in October 2012. You should be willing to make a 6-month to one-year commitment to The Grid. For more details regarding […]

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August 23 2012

Listening With Your Eyes, Seeing With Your Ears in Minneapolis, Minnesota

August 23rd, 2012Posted by 

“Whether we look closely or not, great art in public spaces improves our quality of life in Minneapolis every day,” said Mayor R.T. Rybak of the Minnesota Public Radio’s Sound Point project launched in 2011.  Sound Point is an engagement of people and art, a dialogue between artist and viewer, and a multimedia experience inspired […]

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June 06 2012

Uses of Social and Participatory Mediums in Urban Planning

June 6th, 2012Posted by 

Planning participation is a requirement in most American states, and many municipalities realize its power; a sense of ownership in the community for an initiative can be a determining factor in the success of any plan. To distribute and gather information to and from the community there are essentially three routes. Depending on the community […]

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June 05 2012

Social Media Implementation by Sasaki Associates, Inc.: An International Planning and Design Consultancy

June 5th, 2012Posted by 

Planning should be participatory; however, it’s often very difficult to get stakeholders to contribute to planning processes. Mail-in survey return rates are low, and more often than not, residents don’t want to sit through a Saturday morning design charette. Marketing online and social media platforms give urban planners and architects a set of contemporary tools […]

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May 30 2012

Best Uses of Social Media for Government Agencies and Urban Planners

May 30th, 2012Posted by 

There is no denying it, we are in the facebook era. With over 900 million users, the public has never been more exposed and globally connected. One reading this may agree, but likely conclude, that the banter on Facebook is similar to the banter on Wikipedia; it is inefficient, random, and full of opinions, often […]

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May 17 2012

Hello, Goodbye to Global Site Plans – The GRID

May 17th, 2012Posted by 

Oh, Global Site Plans – where did those 6 months go? After I graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s in English & American Literature, I reached a revelation – I wished I had studied environmental science. During my long contemplation in finding a detour to reach that obscure goal, I realized that I […]

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