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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November 18 2013

Self-Made City: Collective Intelligence in Co-housing Projects from Berlin

November 18th, 2013Posted by 

In the past, participatory planning used to be regarded as an annoying factor in the already intricate procedures of urban planning. Fortunately, today participation seems to permeate through a variety of city projects. This time around, the good news comes from Berlin. Self-Made City is a bilingual (German-English) book by the German Jovis. As the […]

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November 14 2013

The Rehab Trend in Kansas City, Missouri

November 14th, 2013Posted by 

Everyone remembers the financial meltdown that coincided with the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008. Since early 2009, during the first term of President Obama, the plans for the stimulus package gave way to a novel and sustainable way of combating the rampant foreclosure problems. Although Kansas City was plagued with this problem and the […]

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November 12 2013

IJburg, Amsterdam: Innovative Neighborhood on Artificial Islands

November 12th, 2013Posted by 

IJburg is one of the newest neighborhoods in Amsterdam. In this city of high density and scarce developable land, the creation of a new neighborhood is a long and expensive planning process. IJburg is a unique urban planning experiment that consisted of creating a neighborhood from scratch. The project came mainly to respond to a […]

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October 17 2013

Social Equity Or NIMBYism? Marin County’s Battle With Affordable Housing

October 17th, 2013Posted by 

Marin County is home to thousands of acres of open space; national, state and regional parks; and one of the most staggering equity disparities in the country. According to the American Human Development Project, the median income for the wealthiest community in Marin County, Tiburon, is $80,000; the lowest is Canal at $21,000. The Canal […]

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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 20 2013

Sustainable Luxury: The New Face of Urban Living in Minneapolis

September 20th, 2013Posted by 

When one thinks of sweeping high rises, one often envisions the streets of New York, Chicago or Miami. However, this recent trend of providing luxury living space for young professionals and urbanites is sweeping the nation. Specifically, the growth of luxury apartments in Minneapolis has goals of altering the city to provide sustainable and high-density […]

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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 17 2013

Abandoned Minor League Stadium Revamped to Serve as Apartments

September 17th, 2013Posted by 

Bush Stadium resides in the northwest corner of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The stadium was home to Minor League and Negro League baseball teams from 1931 to 1996, when the Indianapolis Indians’ new stadium opened in the southwest corner of downtown. Since then, it has seen numerous uses: a mini racetrack for midget racecars, a junkyard […]

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September 12 2013

Tract Housing Curbed: One Suburban Neighborhood Embracing Architectural Design

September 12th, 2013Posted by 

Architectural diversity is something that is often times becoming increasingly more difficult to find within suburban areas. Suburban areas are embracing the concept of tract housing; a sort of ‘one house fits all’ in new construction. Through the construction of a vast array of varying styles and designs of houses, one Lincoln, Nebraska neighborhood is […]

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September 12 2013

Exclusivity at Any Expense: The Lack of Affordable Housing on Chicago’s North Shore

September 12th, 2013Posted by 

The Village of Winnetka has taken a hostile stance towards the affordable housing expansion In March of 2012, the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka, IL soundly defeated a referendum expanding affordable housing options in the village. The anti-affordable housing group Winnetka Home Owners Association (WHOA) had campaigned for a year to gather signatures to place […]

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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 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 23 2013

6 City Features that Make Indianapolis Great

July 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Some American cities, though different in shape, size, and culture, share traits that make them great places to live, work, and play. In my four years at Ball State University, I was fortunate enough to travel with my urban planning program to many cities across the country, including: Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; New Orleans, Louisiana; […]

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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 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 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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June 24 2013

The Importance of Downtown Library Branches

June 24th, 2013Posted by 

In the urban planning field, downtowns seem to be either portrayed as prolific new urbanist havens, or gritty, dilapidated messes that fail to breathe life into their communities. This time round, the latter perspective requires attention. Downtown cores in America tend to have a couple running themes to them; only minimal housing options are offered, […]

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June 21 2013

Seattle’s Floating Homes: Expanding the Built Environment on the Water

June 21st, 2013Posted by 

Are floating home communities a new urban design strategy to expand the built environment past the shoreline? Unlike a houseboat, floating homes have no propulsion power, but are built with a buoyant platform (or raft) that is semi-permanently moored to a dock. They are also always attached to city utilities (that is, they are plugged […]

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June 14 2013

These Boots are Made for Walking, and so is This City: 4 Benefits of a Walkable City

June 14th, 2013Posted by 

“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents […]

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