March 05 2013

Harvesting of Rainwater in the U.K.: Storm Water Management

March 5th, 2013Posted by 

The UK is a rich western country with a population of 60 million. Average water use is 150 litres per person per day (55m3 per person per year). Although the perception (not least by its inhabitants) is that the UK is a wet country with plenty of rainfall, the reality is that the UK only […]

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February 21 2013

Remnants of a Dream in Coral Gables, Florida

February 21st, 2013Posted by 

Diversity is a key ingredient for a successful development, or at least that’s what George Merrick, Founding Father of Coral Gables, believed in 1925. Along with The American Building Company and former Ohio Governor Myers Cooper, he created the largest home development project in that time’s history: the Village Project. At the time, South Florida […]

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February 08 2013

Zoning: Both the Villain and the Hero of Cities

February 8th, 2013Posted by 

“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.” ― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities […]

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January 30 2013

Will 690 Pohukaina Mixed-Income High-Rise Towers Succeed?

January 30th, 2013Posted by 

Will a district characterized by its piers and warehouses become the vibrant “live-work-play urban neighborhood” imagined by the Hawaiian Community Development Authority? The HCDA selected Forest City Hawaii to design, develop, and manage 690 Pohukaina; a Hawaiian contemporary, mixed-use complex meant be the hallmark of the new Kaka’ako. Forest City Hawaii is a subsidiary of […]

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January 29 2013

5 Ways to Bring People Back to Downtown: Examples from Orlando, Florida

January 29th, 2013Posted by 

Orlando, Florida’s downtown is undergoing what you might call a “residential renaissance.” As one of the leaders in this national trend, Orlando is seeing faster growth in its downtown than in its suburbs. Economists suspect thousands of apartment units will be added to Orlando’s urban core over the next four years, with a handful of […]

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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

Gonzaga University’s Influence on Spokane’s Planning Future

January 21st, 2013Posted by 

Gonzaga University (GU) has been in the same location across the river from downtown Spokane since its opening in 1887. GU is within a 20-minute walk from downtown, and maintains a balanced mix of park-like campus setting with just a few urban touches thrown in. Gonzaga University has grown and evolved with the city, and […]

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January 18 2013

The Placement of the Automobile in Seattle vs. Phoenix

January 18th, 2013Posted by 

If Phoenix is loops and lollipops, then what is Seattle? After recently moving from Phoenix to Seattle, it is more apparent to me how sprawl has defined Phoenix’s landscape, with its vast amounts of highways interchanges (loops) and cul-de-sacs (lollipops). Disenchantment with the post-industrial city has consequently spawned debates about what constitutes “good” urban design. […]

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December 25 2012

The Nation’s First Net-Positive Planned Community: NewPHire, North Carolina

December 25th, 2012Posted by 

Passive House, or, Passivhaus in its native German, is a global standard for energy efficiency in the domain of building construction and maintenance. The austere regulations associated with the design philosophy are similar to that of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), yet surpasses it in stringency. The ideal product of a Passive House […]

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November 22 2012

Affordable Housing Anxieties: Chicago and The Preservation Compact

November 22nd, 2012Posted by 

A typical three-story walkup building in Chicago Urban planners the world over recognize that affordable housing is crucial for neighborhood stability, as well as workforce diversity and the economic sustainability of a given region.  But in the summer of 2012, the tight rental market in major cities like Chicago meant that landlords could get record […]

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October 22 2012

Conservation of Traditional Turkish Houses

October 22nd, 2012Posted by 

Although Turkey has a well-established architectural background, today we cannot protect this heritage. Existing, historical urban patterns in cities have been destroyed as a result of the rapidly increasing population and construction of reinforced concrete buildings. The value of historical preservation, lost in the recent years, has come back once gain and the government has […]

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October 05 2012

Working with the Tide: Amsterdam’s Battle Against Rising Sea Levels

October 5th, 2012Posted by 

While the Netherlands boasts some of the greenest urban environments, it is important to remember the local relationship between then landscape and its inhabitants over the past 2,000 years. For generations upon generations, the soil, sea, and sand have been manipulated in response to the needs of a growing society. Perhaps the most poignant statement […]

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September 21 2012

The Shipping Container Life: Temporary Uses in The Netherlands

September 21st, 2012Posted by 

Although experiencing the great need for temporary adaptive reuse projects in Phoenix, Arizona, I might say that I didn’t expect The Netherlands to require such measures to activate their urban spaces. I’ve been living in one example of temporary use: a shipping container apartment complex. It may be obvious to some, but the benefit of […]

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September 12 2012

Spokane’s Rich History of the Adoption and Destruction of Rail Transportation: Please Be Doomed to Repeat!

September 12th, 2012Posted by 

In April 1888, the first streetcar line in Spokane, Washington was built for Browne’s Addition, a neighborhood just one-mile West of downtown.  The terrain is level and easy to maneuver for the less-powerful engines. It was built to attract mining and timber barons to the then-newly built mansions in the subdivision. It was drawn by horses and was […]

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September 10 2012

Are the Urban Transformation Projects in Turkey Successful?

September 10th, 2012Posted by 

Urban transformation is dedicated to creating and implementing comprehensive revitalization programs in neighbourhoods. In general, it is the re-handling of  urban development through socially, economically, and spatial aspects. This includes the destruction and rebuilding of problematic areas in the city in order to make them healthy and live-able. Due to the influx of immigration communities […]

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August 31 2012

8 Epic Fails Involving Urban Designing for the Homeless

August 31st, 2012Posted by 

Homelessness is by in large considered both a community problem and a national problem. It is an epidemic that affects millions of Americans nationwide every day. Beyond the political battle over how to resolve the homelessness epidemic, there lies a fundamental truth about the problem. That truth is that many decision makers simply don’t know […]

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August 17 2012

Richmond, Virginia’s Growing Housing Inequality by the Numbers

August 17th, 2012Posted by 

The growing housing crisis in America has had a great impact on Richmond, Virginia’s housing market. Since the beginning of the housing collapse in 2008, the wealthier 1% of the nation’s households have seen great success, while the remaining 99% of the nation have seen 1 in 667 housing units become foreclosed since June 2012. […]

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August 15 2012

Kendall Yards: The Last Piece to Spokane’s Urban Puzzle

August 15th, 2012Posted by 

Kendall Yards is a 77-acre strip of modernly undeveloped land sandwiched between Spokane, Washington’s West Central neighborhood and the Northern bank of the Spokane River below Spokane Falls. Locals claim that it was (it is now being developed as I type) the largest contiguous piece of undeveloped designated “downtown core” land in a regional city […]

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July 30 2012

New Sustainable Approaches by the Mass Housing Administration (MHA) of Turkey

July 30th, 2012Posted by 

Since their initiatives began, the Mass Housing Administration (MHA) has constructed more than 500,000 housing units all over Turkey, all with the same standards, causing identical residential buildings. In order to change this approach, Erdoğan Bayraktar, the former president of MHA, stated that “we need some standards and approaches to decrease costs and increase human comfort in mass […]

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