July 26 2012

A Day at the Brazil’s Largest Favela, Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

July 26th, 2012Posted by 

I am in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a 6-week long program, and my next two posts will be on the urban planning issues of Rio. Rio de Janeiro is known, among other things, for its urban poverty and squatter settlements (or in the Brazilian case favelas). I have had a chance to visit the […]

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July 20 2012

5 Life Lessons Learned From Poor Housing in Low-Income Communities of Richmond, Virginia

July 20th, 2012Posted by 

Fair Housing is defined by the government as any housing that is free from discrimination based on race, religion, sex, handicap, status, or national origin. Quality Housing is housing that is safe, sanitary, and accessible. Whether it’s unfair or poor quality, having decent housing is important to everyone. Most urban planners define quality housing by its […]

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July 13 2012

Fast Track Land Banking in Detroit, Michigan

July 13th, 2012Posted by 

Architects, urban planners, engineers, and residents realize that Detroit isn’t actually shrinking. The physical boundaries still exist, but, in many areas of the city, the density has been significantly reduced and the vacancy rates increased. Fortunately, land banks can be an effective way to manage this underutilized space and generate tax revenue. According to U.S. […]

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July 12 2012

Court Order to Stop the Urban Renewal Project on the Famous Romani Neighbourhood Sulukule, in Istanbul, Turkey

July 12th, 2012Posted by 

Recently, a very important decision has been made that could set up a milestone on how the slum areas in Istanbul, Turkey are treated by the authorities in charge of urban renewal. Sulukule neighborhood, in Istanbul, which used to house a Romani community, was demolished and its residents were relocated to public housing projects built […]

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June 19 2012

The Issue of Single Family Transient Rentals: Zoning for Economic Development in Mammoth Lakes, CA

June 19th, 2012Posted by 

Zoning, the main form in which land use is regulated in the United States, is a controversial form of urban planning. Property owners do not like being told what they can and cannot do with their land and view use restrictions as a violation of their property rights. Those in favor of zoning view it […]

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June 14 2012

An Architectural Analysis of Mass Housing Administration’s (MHA) Urban Renewal Projects in Istanbul, Turkey

June 14th, 2012Posted by 

In a special advertorial sponsored by Turkey’s Mass Housing Administration (MHA) in one of the issues of the UN-HABITAT’s Urban World magazine, MHA states that transforming existing slums “makes up approximately 10 percent of our total housing development. […] Moreover, it should be emphasized that wherever we build housing, we take into consideration the great […]

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May 16 2012

Urban Relocation in Istanbul, Turkey: What is Being Done Wrong?

May 16th, 2012Posted by 

Urban relocation is often used, whether justifiably or not, as a part of the urban renewal project of Istanbul in its endeavor to become a “world-city.” As the main actor to carry out urban renewal projects, Mass Housing Administration has the authority to relocate squatter communities whenever it’s deemed appropriate, and usually these communities are relocated to […]

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May 08 2012

Municipal Bankruptcy: How Mammoth Lakes, CA is Struggling to Provide Essential Services During Default

May 8th, 2012Posted by 

Chapter 9 is the section of the National Bankruptcy Code that provides for the reorganization of debt incurred by municipalities such as cities, towns, counties, and villages. The very first municipal bankruptcy was filed in the United States in 1934 during the Great Depression. While the provision has been around for 60 years, there have […]

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April 27 2012

Final Thoughts: A Farewell to Everyone at The GRID and Global Site Plans

April 27th, 2012Posted by 

As my 6-month internship with Global Site Plans coasts to a gentle close this week, I find myself in a much different place than when I began blogging for the GRID in October 2011. In the beginning, I was a recent college grad still clinging to my Cornell days by hanging around Ithaca, New York […]

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March 29 2012

The Story of Demolition City: Detroit, Michigan

March 29th, 2012Posted by 

In February 2012, I wrote a post called Assessing the Damage: Preserving Detroit, Michigan’s Historical Places, describing the delicate balance between restoration and demolition. Incorporating preservation efforts into Detroit Michigan’s priorities is vital, but there will always be the reality of budget cuts, insufficient public services, community needs, and generally, too little, too late. Detroit […]

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March 28 2012

Master-Planned Communities: Planning Genius or Behind the Times?

March 28th, 2012Posted by 

Master-planned communities are all-inclusive neighborhoods that are located on the fringe of the urban core. While these have been lauded in the past for incorporating an all-inclusive design, they also have been blamed for perpetuating the movement of people and families to the outskirts of town and perpetuating urban sprawl. The city of Tampa, Florida […]

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March 14 2012

Designing Suburban Enclaves in Urban Areas: Tampa, Florida Shows the Way

March 14th, 2012Posted by 

Many people choose to relocate to the suburbs to achieve a lifestyle change: large backyards, block parties, safety. As many perks as the suburban lifestyle presents, it also presents many downfalls. Longer commutes and encroachment on precious wildlife are just two of those downfalls. It does not have to be a choice between one or […]

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February 28 2012

What’s the EPA Have to Say About Smart Growth?: Report from Mammoth Lakes, CA

February 28th, 2012Posted by 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defined the 10 principals of the concept of Smart Growth in response to the development paradigm – “bigger is better.” While growth is important for communities, if not carefully planned for, it can lead to transportation issues, declining home values, environmental degradation, and health problems. Small towns like Mammoth Lakes, […]

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January 24 2012

Rust Belt Real Estate: Re-imagining Post Industrial Cities

January 24th, 2012Posted by 

While at one time it was counted among the most productive manufacturing areas in the world, the area of former heavy manufacturing bordering the Great Lakes, known as The Rust Belt, has suffered from decaying industry and deserted cities. Through the 1980′s and 1990′s, The population drop in cities like Cleveland, Buffalo, and Detroit  has […]

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January 06 2012

Capitalizing on Cayuga Lake: Waterfront Redevelopment in Ithaca

January 6th, 2012Posted by 

The potential for waterfront redevelopment has been a recent hot topic of debate here in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca’s waterfront consists of the southern end of Cayuga Lake, which is mostly parkland and upscale residential properties, and Cayuga Inlet flowing from the south into the lake, whose banks host a wider variety of industrial, recreational, […]

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December 29 2011

Interior Design with Recycled and Natural Products: Reducing the Impacts of Outgassing

December 29th, 2011Posted by 

For our generation of architecture, urban design and sustainability, environmental design is constantly developing, but before upgrading your home to appear contemporary or mimic a more modern design, first contemplate if that decision will adversely affect your health. By thinking environmentally first, you can avoid the harmful aspects of home design. There is an array […]

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December 20 2011

Environmental Design: A Look At The Swall Institute in Mammoth Lakes, California

December 20th, 2011Posted by 

Looking for an environmentally friendly, quiet, workspace surrounded by the serenity of nature? The Swall Institute is your answer. A small residence designed for flexible use, located outside of Mammoth Lakes, California, The Swall Institute acts as an incubation space for individuals and groups who work better when they have access to the great outdoors.  […]

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December 05 2011

Reconstruction of Montreal’s Turcot Interchange and its Impacts

December 5th, 2011Posted by 

The Turcot Interchange is a major highway junction in Montreal, connecting the north-south Autoroute 15 and the east-west Autoroute 20/720.  The elevated interchange accommodates about 280,000 vehicles a day.  It is located near several working-class neighbourhoods, and is next to a rail-yard as well as the Saint-Jacques Escarpment.  Hastily constructed in 1966-67 in time for […]

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December 02 2011

Household Water Control: If It’s Yellow Let It Mellow, If It’s Brown Flush It Down

December 2nd, 2011Posted by 

According to Worldchanging, a nonprofit media organization dedicated to solutions-based journalism about the planetary future, the Department of Water Services is the largest consumer of electricity in California. This detrimental relation between electricity and water is an overuse of energy to solely distribute water throughout California. Within Los Angeles, The City’s water consumption has remained […]

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November 25 2011

The Shifting American Dream: New Trends in Housing Demand in Ithaca, New York

November 25th, 2011Posted by 

It is becoming clear that young people and retirees favor a compact urban lifestyle to the sprawl of suburbia, as the cultural value of owning a large home and multiple cars erodes in our resource-strapped contemporary world. On October 20, 2011 at Ithaca’s Downtown Housing Forum, the Danter Company, a real estate research firm, presented […]

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