April 08 2014

Protestors in Athens Take to the Streets as Landfill Development Continues

April 8th, 2014Posted by 

With what criteria should we evaluate which places make perfect wastelands? Should we continue burdening an already polluted area or should we create new sites of pollution? There is not a more igniting local issue than the waste management of Athens and Attica, particularly these days anticipating the Greek Municipal Elections of May 2014. With […]

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April 02 2014

Visual Pollution in the City of Athens, Greece: Escaping this Aesthetic Prison

April 2nd, 2014Posted by 

Visiting Athens, Greece, you will hear that the city looks pretty in August or during popular holidays, while half the population is away on vacations. Obviously less people equals less noise and traffic, but is this really the case? Could Athens ever be described as a pretty place? Blinded by the history of Athens, contemporary […]

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March 27 2014

The Fight Over Parking Minimums in Seattle

March 27th, 2014Posted by 

Most people love free parking, so it’s no surprise why there is a controversy when urban planners want to build less. In Seattle, former mayor Mike McGinn lost his campaign for reelection, with his parking policies as a major factor. Some went as far as to call it a “war on cars,” and some alluded […]

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March 27 2014

Can Denver’s Ambitious Light-Rail Plan Meet its 2018 Completion Deadline?

March 27th, 2014Posted by 

In 1993, Denver, Colorado did not have a single light-rail line in its metro area. By October 1994, it had a 5.3-mile track operating on what is now the D line - Denver’s first light-rail line. In 2004, Denver voters approved a $4.7B initiative sales tax increase called “FasTracks” to provide funding for a rapid transit system […]

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March 25 2014

The Inauguration of Canada Park in Thessaloniki, Greece

March 25th, 2014Posted by 

The “Canada” Park was inaugurated on Agia Sofia Street, in the centre of Thessaloniki, a month ago. This park was created on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the initiation of the Diplomatic Relations between Canada and Greece. In the Canada Park, a sign has been placed to honour Mackenzie King, who was a […]

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March 18 2014

Exploring the City: The Old Slaughterhouse of Thessaloniki, Greece

March 18th, 2014Posted by 

On February 17, 1896 was the year the first Olympic Games took place in Athens. After several long meetings, Thessaloniki’s city council decided to launch certain public projects for the improvement of the city’s infrastructure. Among them, the council proposed the demolition of the old slaughterhouse and the construction of a new one. That same year, […]

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March 12 2014

Industrial Mills of Jones Falls Redeveloped for a New Baltimore

March 12th, 2014Posted by 

My previous blog discussed the chronic undercrowding in the City of Baltimore and the current plans to reverse it by charming homebuyers with reduced property tax rates. The City has also been charming developers of the once abandoned stone mills clustered around Jones Falls. The lure is still tax related, but this time in the […]

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March 05 2014

Is Legal Marijuana a Problem for Urban Planners?

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

On November 6th, 2012, the state of Colorado became one of just two U.S. states to legalize the recreational sale of marijuana with the passing of Amendment 64. The first stores to sell marijuana legally officially opened for business on January 1st, 2014. According to an e-mail from a City of Denver spokesperson, there are currently thirty-seven […]

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February 27 2014

Seattle’s Issaquah Highlands Redefines the Term “Village”

February 27th, 2014Posted by 

About twenty miles East of Seattle, a suburban area called the Issaquah Highlands, is now referring to itself as a “village.” Hillside residents are excited by the transformation. It infuses new retail, parks, and homes with front porches rather than dominating driveways. Architecture and streetscape design is more focused on people, and cars don’t dictate the […]

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February 18 2014

In Arizona, Smart Growth Means the Need for Smart Transportation

February 18th, 2014Posted by 

Since the 1960’s, Arizona has led the country in growth, remaining one of the top three states with the highest population and employment growth rates. However, when the housing market crashed in 2007, growth slowed tremendously, giving the state an opportunity to reflect on how it handled the last fifty years. As of 2011, 129,780 […]

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February 13 2014

Should Seattle Be Worried About Affordability?

February 13th, 2014Posted by 

Compared to some of its counterparts, Seattle is not terribly expensive. But as population quickly grows, decision makers will have to grapple with affordability. Recently elected Councilwoman Kshama Sawant made rent control a staple of her campaign. Others believe relaxing planning rules so developers can build is the best remedy. The enigma of affordability plagues […]

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January 23 2014

Kansas City, Missouri’s Mayorial Climate Action Plan

January 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Currently there is no universal agreement on the degree, cause, or the severity of climate change. There is, however, a significant agreement on the rise of global emissions due to the quantitative aspects of measures and their contribution to these changes. Regional industries are all highly impacted by climatological change or are subject to likely regulatory or […]

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January 13 2014

The Country’s Largest Light Rail System

January 13th, 2014Posted by 

City life in many places is synonymous with using public transportation- especially rail systems. However, when it comes to measuring the stretch of light rail miles, Dallas, Texas takes the top spot. The city has the longest light rail system in the country, spanning eighty-five miles and utilizing sixty-one stations. While the expanse of the light […]

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January 03 2014

Will Nairobi Maintain its Status as the “Green City in the Sun?”

January 3rd, 2014Posted by 

There is something distinctly noticeable when you look at a map of Nairobi. The southern line of the metropolitan area is bordered by a national park, while the southern line of the Central Business District is bordered by an urban park, golf course, and an array of sports grounds. Nairobi, Kenya is known as the […]

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December 19 2013

How Hidden Architectural History Shapes Seattle’s Downtown

December 19th, 2013Posted by 

Louis Sullivan famously stated “Form follows function.” One of the main functions of a downtown building should be to be usable to the public. In Seattle, this is done through privately-owned public spaces and architectural nuances. Sometimes this is obvious; but often the best public spaces are in hidden places. The Seattle Architecture Foundation leads […]

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December 12 2013

Guangdong Province Sets up Ecological Control Boundary to Tackle Sprawl

December 12th, 2013Posted by 

On November 27, 2013 the Guangdong Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development held a training workshop on “Greenway Construction Management and Ecological Control Line Delineation.” The workshop aimed to instruct cities in the Guangdong Province on how to set up the ecological control boundary by the end of 2014, which is expected to serve […]

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December 11 2013

Station Square: From Train Depot to Tourism Hotspot

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

Station Square has had a storied history in the city of Pittsburgh for over 100 years. The 52-acre site was originally the location of the Pittsburgh train terminal, which was the central station of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. The Pittsburgh train terminal was built in 1897 by William George Burns, and was the […]

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December 05 2013

Beijing Includes Tourism Development in City’s Comprehensive Planning

December 5th, 2013Posted by 

Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development Officer Zhou Zhengyu said during a presentation at the city’s municipal congress conference that Beijing would include tourism development into the city’s comprehensive planning scheme, which includes land use, transportation, and infrastructure planning. Zhou Zhengyu said at the conference that Beijing would place tourism development into the overall urban […]

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December 03 2013

It’s History, But Not Preserved: The Demolition of The University of Ulster, Belfast

December 3rd, 2013Posted by 

What should happen to worn out buildings? Should they be refurbished or demolished to make way for a new design? Questions like these often come up in situations of regeneration, such as in Belfast with the redevelopment of University of Ulster. The University of Ulster is currently situated in Belfast, but there are also campuses in […]

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December 02 2013

Homelessness on the Rise: 13,500 Tenants Evicted in Greece

December 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Athens and other major Greek cities, due to the economic crisis, are experiencing a sad mismatch between the increase of the overall homelessness and the rise of vacant buildings. Many middle- and lower- class people of moderate educational backgrounds that before the economic crisis could live in relatively good standards, now populate the decadent streets […]

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