June 19 2014

World Cup Protests Confront Inequality in São Paulo, Brazil

June 19th, 2014Posted by 

Two major protests took place in the streets of Sao Paulo on June 12th, the day when the city hosted the inaugural match of the World Cup. The match between Brazil and Croatia started at 5pm in Corinthians Arena. The protests were scheduled for much earlier, at 10am, and occurred in the eastern zone, the same region […]

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June 05 2014

Adopt a Park Program Finds Success and Challenges in Fortaleza, Brazil

June 5th, 2014Posted by 

The adoption of plazas and parks in Fortaleza, Brazil provides hope for creating new uses of public space, but the program still faces challenges. The program renews more than just the urban scenery – it gives Fortaleza a breath of fresh air. Nevertheless, the program still faces difficulty attracting participants in the peripheral areas of the […]

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June 03 2014

The Vision of Jaime Lerner for Curitiba, Brazil

June 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Jaime Lerner of Curitiba has placed the city on the map as a leading global example in urban sustainability. During his three terms as mayor of Curitiba and governor of Paraná, he and his team made great strides both in protecting the environment and in elevating the spirit of the city. Under the leadership of […]

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May 14 2014

The Italian Notte Bianca and its Connection to the 1960′s Italian Radical Architecture

May 14th, 2014Posted by 

The 1960’s was a rather revolutionary period for worldwide architecture. The ideas of the modernists for a single, unified approach in architecture had started to be questioned, and new movements begun to arise in all parts of the word. One of the most important among them was the radical architecture movement in Italy, expressed by […]

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April 30 2014

Farewell to The Grid, from Rosabella Alvarez-Calderon

April 30th, 2014Posted by 

I was standing precariously on the edge of the sidewalk trying to get some good images of the buses in Lima, Peru, when I noticed that most of them were lopsided, tilting slightly to one side, a detail I had never noticed before. While taking pictures of an old cinema that had been turned into […]

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April 16 2014

Active Placemaking and a Marshmallow Fluff Festival in Somerville, MA

April 16th, 2014Posted by 

“Yes, I will be happy to be a volunteer for the 2013 Fluff Festival. Will I get a fluffernutter sandwich as a snack? So, my task will be to operate the Fluffatron 3000 with two other neighborhood volunteers? This will be fun.” The Fluff Festival, which has been held in the main plaza in Union […]

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April 02 2014

The Couch as Unlikely Street Furniture: In Paris, France and Beyond

April 2nd, 2014Posted by 

For this article we are bringing up an idea that is not exactly new, but still has potential for the comfort of our streets (and for the well-being of our rear-ends, which are ill-served by reinforced concrete benches). Let’s introduce the sofa into public spaces. Sitting Down in Our Cities: Why So Much Hate? Although […]

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March 31 2014

3rd Avenue of Limoilou, Quebec, Canada: The Future of the Mall

March 31st, 2014Posted by 

The shopping mall is dead, long live the shopping avenue! That is what an article from January 13th, written by Marie-Ève Fournier for the Montreal newspaper La Presse, seemed to declare. We already know that far from being strictly utilitarian spaces, shopping malls are also destinations for enjoying yourself. Young parents can walk around with […]

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March 25 2014

The Melbourians’ Natural Habitat: The Alleyway

March 25th, 2014Posted by 

Like any western city experiencing growth in population as Melbourne has, space is a problem. Over the years both public and private entities have endeavoured to use every bit of space possible, thus, Melbourne has seen the development of these alleyway spaces as a response to the situation. This has developed not only in a […]

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March 25 2014

Bike Lanes are Far From Over: Cycling the City in Colombia

March 25th, 2014Posted by 

As I’m writing this on a typical Colombian Sunday, the famous opinion magazine Semana published an article about the political rebirth of the former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa. In this article the magazine exposes that it is not political ideology or interests that makes Peñalosa popular (and a strong contender of the coming presidential elections […]

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March 20 2014

Winter Comfort: Designing an Outdoor Environment in Wengen, Switzerland

March 20th, 2014Posted by 

Indoor/outdoor spaces bring us closer to nature without forfeiting our comforts of home, but usually we see images of summer locations with moderate temperatures. Is this relaxing environment achievable in more extreme climates? Wengen, Switzerland is a good example of how indoor/outdoor environments can exist during winter. People here immerse themselves in the scenery by […]

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March 19 2014

Interacting with our Cities Through Exercise: Student Ideas from Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France

March 19th, 2014Posted by 

Encouraging individuals to be active isn’t a new idea. For good health, civic participation, and a sense of camaraderie, the benefits of sports and exercise are self-evident. Therefore, it is not surprising that physical activity has become a political concern for cities that are catching on to the trend and offering high-quality sporting facilities. However, […]

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February 04 2014

The Alexandria Co-Working Network: Libraries as Spaces for Community Innovation

February 4th, 2014Posted by 

Libraries are no longer limited to bookshelves and computer catalogs, but have transformed into places for children’s theater, farmers markets, community porches, and many other creative uses. Common built-in advantages of libraries include public accessibility, meeting rooms, internet access, and, of course, books! These features position public libraries as prime centers for social gatherings and […]

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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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November 27 2013

Boston: The Importance of Not Being Just a “Fair-Weather” City

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People who live in and visit the Boston area are spoiled for public spaces, for places to enjoy nature, to play, relax, read, picnic, and engage with others. The city’s streets abound with quirky street festivals, public libraries, and dogs and children playing with Frisbees along the esplanade of the Charles River. Yet how many […]

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November 27 2013

How Cities Come Alive: A Book Review of “Life Between Buildings”

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People and buildings are connected – they have been and will continue to be so. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space is a classic that applies substance and quantitative research to the field of urban planning. Jan Gehl, author of Cities for People, takes his analysis beyond urban design to talk about how public spaces […]

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November 13 2013

Lima’s Central Market: Noisy Chaos or Colorful Streetscape?

November 13th, 2013Posted by 

Where is it possible to find a genuine milliner, a hat-maker capable of producing a newsboy cap, a straw fedora, a bowler hat, and a felt cloche hat? In the same place where thousands of people in Lima, Peru, visit every day to get household necessities, silver balloons, food, crocheted doilies, clothes, folk medicine, and […]

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November 04 2013

Above the Freeway, Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park Celebrates One Year

November 4th, 2013Posted by 

Texas is full of clichés. From “Everything’s bigger in…” to the familiar cowboy caricature, Texas is synonymous with a culture that characteristically ostentatious and southern. Maybe more than any of the state’s other major destinations, Dallas carries the consequence of an epic television show of the same name – glamorizing the state’s many eccentricities through […]

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October 11 2013

Grand Rapids, Michigan’s ArtPrize Invites Commentary on Public Space and the Built Environment

October 11th, 2013Posted by 

This year, Grand Rapids is celebrating the fifth year of their revolutionary art competition, ArtPrize. Since the fall of 2009, ArtPrize has taken over downtown Grand Rapids and attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to the West Michigan city. The premise: any business within the ArtPrize district downtown can become […]

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September 23 2013

Greek Nationalist Party Chrisi Avgi Jeopardizing Public Spaces

September 23rd, 2013Posted by 

We have become accustomed to pop-up interventions in the public realm that reveal the countless  innovative ways citizens  (sometimes along with architects or urban planners) can transform open spaces, even for short periods of time. Nevertheless, not all “pop-up” interventions have the same effects. It’s been five years since the economic crisis broke out in […]

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