May 08 2015

Volunteers Plant 1,500 Flowers in Medians of Avenida São Luís in São Paulo, Brazil

May 8th, 2015Posted by 

It takes a lot of work to begin. You have to send letters calling upon the residents of the neighborhood. Speak with businesses to raise funds, fertilizer, or any other type of help. Knock on the Mayor’s door and ask support for transit, the seeds, and the paper work. Then it is off to join […]

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May 06 2015

City of São Paulo, Brazil Launches Ban on Traditional Plastic Bags

May 6th, 2015Posted by 

Traditional white plastic bags distributed in Brazilian supermarkets are now prohibited by law in São Paulo, Brazil. The new bags were inspired by international standards and could be replicated in other parts of the country. “Unlike the petrol based white bags, these bags are sourced from sugarcane ethanol. Both plastics release the same quantity of […]

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May 04 2015

Building from Waste: San Francisco Glimpses Into the Future of Our Built Environments

May 4th, 2015Posted by 

Can waste have a second life as a building material? This is the question brought to surface through ETH Zurich’s Building from Waste exhibition. Held at Swissnex San Francisco, the exhibition is based on the book Building from Waste: Recovered Materials in Architecture and Construction from ETH Zurich and Future Cities Laboratories. Appropriately displayed upon wooden pallets, […]

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April 23 2015

Nature as the Textbook: A Review of Nelson’s Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms

April 23rd, 2015Posted by 

“By suggestion and example, I believe children can be helped to hear the many voices about them. Take time to listen and talk about the voices of the earth and what they mean—the majestic voice of thunder, the winds, the sound of surf or flowing streams.” -Rachel Carson Take a moment and consider the instances […]

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April 06 2015

Alternative Materials: Will Our Future Resilient Cities Rise from the Landfill?

April 6th, 2015Posted by 

1.3 billion tons of waste is generated each year in cities worldwide. With a rabid consumerist hunger, it is unsurprising that 30% of the world’s waste comes from America. San Francisco is hoping to change this by becoming the first major U.S. city to reach a “zero-waste” goal by 2020. This not only means recycling […]

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April 03 2015

Farewell to The Grid From Constant Cap in Nairobi, Kenya

April 3rd, 2015Posted by 

It’s been slightly over a year since I started writing for The Grid, and the journey has come to an end. Starting in November 2013, while a postgraduate student, I began the journey of writing 27 blogs on diverse urbanism topics. The experience has helped me understand the challenges facing the City of Nairobi, from analytic […]

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March 23 2015

Historical Baumanskaya, Moscow Metro Station Closes for Renovations

March 23rd, 2015Posted by 

On February 8, 2015 the Baumanskaya Metro Station, in Moscow, closed for 11 months of renovations. The renovations will include changing its escalators, which were installed with its opening in 1944. They are currently the oldest working tunnel type escalators in the world, as well as the oldest in Moscow, with oak handrails. Renovation of the vestibule and the station are […]

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March 16 2015

San Francisco Adaptive Reuse: From Church to Tech Office

March 16th, 2015Posted by 

When it comes to finding available, unique spaces in San Francisco, tech companies like Twitter, AirBnB, and countless others take on a hermit crab approach. Limited space, dense urban conditions, and nightmarish building regulations make it nearly impossible to build from the ground up. In response, tech companies have resorted to adaptive reuse. Repurposing neglected […]

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March 09 2015

Rising Sea Levels: Designing A Future To Save San Francisco

March 9th, 2015Posted by 

Surrounded by water, San Francisco sits as a sacrificial offering, waiting to be swallowed by the Pacific Ocean. The year is 2072 and San Francisco is an island. Downtown has been erased and gentrification in the Mission has finally laid to rest at the bottom of “Mission Gulf.” What was once a high powered tech city […]

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March 06 2015

War Declared Between Pedestrians and Cyclists in Toulouse, France

March 6th, 2015Posted by 

Sharing public space is a new notion in Toulouse, France, where pedestrian areas and cycling zones are being developed. Coexistence between these two groups is not always peaceful, and citizens believe the situation could potentially deteriorate further. Everyone in the world is, will be, or has once been, an automobilist, cyclist, or pedestrian – sometimes […]

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February 16 2015

Vision Zero 2024: San Francisco Streets No Longer Dangerous By Design?

February 16th, 2015Posted by 

The phrase “dangerous by design” embodies the reality of San Francisco streets. Biking down Market street during the five o’clock rush, I had no idea my biggest fear would come true: I lost a hopeless battle with a bus for a spot in a shared bike lane. I was pushed onto streetcar tracks where my front […]

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February 09 2015

Farewell to The Grid from Molly Carpenter in Des Moines, Iowa

February 9th, 2015Posted by 

After six months of blogging, it is time for me to say goodbye to The Grid. This comes as I also say goodbye to Iowa, the state I called home for three and a half years. While studying urban planning at Iowa State University, I rarely ventured far from town, not thinking there was anything […]

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February 02 2015

The Fleet of the Future: BART’s Improved Design for the San Francisco Bay Area

February 2nd, 2015Posted by 

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is getting a much needed remodel after 40 years of service. The typical Bay Area commuter’s relationship with BART has always been strained. A typical BART ride, much like that on any big city’s public transit system, involves outdated design, crowded cars, maintenance delays, and unsightly seating tainted from someone […]

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January 26 2015

Creative Augmented Reality App in San Francisco: Reimagining the SFMOMA

January 26th, 2015Posted by 

San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is “closed for construction, yet more open than ever.” With the museum expansion still under construction until early 2016, the SFMOMA collection has been popping up around the Bay Area in exhibits held within surrounding museums and public spaces. Even with the handful of curated exhibits planted throughout […]

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January 05 2015

Micro-Apartments: Making 160 Square Feet Livable in San Francisco

January 5th, 2015Posted by 

California’s smallest legal apartment lies in San Francisco’s SOMA district just south of downtown. The 160 square foot SmartSpace apartment holds enough space for one person looking to practice minimal living. This urban dweller’s dream is equipped with a sofa which folds out as a bed, sliding doors, resourceful storage, and a “smart bench” which […]

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December 15 2014

The Architectural Paradox: SOM’s Oakland Cathedral of Christ the Light

December 15th, 2014Posted by 

Derived from the Greek word Katholicos, the word catholic means “universal” or “all-embracing.” This is an interesting paradox for a religion with an often authoritative past and history of exclusion. A paradox is a statement which contradicts itself but may be true. Unlike “drowning in a the fountain of eternal life” or “jumbo shrimp” the […]

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December 08 2014

Trial and Error of CSAs and Farm Co-Ops is About to Pay Off in Baltimore City

December 8th, 2014Posted by 

The United States has lost over four million farms since 1930, which was around the time the economics and sustainability of farming was changed by factory farming and other challenges. Baltimore County has lost nearly 150 farms between 2002 and 2012. Data for Baltimore City was not available; however, the Farm Alliance of Baltimore City estimates there are around twelve urban […]

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December 01 2014

Dogpatch Destination: Pier 70 is San Francisco’s Center for Redevelopment

December 1st, 2014Posted by 

In the early 1900’s, the Dogpatch district was considered San Francisco’s industrial city-center with over 18,000 people working at Pier 70 daily. As one of the only neighborhoods to survive the destructive fires brought on by the earthquake of 1906, the Dogpatch stands as a living archive within the city. This district off the bay was once home […]

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November 30 2014

Portuguese Translator Nora Lamm Says Farewell to The Grid

November 30th, 2014Posted by 

The past 6 months as a Portuguese translator and content creator for The Grid has been a wonderful and enriching experience. I loved the opportunity to research articles from Brazil at a time when so much innovation, change, and disruption are occurring in that part of the world. Translating articles from Brazil, especially during the […]

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November 17 2014

When Will Baltimore City’s Water Wheel Be Shut Down?

November 17th, 2014Posted by 

Baltimore City’s newest Water Wheel has received a lot of positive attention in recent months, but it is just one solution to the Inner Harbor’s serious trash problem. A two-minute video from Healthy Harbors shows hundreds, if not thousands, of bottles, cans, cigarettes, styrofoam and plastic bags floating from Jones Falls and into the Inner Harbor. In […]

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