March 06 2014

Why Have a Car When You Have Snow? Getting Around in Wengen, Switzerland

March 6th, 2014Posted by 

For some people, imagining a life without cars is impossible or just unrealistic given their dependence and lack of other transit options; but alternative urban planning schemes for transportation can help places function better without the automobile. Some of the best examples can be found in small sized towns, but a city doesn’t have to […]

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March 03 2014

River Transport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Two new river transport companies will soon begin business in Abidjan to compete with the Abidjan Transport Company (SOTRA). SOTRA still holds a monopoly in the country’s economic capital four months after the Ivorian government announced plans to liberalize the transportation sector. According to the Ivorian minister Gaoussou Touré, this measure should “put an end to […]

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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 11 2014

Urban Tunnels in Colombia: Cali’s “Big Dig”

February 11th, 2014Posted by 

Recently, Cali’s mayor Rodrigo Guerrero inaugurated the longest urban tunnel in Colombia, whose main goal is to solve traffic jams in a vast zone of its city center. The Avenida Colombia tunnel is just the beginning of a long-overdue transformation that this Colombian city needed. Like the Bostonian “Big Dig,” it was a project full […]

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February 10 2014

Why Dallas, Texas is the USA’s Worst City for Cycling

February 10th, 2014Posted by 

In 2012, Bicycling Magazine named Dallas, Texas the worst city for cycling for the second time. The lowest percentage of cyclists in the country and the lack of a single bike lane played a major role in the decision, but the title was given in great part because of the city’s failure to follow up […]

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January 28 2014

Large Venue Events Spur Controversy in Buenos Aires

January 28th, 2014Posted by 

One of the most appealing facets of Buenos Aires is the variety of cultural offerings that the city enjoys: concerts by international artists, museums, theatre, musicals, sport matches, jazz festivals, you name it. However, there is something curious about the built environment in which those activities take place. In most of Latin America, spaces for […]

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January 21 2014

A Foundation for Rebranding: Light Rail Transit in Phoenix

January 21st, 2014Posted by 

In its continual search to be known for something other than its scorching temperatures, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, also referred to as the Valley, has undertaken many ambitious projects. New resorts and golf courses are continuously being constructed to establish the region as a vacation and retirement destination. Several cities in the region have even […]

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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 13 2014

Trying to Dethrone the Automobile in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

January 13th, 2014Posted by 

Ten years after putting the tram network into service and completely reworking the bus system, the results are discouraging. In Grand Bordeaux, two-thirds of transportation is still done in individual automobiles. Here are the reasons for this situation and a few suggestions for improvement. 1. The car has remained king in the urban area Every […]

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January 09 2014

Environmental Protection Policies in China Need Stricter Implementation

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

In the first half of December 2013, a large-scale-smog occurred in eastern China, which affected twenty-five provinces and more than 100 cities. Data from a popular online shopping website shows that in 2013, customers have spent 870 million Yuan on buying masks, air purification machines, and indoor trackmills. The top five cities and provinces that […]

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December 31 2013

Farewell Cars! Buenos Aires’ Highways to Undergo Transformations

December 31st, 2013Posted by 

For many years the symbol of progress for many cities in Latin America were highways, enormous corridors of concrete designed to meet the needs of sprawling metropolitan areas that followed the American model of car dependent communities. These autopistas were designed to promote urban expansion and the real estate speculation that comes along with it, […]

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December 24 2013

Beijing Proposes to Increase Subway Ticket Price

December 24th, 2013Posted by 

Recently, the Beijing municipal government announced that its subway system would charge higher prices during peak hours. This policy will mark the end of a ¥2 (yuan) per day flat rate. 60% of Internet users were against this policy, saying that increasing the subway price would not solve the overcrowding problem during peak hours; instead, […]

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December 20 2013

Farewell to The Grid, from Meg Mulhall

December 20th, 2013Posted by 

My first post for Global Site Plans was published in January. I was eager to write for The Grid, and treated it as an opportunity to explore the urban planning issues and interface with those involved in Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan. In that first post I asked, “What are some more balanced revitalization proposals […]

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December 18 2013

The Role of Beauty in Infrastructure: Kazakhstan’s Almaty Metro Inspires

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

I recently rode the Almaty Metro, in Kazakhstan, at present a single-line subway that opened in 2011 after being under construction since the late days of the Soviet Union. Exiting at Almaly station, I was captivated by a stained-glass mural, which led me to contemplate the role of beauty in infrastructure–specifically in American subway station […]

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December 16 2013

Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France, and (Old) New Forms of Transportation

December 16th, 2013Posted by 

The magazine Ville Rail & Transports has recently singled out the Toulouse Metropolitan Area’s programs by awarding them with the “New Forms of Transportation” prize. It is time to express appreciation for everyone involved in these policies. This distinguished project has been based on a great deal of voluntary action. It’s interesting to note that […]

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December 11 2013

Prospects for a Tunnel Beneath the Harbor in Geneva, Switzerland

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

In the beginning, Michèle Künzler, a state councillor formerly employed in the Department of the Interior and Mobility, implied that voting for the “Let’s Save our Parks” initiative could condemn the project for a tunnel under the city’s harbor. I have to say that hearing the representative from the Verts, an ecological political party, utter […]

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December 10 2013

Noord-Zuidlijn in Amsterdam: Digging a Metro Line under the Historic City

December 10th, 2013Posted by 

For the last ten years, visitors of Amsterdam have been surprised at the sight of several open construction sites in the city’s historic center. Starting at Central Station, open construction sites are found throughout the city until the South/WTC railway station. The reality is that those multiple sites are all part of one big project: […]

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December 09 2013

Closure of The Champlain Bridge: Transportation Sustainability in Montreal, Quebec

December 9th, 2013Posted by 

It’s hard to look past the topic of the week: the Champlain Bridge! The closure of several lanes on the bridge deck caused huge traffic jams over several kilometers at the beginning of the week, with the same happening at all road accesses crossing the St. Lawrence River. And that is only the start of […]

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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 02 2013

Eco-neighborhood or Nice, New Neighborhood? A View from Quebec City, Canada

December 2nd, 2013Posted by 

I must admit that like others, I really enjoy the photo coverage done by Jean Cazes. He walks all over the neighborhood of Limoilou, camera in hand, and uses photography to tell us about his changing neighborhood, and everyday things that escape our attention. However, it is not Jean who will be the subject of […]

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