April 15 2014

Today’s Urban Encyclopedia: “The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t”

April 15th, 2014Posted by 

As cities grow and redevelop, community leaders are constantly imagining new ideas to improve their businesses and neighborhoods. But who is keeping track of all these new sustainability programs, zoning policies, and preservation programs? Evaluating past and existing practices can help avoid repeated mistakes and spur innovative partnerships. However, the volume and diversity of urban […]

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April 14 2014

Melbourne’s Federation Square as a Catalyst for Community Building

April 14th, 2014Posted by 

Melbourne’s Federation square was built in 2002, as a critical response to the failures of past developments on the site. Dating back to the 1960s, with the Gas and Fuel Corporation buildings that occupied the site, the redevelopment sought to connect the city to the waterfront, as well as the important Flinders train station. The […]

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April 03 2014

Runners Explore the City of Athens, Greece

April 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Area named Plaka in Athens From the alleys of Plaka at Anafiotika, to Archaia Agora, Thiseion and the footpaths of Filopappou. From the columns of the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, to Zappeio and the Parliament. That was the first venture for the three young members of a newly created team, named “Urban Trail Runners.” […]

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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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April 01 2014

The Image of a Grid: Creating a Mental Map of Phoenix, Arizona

April 1st, 2014Posted by 

If you were asked to get out a pencil and paper and draw your city, what would you include? Maybe a few major roads, a downtown district, a large lake? If the result is a coherent map with connected features, you probably live in an “imageable” city. The concept of imageability was introduced by Kevin […]

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April 01 2014

Fifteen Greek Celebrities Choose the Most Liveable Parts of Thessaloniki, Greece

April 1st, 2014Posted by 

1. Victor Arditis, director – theatrologist, senior lecturer in AUTH, Artistic Director of NTNG - National Theatre of Northern Greece (2001-2004). “The best place is exactly where I currently live: in the area among Olgas – Nikolaidis-Antheon-Sofouli with the poplars and the plane trees, that create an excellent micro-climate. Or I would choose the decadent upper […]

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March 21 2014

Rethink Athens Initiative: Is this the Right Way Towards a New City Centre?

March 21st, 2014Posted by 

No trees, high temperatures during the summer, noisy, congested and often cramped with protests – the centre of the Greek capital has become a place to avoid at all costs. Re-think Athens, the Onassis Foundation Initiative to transform Athens centre into a friendlier environment, recently opened the exhibition “Towards a New City Centre” in the […]

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March 20 2014

Why Grandma is Moving to Denver, Not Miami

March 20th, 2014Posted by 

Denver has the longest winter of any of the U.S. cities, averaging over fifty inches of snowfall per year, and has an average annual temperature more than twenty-five degrees lower than Miami, Florida. So why is grandma moving to Denver and not Miami? Despite the chilling winters, Denver also has 300 days of sun, and […]

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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 07 2014

Kifissos & Ilissos Rivers: A Tale of Two Rivers in Athens, Greece

March 7th, 2014Posted by 

Imagine how different Athens, Greece would be, if there was a river, or two, complementing the urban environment. “But there is one!” some might say, there is Kifissos River, even though it may not be like the River Thames in London or the Seine, Paris. Kifissos River flows through the Athenian Basin. Various archaeological findings […]

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February 25 2014

Decentralizing Population Growth in Victoria: The Melbourne 2030 Plan

February 25th, 2014Posted by 

Like any thriving city in the western world, population growth and congestion is a major issue facing urban planners in Melbourne. Cities such as Melbourne have started to use generic plans to solve these issues. Furthermore, the city has a legacy to protect; in the past few years it was hailed as the most liveable city in the world. That […]

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February 20 2014

Funding a Revolution: The Rise of Fabricated Housing in Kansas City, Missouri

February 20th, 2014Posted by 

Due to higher efficiency and better performances of factory production and assembly lines, manufactured homes are increasingly becoming more popular due to affordability in urban design and housing contexts. Local organizations such as the Legal Aid of Western Missouri, are exploring the option of building manufactured homes on lots in the area as part of their Economic Development […]

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February 03 2014

Building Community through Design: Toronto Design Offsite Festival

February 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Toronto has long been home to many Canadian designers, architects, and artists, but the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) has helped put them on center stage and fostered a public understanding and appreciation for great design. TO DO is an annual week-long independent design festival with a unique arrangement of exhibitions. Unlike the Interior Design Show, which is held […]

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January 20 2014

Toronto’s Planning Outpaces its Policy

January 20th, 2014Posted by 

In Scarborough, Toronto’s east end, a three-bedroom house will cost almost the same to buy as a two-bedroom condominium apartment. It isn’t difficult to guess which most home buyers might choose. Toronto’s Official Plan is to increase density in the city through mid-rise construction along designated avenues – arterial roads that could accommodate and become […]

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January 16 2014

Rethinking Placemaking: Book Review of “Urbanism Without Effort”

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

Ideas about cities are always changing, but the fundamentals of urban living stand the test of time. Urbanism Without Effort, written by Seattle native Chuck Wolfe, suggests that we consider the basics when faced with the complexities of planning cities. Using illustrations of various urban environments around the world, it articulates an idea that I have […]

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December 25 2013

A Farewell to The Grid from Alexandra Serbana

December 25th, 2013Posted by 

As my internship with The Grid is ending and the last month of the year 2013 goes by, I find myself standing at another one of life’s many crossroads. It is a bit ironic that the end of my blogging experience for Milan is due as I am about to leave the city that was […]

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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 18 2013

Growing a Garden City: A Book Review on Duany’s Agrarian Urbanism

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

Is agriculture the new golf? Former skeptic Andres Duany says it very well could be. I was fortunate enough to hear Duany speak on his book, “Garden Cities: Theory & Practice of Agrarian Urbanism.” As usual, he didn’t disappoint with his energetic and blunt character that never needs a flashy presentation or pretty pictures to […]

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December 05 2013

Planning Mixed-Income Communities: 5 Ways Yesler Terrace Does it Better

December 5th, 2013Posted by 

Can the barriers between people at different income levels be broken by simply having them live near each other? Seattle is attempting to answer this question through planned mixed-income communities. Yesler Terrace is a bold project operated by the Seattle Housing Authority. It aims at completely redefining the area, which happens to be the oldest public […]

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