April 15 2013

Making My Life a Little Easier: BRT Is Coming to Chicago

April 15th, 2013Posted by 

Last month, I was able to share some information with you about an exciting transit project that I have had the pleasure of working on in Kane County, IL – the Randall/Orchard Road Bus Rapid Transit Study.  As I stated then, “Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high quality transit service that integrates a variety […]

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April 05 2013

Great Expectations: The Power of Empowering the Impoverished

April 5th, 2013Posted by 

When you think of tough neighbourhoods and burroughs like the Bronx in New York, or St Ann’s in Nottingham, you don’t necessarily equate them with energy efficient living. If you consider it living at all, it is most certainly not energy efficient living. However, it is in Nottingham England that city council has made an […]

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April 02 2013

Floating Life: Is It Achievable?

April 2nd, 2013Posted by 

The Netherlands is a relatively small country, however it has a considerably sizeable population that is currently in and around 16.5 million. This makes it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with almost 83% living in urban regions. It is an extremely low lying country with about 50% of its land […]

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March 12 2013

San Francisco’s Bay Area’s BART Faces Challenges Over Ridership Safety

March 12th, 2013Posted by 

The Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART as it is commonly known, is an expansive public transit system in California’s San Francisco Bay Area that has a reputation for being unsafe. Transit police is not a concept unique to just this system, but the BART Police are a strong presence throughout the 44 different stations nevertheless. […]

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March 01 2013

Urban Art & the New York City Department of Transportation

March 1st, 2013Posted by 

New York City, above others, has defined itself through an evolving scholarship connected to its rapidly changing street life. This broad conception of street life has been widely debated and discussed from the standpoint of urban theorists and activists such as Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte, whose respective works, The Death and Life of […]

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February 12 2013

From the Man Himself – Planning Director John Rahaim of San Francisco, California Speaks on the City’s Present State and Future

February 12th, 2013Posted by 

On the evening of January 29, 2013, roughly 150 people gathered in SPUR’s Urban Center to listen to San Francisco’s Planning Director speak about the city’s present state and future initiatives in an event contentiously titled “The Meanies and the War Mongers: Recent Planning Lessons from SF.” John Rahaim spoke in a direct manner that […]

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February 04 2013

Certifiably Sustainable Neighborhoods: LEED for Neighborhood Development

February 4th, 2013Posted by 

Is sustainability measurable? The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) certainly thinks so, and they are working hard to provide professionals working within the development community a framework to bring sustainability to the neighborhood level. The USGBC has been using its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System since 1998 to provide […]

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January 29 2013

Place and Space Determine Neighborhood Health In Oakland, California

January 29th, 2013Posted by 

“Where you live is probably a bigger determinant of your health than whether you have health insurance,” as quoted in a Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) report from 2008. In West Oakland, where 45% of the residents make under $25,000 a year, according to statistics from Mandela Market Place, liquor stores outnumber food […]

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January 15 2013

Amidst a Crisis, San Francisco Needs Secondary Dwelling Units

January 15th, 2013Posted by 

Affordable housing is scarce in the city of San Francisco. Low-income residents and students a-like struggle to get by in a city that is so full of opportunity, yet so economically biased.  One viable option towards solving this crisis is utilizing secondary dwelling units, aka “in-law units,” as a way to provide living opportunities that […]

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January 14 2013

From a Green Bow for Attica, Towards a Green Belt for Athens

January 14th, 2013Posted by 

The new regulatory master plan for the metropolitan area of Athens/Attica 2021 is a ten-year plan of interventions and urban policies founded on the basis of three major pillars – Economy, Society and Environment, while complying with the European directives for cities with compactness. On the other hand, during the last three years, under the […]

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December 10 2012

Is There Enough Green Space for Everyone? What About Athens, Greece?

December 10th, 2012Posted by 

Is it possible for people to connect with nature while living in urban environments? Especially in big cities with poor access green spaces? Here are a few examples of percentages of green space per resident, in a sample of cities around the world: Cape Town: 290 m2/resident And according to a summary of research findings […]

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November 09 2012

10 Ways to Change Urban Sprawl in the City of Richmond, Virginia

November 9th, 2012Posted by 

By all accounts, urban sprawl is a problem that has plagued many metropolitan cities throughout the United States. Like many of these cities, Richmond, Virginia has struggled with the concept of how to control the growing population while still possessing the ability to attract new residents to the area. Recently, many of the city’s efforts […]

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November 06 2012

Filling the GAP: Short- and Long-Term Strategies for Europe’s Largest Open Space

November 6th, 2012Posted by 

With its 2.5 acres of land, Tempelhof has recently become Europe’s largest unimproved inner-city space. A site for experimental airships already in the 19th century, Tempelhof was one of Berlin’s most central airports for most of the 20th century. From holding a strategic logistic function within the Nazi regime, to providing an air passage during […]

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November 05 2012

Infill Development: Towards an Innovative Approach to Redevelopment

November 5th, 2012Posted by 

It is no secret that vacant lots pose difficult challenges by influencing crime and the vitality of residential and commercial areas, which furthermore decreases tax bases and property values for urban areas. It is important now more than ever to address the surplus of vacant lots and properties, which despite good intentions and modest success, […]

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November 02 2012

Capital MetroRail Prioritizes People to Create an Accessible, Connected, and Sustainable City

November 2nd, 2012Posted by 

“Rather than being guided, as it should be, by natural systems or human needs, the quality and placement of growth in our regions is largely dependent on the car.“-Peter Calthorpe The newly adopted Austin, Texas city plan, appropriately titled the “Imagine Austin” plan, envisions a less congested and more sustainable city. It turns the conversation […]

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October 17 2012

The First LEED-Platinum Certified Affordable Housing Project: Tacoma, Washington’s Salishan 7

October 17th, 2012Posted by 

Salishan 7 in Tacoma, Washington is the country’s first Hope VI Redevelopment funded project to achieve LEED-Platinum certification, the United States Green Building Council’s highest LEED for Homes green building standard. The HOPE VI Program was developed as a result of recommendations by National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which was charged with proposing […]

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October 04 2012

Retooling the Assembly Line at the Ford Plant in St Paul, Minnesota

October 4th, 2012Posted by 

In 2011, Ford closed their 122-acre St. Paul, Minnesota plant after 86 years of production. The community has developed around the plant and Ford’s impact on the area is a fixture of this cultural landscape.  The closure of automotive plants in the US is not a new phenomenon: In the last 33 years, 267 of […]

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August 08 2012

Is Human Scale Important to Cities Without Skyscrapers?

August 8th, 2012Posted by 

Cities are built for a variety of reasons, but are ultimately places for people to live, work, and play. As such, architects and urban planners need to keep in mind the concept of human scale, or designing buildings and spaces for human use. This impacts everything from the height of buildings to the size of […]

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July 04 2012

Why the City of Spokane, Washington is Wary of Adopting More Neighborhood LID “Storm Gardens:” A Fear of Expensive Popularity

July 4th, 2012Posted by 

The City of Spokane, Washington implemented two of their first-ever SURGE (Spokane Urban Runoff Greenways Ecosystem) projects in 2010 with AHBL: Lincoln Street on the South Hill; [Bottom] [Official Surge Report]; Broadway Street in the West Central Neighborhood. [Top] [AHBL's Presentation to the City]. Both were the first of their kind in Eastern Washington, and […]

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June 05 2012

Social Media Implementation by Sasaki Associates, Inc.: An International Planning and Design Consultancy

June 5th, 2012Posted by 

Planning should be participatory; however, it’s often very difficult to get stakeholders to contribute to planning processes. Mail-in survey return rates are low, and more often than not, residents don’t want to sit through a Saturday morning design charette. Marketing online and social media platforms give urban planners and architects a set of contemporary tools […]

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