September 12 2013

Exclusivity at Any Expense: The Lack of Affordable Housing on Chicago’s North Shore

September 12th, 2013Posted by 

The Village of Winnetka has taken a hostile stance towards the affordable housing expansion In March of 2012, the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka, IL soundly defeated a referendum expanding affordable housing options in the village. The anti-affordable housing group Winnetka Home Owners Association (WHOA) had campaigned for a year to gather signatures to place […]

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August 29 2013

Infrastructure Innovation: The Chicago Infrastructure Trust

August 29th, 2013Posted by 

In an era of declining tax receipts, urban planners the world over are grappling with the challenge of securing financing for needed infrastructure improvements. As early as 2007, Senators Chris Dodd and Chuck Hagel floated the idea of a National Infrastructure Bank, an entity that would be able to leverage private investment dollars to fund […]

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August 13 2013

Introducing 21st Century Urbanism – Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice

August 13th, 2013Posted by 

Whether you want an introduction to urban planning or are looking to become a city guru, Local Planning: Contemporary Principles and Practice is your source for knowledge on the topic. Published by ICMA Press, in cooperation with the American Planning Association and University Pennsylvania School of Design, this three-part text offers a wealth of information […]

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August 02 2013

Detroit Bankruptcy: A Wake-Up Call for American Municipalities

August 2nd, 2013Posted by 

Detroit’s filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on Thursday, July 18th seemed to shock national and international media, even though this next-step for Detroit has been described as “inevitable” for over a decade. In the days since the big news, it has been interesting to examine how national media outlets are covering Detroit. Journalists left and […]

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July 30 2013

Preparing for the Population Wave: Transit & New Housing Coordination in San Francisco

July 30th, 2013Posted by 

Between 2010 and 2040, San Francisco will need 92,410 new housing units and 191,000 more jobs to accommodate its growing population. The city alone will take in 134,000 more residents between now and 2035, while the Bay Area can expect an additional 2.1 million people by 2040. This growth is going to happen whether San […]

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July 12 2013

Parting Words: Farewell From Michael Jenkins

July 12th, 2013Posted by 

It started with a single hashtag and tweet after a week long Sustainable Decisions and Organizations at the University of Nottingham Business School. It was then that I followed and was followed back by Global Site Plans. I found an incredible interest the articles posted by the urban design blog site. Not once did I imagine that I […]

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July 11 2013

Thinking Regionally: Sonoma County’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan

July 11th, 2013Posted by 

Sonoma County has been a tourist haven for wine connoisseurs and recreationalists for decades. In more recent years, the county has gained notoriety for its commitments to climate protection, alternative transportation and sustainable communities. This is evident in the planning efforts of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) and the Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. The plan […]

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June 28 2013

The New Structure of Homelessness In Nottingham

June 28th, 2013Posted by 

A city is only as good as its people. And in these stringent economic times, this statement could not be true. Throughout history, those who fell on hard times created strategic and moralistic battles for their governing leaders. How exactly do you house the homeless, and how much is appropriate for budgeting their support? Nottingham […]

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June 14 2013

These Boots are Made for Walking, and so is This City: 4 Benefits of a Walkable City

June 14th, 2013Posted by 

“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents […]

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May 22 2013

One City, Nine Towns: Shanghai’s Western Suburbs

May 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Over a decade ago, as the population of Shanghai soared, density was at an all time high and Chinese urban planners, realizing the city’s growth was unsustainable, they proposed a new solution to the problem: decentralization. The “1 city, 9 towns” project revealed in 2001 was proposed as a creative solution to the increasing urban […]

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May 13 2013

A Language Designed for Urban Planners, By Urban Planners: A Review of “A Pattern Language”

May 13th, 2013Posted by 

A tremendously ambitious book, A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein attempts to create a language that developers and urban planners can use to shape our environment.  The author’s intent is to create a universal language that can be applied to all development projects, in an attempt to encourage the creation of […]

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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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