June 01 2012

Urban Planners: How to Choose the Best Social Media for your Purpose

June 1st, 2012Posted by 

One of the most important components of your work as an urban planner is engaging community stakeholders. For urban projects in the main street district, the downtown development authority, city leadership, planning and zoning commissioners, historical district commissioners, architects, and neighborhood residents are all integral partners. Projects that deal more with regional issues require collaboration […]

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May 29 2012

Experiments in Web Based Crowdsourcing and Open-Source for Urban Planning

May 29th, 2012Posted by 

What is crowdsourcing? For those uninitiated, the term essentially means problems or queries are broadcast publicly and everyone is invited to respond with solutions or ideas. Crowdsourcing itself is not a new concept. Municipalities and cities often looked to “focus groups” or town hall meetings to garner public opinion about city projects. However with the […]

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April 23 2012

Stormwater Management in New York City, New York

April 23rd, 2012Posted by 

During rainfall and snow storms, 27 billion gallons of raw sewage and stormwater are released into New York City’s waterways. These discharges are called Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOS). CSOs occur when treatment plants are overwhelmed by water flows that are more than twice the design capacity. A number of sustainable methods of stormwater management have […]

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April 19 2012

Vertical Farming in Los Angeles, California: Future Skyscraping Architecture

April 19th, 2012Posted by 

The sky is limitless, they say. So if there’s no space to your left, or to your right, or below, then look up! Land, limited in the City of Los Angeles, is slowly becoming a commodity. And as new land becomes occupied by never-ending construction projects, it’ll eventually vanish so we need start thinking straight, […]

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April 05 2012

How to Use E-mail Marketing for Your Urban Planning Business

April 5th, 2012Posted by 

Setting up an e-mail marketing campaign won’t take years or many board meetings. It’s simple to do, especially if you receive direction from a professional web marketing company to provide insight on e-mail campaign designs and e-mail marketing campaign packages. For example, one company Global Site Plans gains expertise from is MailChimp, which is a […]

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March 22 2012

The Importance of Quality and Updated Content for your Urban Planning Website

March 22nd, 2012Posted by 

A “build it and forget it” method may not be the wisest of decisions for an urban planner when creating a website. It is a myth that a website can sustain itself after it’s developed. In fact, similar to your business, a website must be constantly maintained if you want it to continue to thrive. […]

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March 15 2012

The Skinny on Business Card Design for Urban Planning Firms

March 15th, 2012Posted by 

While social media is changing the way designers collaborate and connect, face-to-face networking is still an important step in gaining industry distinction. At roughly 3.5 inches by 2 inches, business cards carry significant influence in this networking process. As designers, urban planners are expected to make a statement with their business cards. What kind of […]

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March 12 2012

The Environmental Justice Movement in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York

March 12th, 2012Posted by 

“Here in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, we have 200,000 cars a day going through the Gowanus Expressway. Our community complains about asthma, cancer, respiratory disease … but the excuse for neglecting us is that it is too expensive to mitigate” -Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center Elizabeth Yeampierre’s words highlight a number of the environmental […]

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March 02 2012

The New Public Spaces of New York City, New York

March 2nd, 2012Posted by 

Public space is an essential element for the sustainability, vitality and sanity of a dense urban environment like New York City.  In recent years, NYC’s urban planners and transportation engineers have made efforts to give back to people the spaces that were previously controlled by cars or abandoned industrial sites. Some of the most interesting […]

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February 29 2012

The Benefits of a Website for Planning and Design Businesses

February 29th, 2012Posted by 

Having a website is essential in today’s web-driven world. Many businesses use their websites to help drive sales, leads, and advertisements. Environmental design, urban planning, and architecture businesses can benefit from websites as well. In a previous blog about promoting your business online, I constantly mentioned creating a website first and foremost. Online advertising is usually […]

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February 28 2012

What’s the EPA Have to Say About Smart Growth?: Report from Mammoth Lakes, CA

February 28th, 2012Posted by 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defined the 10 principals of the concept of Smart Growth in response to the development paradigm – “bigger is better.” While growth is important for communities, if not carefully planned for, it can lead to transportation issues, declining home values, environmental degradation, and health problems. Small towns like Mammoth Lakes, […]

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February 27 2012

Universal Design and the User-Designer Gaps in the New York City Subway System

February 27th, 2012Posted by 

With 468 stations and 842 miles (1355 km) of track, the New York City subway is one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the world. The layout of many of these stations prevents riders with motor, auditory, and visual disabilities from accessing these facilities with ease and thus creates a user-designer gap. Visually […]

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February 09 2012

Transformers in Disguise: Compact Home Design to Optimize Space Efficiency

February 9th, 2012Posted by 

Can you imagine a small apartment, let’s say about 344 square feet, transforming into 24 different rooms? It’s possible. Well, at least when architects and engineers choose to focus on such a concept anyway, but the fact is that it has been done. Space is becoming more of a commodity, particularly within the city, such […]

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February 01 2012

Tree Planting Efforts in Tampa, Florida

February 1st, 2012Posted by 

Trees are important for cities. Environmentally-speaking, trees provide important environmental inputs and outputs. Aesthetically-speaking, trees can provide a sense of beauty to a city. Planners and landscape architects have long-recognized the importance of trees and other plants in urban design.Tampa, Florida has a long-established grassroots organization that has helped bring trees to the city. The […]

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January 31 2012

Make Good or Get Rid. Time to Get Tough with Regeneration?

January 31st, 2012Posted by 

Brownfield sites prime for building. Derelict architecture crying out to be regenerated. Both are common sites up and down the United Kingdom, but why? With a long standing housing shortage only predicted to get worse, what are we doing to utilise these potentially valuable resources? The value of the land on which they sit is […]

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January 30 2012

Urban Farming: Eagle Street Rooftop and Added Value Farms in Brooklyn, New York

January 30th, 2012Posted by 

A number of non-profit and community-based organizations have been exploring New York City’s potential to be a center for urban agriculture. Added Value and the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, New York have been working to foster community development and sustainability in a number of innovative ways. Eagle Street Rooftop farm is a 6,000 […]

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January 16 2012

The Relationship Between School Design and Achievement in New York City, New York’s Low-Income Public Schools

January 16th, 2012Posted by 

School building design and quality, and its relationship to student achievement is a growing area of interest for architects, urban planners, and designers. However, in New York City, when educational performance is assessed by administrators, building quality and design are rarely taken into consideration as detrimental factors.  In addition, schools located in low-income neighborhoods tend […]

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January 12 2012

It’s Always Sunny in Southern California: Abengoa Mojave Solar Project

January 12th, 2012Posted by 

In 2009, Abengoa Solar Inc. filed an Application for Certification (AFC) for its Abengoa Mojave Solar Project, a proposed project for electrical power production, located near Harper Dry Lake in San Bernardino, California. Now, in the Mojave Desert, lies a construction of solar panels that will be generated by parabolic trough technology and solar heat […]

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January 02 2012

The Impact of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) on New York City Downtown Revitalization

January 2nd, 2012Posted by 

Each year, New York City’s network of Business Improvements Districts (BIDs) invests approximately $100 million worth of programs and services across the five boroughs. This network of 64 BIDs constitutes the largest network of its kind nationwide.  Business owners, property owners, local merchant associations, elected officials, and urban planners have come to acknowledge the importance […]

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December 19 2011

Design with the Other 90%: Cities: An Exhibit Until January 9, 2012

December 19th, 2011Posted by 

Design for the Other 90%: Cities, an exhibition originally launched in 2007, focuses on how participatory design solutions are being used to address the needs of 90 percent of the world’s population that have historically been ignored by the professional design community. The exhibit, which opened at the United Nations in New York in October 2011 […]

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