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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June 04 2012

Social Media for Planning Consultancies

June 4th, 2012Posted by 

Planning consultancies offer a wide range of advice on matters concerned with planning, development, and environmental issues which surround a building project. They are involved in a number of different types of projects, for example: Town centre improvements; Business parks; Airports; Smaller building works for companies. In all of these projects it is important that […]

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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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