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

Taking a Stroll Through Old Montreal: Is it Merely a Seasonal Hotspot?

March 7th, 2014Posted by 

A popular tourist destination, Old Montreal and the Old Port have gained popularity amongst locals in recent years, as seen by an increase in both residents and businesses. Settled in 1642, it is now home to historical landmarks and museums, government buildings, restaurants, bars and clubs, art galleries and souvenir shops. During the period of […]

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March 06 2014

Why Have a Car When You Have Snow? Getting Around in Wengen, Switzerland

March 6th, 2014Posted by 

For some people, imagining a life without cars is impossible or just unrealistic given their dependence and lack of other transit options; but alternative urban planning schemes for transportation can help places function better without the automobile. Some of the best examples can be found in small sized towns, but a city doesn’t have to […]

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March 06 2014

Stuck in Place: The Aging Infrastructure of Washington D.C.

March 6th, 2014Posted by 

Manholes – like the one shown above – are a gateway into a labyrinth of unseen infrastructure that lies underneath every city. It is the architecture of the city; not in its most recognized form, but in its most essential. Few people notice it as they engage in their daily routines. However, this network of […]

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March 05 2014

Is Legal Marijuana a Problem for Urban Planners?

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

On November 6th, 2012, the state of Colorado became one of just two U.S. states to legalize the recreational sale of marijuana with the passing of Amendment 64. The first stores to sell marijuana legally officially opened for business on January 1st, 2014. According to an e-mail from a City of Denver spokesperson, there are currently thirty-seven […]

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March 03 2014

Toronto’s First Outdoor Covered Skating Rink Opens in Greenwood Park

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

The first outdoor covered skating rink in Toronto has recently opened in Greenwood Park. Leisure skaters also have an added draw to the new facility: a skating trail rather than a typical rink. According to the rink attendant, both the hockey rink and the skating trail have experienced constant use throughout the season. The updated layout of the rink has […]

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February 27 2014

Baltimore’s Revenue Base on the Rise as “Change to Grow” Increases Population

February 27th, 2014Posted by 

The City of Baltimore is in dire need of new residents. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to have her sights on so-called “new Baltimoreans” to fill the city’s empty houses. Baltimore’s current population of 621,342, while a spirited group, is not enough to support the services provided by the City. Gaining new residents via immigration has […]

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February 26 2014

Madison Follows Florence’s Lead: A Proposal to Increase Downtown Density

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

Density has long been an important feature of thriving cities. High density neighborhoods favor pedestrian walkability over the use of automobiles and provide more efficient use of infrastructure. Madison, Wisconsin is currently debating how to increase its downtown density, while still abiding by the city’s building height rule. No building in the downtown vicinity can […]

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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 24 2014

Opportunities of Urban Sprawl: Mlolongo Township, Kenya

February 24th, 2014Posted by 

Most African cities are characterized by an ever-rising urban population growth and the city of Nairobi is no exception. Various factors such as the natural rise in population, expansion of boundaries, and rural to urban migration have put Nairobi on the map as one of the cities with the highest urbanization rate. Kenya’s population in […]

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February 18 2014

In Arizona, Smart Growth Means the Need for Smart Transportation

February 18th, 2014Posted by 

Since the 1960’s, Arizona has led the country in growth, remaining one of the top three states with the highest population and employment growth rates. However, when the housing market crashed in 2007, growth slowed tremendously, giving the state an opportunity to reflect on how it handled the last fifty years. As of 2011, 129,780 […]

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February 17 2014

$1.6 Billion in Esthetic Value Lost in Toronto Ice Storm

February 17th, 2014Posted by 

With parks, ravines, rivers, and other open spaces, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry division of Toronto likes to call Toronto a “City Within a Park.” However, to make sure this remains true for many years to come, Toronto needs to start recognizing the value of its trees, both when they are standing and when they […]

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February 13 2014

Should Seattle Be Worried About Affordability?

February 13th, 2014Posted by 

Compared to some of its counterparts, Seattle is not terribly expensive. But as population quickly grows, decision makers will have to grapple with affordability. Recently elected Councilwoman Kshama Sawant made rent control a staple of her campaign. Others believe relaxing planning rules so developers can build is the best remedy. The enigma of affordability plagues […]

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January 27 2014

Book Review: ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change is an extended summary of Peter Calthorpe’s thought leadership in the areas of urban planning and its impacts on the surrounding environment. Arguing the holistic nature of planning decisions, Urbanism is full of quotable lines and beautiful graphics demonstrating how our carbon footprint continues to grow despite advances […]

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January 23 2014

Kansas City, Missouri’s Mayorial Climate Action Plan

January 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Currently there is no universal agreement on the degree, cause, or the severity of climate change. There is, however, a significant agreement on the rise of global emissions due to the quantitative aspects of measures and their contribution to these changes. Regional industries are all highly impacted by climatological change or are subject to likely regulatory or […]

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January 23 2014

Shanghai’s New Districts Fall Short of Attracting Residents

January 23rd, 2014Posted by 

On December 27,2013, the Shanghai 14th Municipal Commission passed the Shanghai Underground Space Planning Regulations, which will be implemented from April 1, 2014. The Regulations signal Shanghai’s intention to carry out new planning initiatives. In recent years, Shanghai has positioned itself to be an international financial center, and its various new districts have been building iconic […]

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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 20 2014

Community Participation in Sustainable Development in Nantes, Pays de Loire, France

January 20th, 2014Posted by 

Take a bit of sustainable transportation, a dash of accessible pedestrian walkways, green energy, developed waste management, not to mention eco-neighborhoods managed by participatory policies, and you will have a sustainable city. Too simple? Of course, a perfect recipe does not exist, all the more considering that the field is constantly changing. Cities are therefore […]

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January 17 2014

Nairobi’s Failure to Protect Pedestrians

January 17th, 2014Posted by 

Taking a walk in the tropics is not an easy task. The skies are clear, sun is burning and temperatures are high. This is even harder in urban centres that experience slightly higher temperatures due to buildings, asphalt, and industrial activities; better known as the ‘urban heat island effect.’ Walking, however, remains a very popular […]

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January 16 2014

A Historical Chinese Industrial Building’s Fate Left to Government Hands

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

As the rate of industrialization and urbanization accelerates in China, more and more factories are becoming deserted. Preserving and developing industrial cultural heritage has become an issue that gathers the public’s attention.  The Zhongyan Hongsifang Joint-Stock Company complex was built in the 1950s in Anhui Province, China. The industrial site had a glorious past, but […]

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