March 28 2014

The Risky Affair of Cycling in Nairobi, Kenya

March 28th, 2014Posted by 

2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome first started cycling as a boy in Kenya. Cycling is an equitable and low-cost form of mobility, although it can be a dangerous activity in cities like Nairobi. Many cities around the world have long recognized the importance of cycling as a way of mobility.  The City of […]

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March 28 2014

Moving the Capital: Public Transit in Washington, D.C.

March 28th, 2014Posted by 

The Washington, D.C. Metro is recognized as the trademark transit system of the capital city, but it is hardly a befitting one. With frequent breakdowns, and delays due to track work, it is a consistent source of frustration for the region’s commuters. Coupling this with the fact that it is currently operating over capacity during […]

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March 24 2014

Can Towson Reduce Congestion with New Bike, Ped, and Circulator Options?

March 24th, 2014Posted by 

Baltimore City’s northern neighbor Towson, Maryland is lacking in the area of alternative transportation for the thousands of commuters and residents who must pass through the town every day. Residents can, however, rejoice in the number of plans currently being pushed forward to improve transportation for the area, including more sustainable projects such as a: […]

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March 21 2014

Griffintown, Montreal: Manufacturing Hub to Condo Haven

March 21st, 2014Posted by 

As stylish condominiums continue to rise high into the sky, more of historic Griffintown fades away. This once working class neighbourhood of Montreal, Quebec has been going through a major overhaul since 2008, and developers have been scrambling to get in on a piece of desirable land as early as 2005. It is an example […]

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March 20 2014

Why Grandma is Moving to Denver, Not Miami

March 20th, 2014Posted by 

Denver has the longest winter of any of the U.S. cities, averaging over fifty inches of snowfall per year, and has an average annual temperature more than twenty-five degrees lower than Miami, Florida. So why is grandma moving to Denver and not Miami? Despite the chilling winters, Denver also has 300 days of sun, and […]

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March 19 2014

The Creation of the Italian Commune: Architecture as a Tool of Politics

March 19th, 2014Posted by 

Out of the darkness of the Middle-Ages, helped by the extreme economic power of commerce, and taking advantage of the turbulence caused by the constant fight for control between the church and the Holy Roman Empire, there emerged in Italy an urban form forgotten since Antiquity: the city-state. These states, also known as Communes, gained […]

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March 18 2014

The Reasoning Behind the Washington, D.C. Height Act

March 18th, 2014Posted by 

There is a piece of local lore circulating around Washington, D.C., attempting to explain why the city is so short. The myth claims that developers have been prevented from building up because it is inscribed somewhere that the Washington Monument and US Capitol must be the tallest structures in the city. However, the real reasoning […]

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March 17 2014

How Important is Youth Civic Engagement in a City?

March 17th, 2014Posted by 

Toronto is ranked the #1 Youthful City of 2014 out of twenty-five of the world’s largest cities. Decode, a firm that analyzes young person consumer behavior and interests, conceptualized YouthfulCities. YouthfulCities is an initiative to, eventually, determine the top 100 cities for youth. It has compared five cities from each region – USA & Canada, […]

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March 12 2014

The Economics of Gentrification in Washington, D.C.

March 12th, 2014Posted by 

This past decade has seen Washington, DC host one of the most rapid transformations in the United States. Once a city in decline, known for crime and plagued by disinvestment and poor governance, a quick look at the District’s skyline will tell you that much of that is no longer the case. With forty-seven cranes […]

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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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