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Urban Planning

How Thoughtful Street Design Is Helping Communities and the Economy

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 05.27.2015 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

In the end, Safer Streets, Stronger Economies is less a scientific study than a compilation of available (and, to a great extent, differing) data from a limited range of case studies. To my mind, it is far from conclusive.

Using Urban Observation to "Ghost-Bust" Cities

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 05.26.2015 | Arts
Charles R. Wolfe

I saw a ghost, of a missing building from a boyhood memory -- something that Amazon might have retrofitted, today, if it were still there for the taking.

Towards a Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient Urban Future

Hung Vo | Posted 05.12.2015 | Teen
Hung Vo

Our future continues to be threatened by poverty, climate change and social inequity. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that only through solidarity and cooperation can we begin to solve these dilemmas.

Sustainability Planning in New York City: Let's Build on the Path-Breaking Work of the Bloomberg Team

Steven Cohen | Posted 05.09.2015 | Green
Steven Cohen

New York City is America's largest local government, and it is at the local level that most people actually experience government's performance.

Urban Renaissance or Cities of the One Percent?

Angela Glover Blackwell | Posted 05.04.2015 | San Francisco
Angela Glover Blackwell

More than 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in metropolitan areas and that number is only expected to grow in the coming years. If we don't act now to build inclusive growth at scale in urban economies, we're heading towards an urban downfall, not an urban renaissance.

The Nightmare of Youth Unemployment and How to Fight It

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 05.03.2015 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

High levels of youth unemployment may be one of cities' worst nightmares: not only does it signal and perpetuate a struggling economy, but high numbers of disengaged youth can lead to immense frustration across an entire generation, increased crime, and even revolt.

Ready for My Close-Up!: Parks in the Movies

Adrian Benepe | Posted 04.14.2015 | Green
Adrian Benepe

With the Academy Awards coming up Feb. 22, people around the world are thinking about their favorite movies, actors, directors and even sound tracks. For some of us in the world of city parks, we watch movies through a narrower lens: scenes shot in parks.

Reading Cities, Cover to Cover, And Why

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 04.12.2015 | Arts
Charles R. Wolfe

When Charles Montgomery penned The Happy City, he knew that going forward, evolving cities need to honor human emotion. His follow-up labs attempt to measure what humans want and need in urban environments.

Suburbs of Survival, and the Democracy of Placemaking

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 03.30.2015 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

Those of us who style ourselves as "urbanists" -- myself included, much of the time - tend to get a bit snobbish and condescending about, you know, ordinary people.

Bringing Sustainability to Small-Town America

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 03.24.2015 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

There are some terrific examples of green initiatives beginning to emerge in small-town America. While these communities may frequently lack institutional capacity and fiscal resources to undertake big initiatives, they do have the benefit of agility. Even a single leader can make a difference.

How Our Inventions Reinvent Us

Singularity University | Jason Dorrier | Posted 01.12.2015 | World

In two recent videos, Jason Silva visits the idea of ontological design—that as we design our tools, so our tools design us in return. We devise and...

From Urbanizing to Urban, According to My Facebook Cover Page

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 03.08.2015 | Arts
Charles R. Wolfe

During a year filled with four trips abroad and two months away, many of my 2014 Facebook cover photos helped fill my yearly urban and exurban diaries.

The Greening of a Suburban Downtown

F. Kaid Benfield | Posted 02.28.2015 | Green
F. Kaid Benfield

If planners for Bethesda, Maryland fully realize a conceptual vision now being offered to community leaders and the public, the once-quiet but now-bustling suburb's downtown could become a nationally relevant example of urban sustainability.

For City Parks, 2014 Was the Year That Was (Great)!

Adrian Benepe | Posted 02.25.2015 | Green
Adrian Benepe

Well, 2014 was certainly the "Year That Was" for parks and open space, with many cities finding places to build new parks by creatively reusing abandoned or underperforming infrastructure as parks, and with record levels of new public and private investment in some states and cities.

Inequalities and Exclusion of the Poor in the Global South: Four Cities Fight Back Through Aggressive Land Policy

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 02.14.2015 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

While the goals of neighborhood revitalization are generally positive, if a government fails to actively incorporate policies that guarantee affordable housing and public spaces, revitalization becomes a euphemism for gentrification and exclusion of the poor.

Contextualizing Approaches to Urbanization

David Adjaye | Posted 02.09.2015 | Arts
David Adjaye

The city is a perpetually incomplete project; it is constantly being remade and reshaped by the changing state of our world, whether by the interventions of its governing bodies or the powerful actions of its residents. Architecture can and must speak to this adaptability, as both a technology and reflection of social change.

How to Build a Holy Smart City

Alykhan Mohamed | Posted 02.09.2015 | World
Alykhan Mohamed

Picture an ancient city full of intricately carved stone temples, where millions of pilgrims and ascetics come to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges, as Hindus have done for hundreds of generations. Now, imagine that the holy water of the Ganges is being monitored by electronic sensors to detect pollution levels, and the lights illuminating the streets and houses of this city are fitted with motion sensors and calibrated to save energy.

2014's Notable Developments in Landscape Architecture

Charles A. Birnbaum | Posted 02.08.2015 | Arts
Charles A. Birnbaum

This year there was a cultural shift that saw landscape architecture and its practitioners achieve an unprecedented level of visibility and influence.

Leaving a Downstream Legacy

Jackie Ostfeld | Posted 02.03.2015 | Green
Jackie Ostfeld

Sierra Club recognizes that a 21st-century environmental movement depends on getting kids and communities unplugged and outside.

Riots and Race: Then, Now and Next?

Deborah J. Levine | Posted 01.31.2015 | Politics
Deborah J. Levine

What will America do when every 20-30 years our racial issues come to a head? Ferguson is not an isolated case, nor is the death of an African American at the hands of a white police officer. Yet, something about Ferguson has captured the attention nationally, and even world-wide.

What Makes A City Unhappy?

Pacific Standard | Dana McMahan | Posted 11.24.2014 | World

I live in two of the country’s saddest cities. At least that’s if I’m to believe the results of a National Bureau of Economic Research working p...

Unlocking the Pandora Box

Rodrigo Ribera D'Ebre | Posted 01.19.2015 | Arts
Rodrigo Ribera D'Ebre

Perhaps when things become a reality in our lives, we place the responsibility on an outside source like a burning candle, a talisman, a lucky clothing article, God or...something else.

Could Lyft and Uber Put Public Transit Out of Business?

Tarun Wadhwa | Posted 01.17.2015 | Technology
Tarun Wadhwa

It is likely that these services will just exacerbate the differences that already exist in the quality of public transit in different areas. The localities that invested and ran their systems well won't be as impacted. In the areas where frustration is higher, the problems will surely become worse when revenues and ridership decline.

The Six Most Ingenious Things Humans Are Doing This Week

Diane Ackerman | Posted 01.17.2015 | World
Diane Ackerman

The sheer number of people on the planet means exponentially more brainpower; so, as a species, we're sparking many more ideas. Thanks to the digital revolution, people are busily batting ideas around the Internet, where they carom and entangle like subatomic particles.

Yes, in Your Country: Judge Says City of Philadelphia Can Take Artist's Studio, Turn It Into Grocery Store

Evan Bernick | Posted 01.05.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

James Dupree is a world-renowned artist and native son of Philadelphia, who is about to see his art studio turned into a grocery store, thanks to the rubber-stamp review that passes for judging when his city exercises the power of eminent domain.