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Urbanism

The Image of Urban Vitality: Is It Really Just Skyscrapers?

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
National Trust for Historic Preservation

By Mike Powe and Jeana Wiser, Preservation Green Lab View of Manhattan from Brooklyn. When you picture the heart of a thriving city, what image com...

Sustainable City Building

Jens Martin Skibsted | Posted 03.09.2014 | Politics
Jens Martin Skibsted

The challenge of global warming is no longer the science, or the rate of innovation, but the rate of implementation: We have the clean solutions, now let's bundle them and install them.

Theory and Reality and the Post-Sprawl City: Part 3 of a Review of Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents

Frank Gruber | Posted 03.02.2014 | Books
Frank Gruber

L.A. was the first automobile-based sprawl city and it is the first post-sprawl city. It baffles urban theorists of all sorts, most of whom choose to wish it away.

Giving the Urban Poor Access to City Centers

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 02.05.2014 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

Whether through new infrastructure work, transportation initiatives or training programs, efforts to link informal settlements with the infrastructure of the formal city are well underway in cities across the globe.

Dirty, Dangerous and Alive: CBGB's Alluring Punk Rock Ethic

Paul Grenier | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Paul Grenier

CBGB is about the rejection of utilitarianism. The details of the punk style -- the lewdness, the filth, the screaming protests -- it's all secondary, man. Despite the dastardly lip-syncing in the movie, that point comes through quite nicely.

The Urban Stage on Election Day, Seattle Style

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In general, our mayor's race has been local in focus, without ample attention to how McGinn reflects, if not leads, the trend lines of changing cities everywhere.

Hipster Urbanism and the Transformation of Our Cities

Sua Son | Posted 11.04.2013 | Impact
Sua Son

Some say recent urban transformation is due to the influx of 'hipsters' with a real passion for food and an eye for design -- urban cheesemongers and mustachioed greengrocers, with their organic fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities

Benjamin R. Barber | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Benjamin R. Barber

The Washington tantrum that threatened the global economy over the last several weeks is no isolated instance of some peculiarly American dysfunction.

Urban Metabolism and the Nature of Sustainable Cities

UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability | Posted 12.17.2013 | Green
UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability

Stephanie Pincetl is director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA. The Center studies the "urban metabolism" of Los Angel...

Finding Urban 'Tethers' in City Places

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In London's Russell Square one recent morning, I saw the human-scale "tether" illustrated above. Whether for safety or togetherness, parent and chi...

Why the 'Sit-able City' Is the Next Big Idea

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 12.09.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

A greater focus on the sit-able is an invitation to rich discussion and ready illustration based on human tradition.

Contrasting Two Models of How Places Survive

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

The silence of Brovès provided a stark and confounding contrast. I found while photographing the townscape that without its people, the urban form along the highway had little voice. Are there practical lessons from these two models of how a place survives?

Kolor Kathmandu Injects Color Into the Nepali Consciousness

Niranjan Kunwar | Posted 11.05.2013 | Arts
Niranjan Kunwar

The Kolor Kathmandu murals inject much-needed splashes of color into the Nepali consciousness: They compel you to reimagine your national identity and redesign your idea of hope and possibility.

Public Pianos and the Urbanist Dividend

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.29.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Given the right context, the simplest urban intervention enlivens public space, reaps enormous value and fosters fundamental, human expression and curiosity. The public piano trend is among the latest of the many pop-up catalysts now popular in small city spaces.

The Rural Landscape and Urban Lessons Learned

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.07.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Take a harder look, and see the reasons forests and farms have been elemental to growth management legislation, emulating the naturally evolved agricultural region that has always surrounded the City of Rome.

Green Infrastructure and the Path to Recovery

Aaron Bartley | Posted 08.28.2013 | Green
Aaron Bartley

By investing in tangible projects that conserve precious water resources, create jobs in low-income neighborhoods, and make cities more livable, the green infrastructure movement, offers a powerful alternative to austerity economics and speculation-based growth models.

Three Everyday Ways to Inspire Urban Change

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.21.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Unfortunately, when it comes to these far-away urban places, not all of us have real-time access to the inspirational modern projects served by transit, or the historic monuments, streets and squares that illustrate the potential of creative city life.

Life in Shanghai

David Gosset | Posted 08.13.2013 | World
David Gosset

While the myth of the "Old Shanghai" is more a narrative cultivated by a few foreigners than a living point of reference for the Shanghaiers, Shanghai has an instinctive passion for the newness and the promise of each day.

The Compelling Promise of Urbanism Without Effort

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.13.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

As urban stakeholders -- residents, pundits, developers, associated professionals, and politicians -- we like to discuss and debate aspects of urb...

Paris: A Tale of Two Possible Cities

Joan Z. Shore | Posted 07.06.2013 | World
Joan Z. Shore

Messrs. Hollande and Delanoë warn that Paris will become "a museum city" if skyscrapers are not built, and that foreign visitors and foreign investment will dwindle. In fact, Paris will probably be less desirable if its traditional attractions are (literally) overshadowed by modern monstrosities.

Movement and Settlement, Upside Down

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 06.22.2013 | Detroit
Charles R. Wolfe

Last week, I participated in the Project for Public Spaces' Placemaking Leadership Council inaugural meeting in Detroit. The event left several impr...

If We Don't Push, Nothing Happens

Jason Lorimer | Posted 05.01.2013 | Detroit
Jason Lorimer

Our future city relies on dreamers who find inspiration in the possibility of really being able to affect peoples' lives. Our community's anchor organizations need to cultivate these folks. We need leaders of all cultures and across generations to unify.

The Greatest Migration: China's Urbanization

John Wagner Givens | Posted 04.30.2013 | World
John Wagner Givens

The larger story, which can really only be told through numbers, is about how "China's urban population has increased from 180 million people in 1978 to 690 [million] now" and since rural birth rates consistently outpace urban ones, it is specifically a tale of rural to urban migration.

Time to Abandon the "Post-Apocalyptic Unlivable Hellscape" That Is Beijing?

John Wagner Givens | Posted 04.02.2013 | World
John Wagner Givens

Considering that Beijing's plans for addressing the record levels of air pollution, 45 times the recommended safety levels, were greeted with little enthusiasm, this blogger would like to offer another one: time to abandon Beijing.

Oops! How the Government Did Its Part to Destroy Our Cities

Frank Gruber | Posted 04.02.2013 | Books
Frank Gruber

I don't necessarily expect that future historians will find purposeful reasons for the emptying out of our great cities. More likely, they will seek to identify social, economic or demographic reasons that resulted in the urban crisis.