Chris Steins's blog

Chris Steins is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.

What Happens When 250 Million Children Grow Up With Urban Planning?

XO-1 computerHere at Planetizen and Urban Insight, many of our efforts to serve the planning community take place on Windows and Mac computers that would, much like your own computers at your home and office (or even your sparkly new iPhone), dwarf even the most powerful machines of a generation ago. We use these computers to build websites, create maps, share data, explore 3D environments, design, organize databases, and lots of other tasks that can bring new worlds to life without shoveling an ounce of dirt.

A Live Post From The 2007 Ohio Planning Conference

I'm posting this blog entry live in front of a panel session of approximately 200 participants at the 2007 Ohio Planning Conference at the Columbus Conference Center to demonstrate, live, how one posts to a blog.

Columbus Conference Center in walkable downtown ColumbusI'm presenting on "Web 2.0 Tools to Communicate Planning Ideas". Here's the pitch:

Las Vegas' Hidden Monorail

Los Vegas MonorailI was visiting Las Vegas for a wedding and, rather than blow my salary on the blackjack table, I was eager to try the new Las Vegas Monorail. As the world's only city-scale example of a technology that was once envisioned as the future of mass transit, the Las Vegas Monorail has seven stops along a route that roughly parallels Las Vegas Strip, with stations connected to major hotels.

Spanish-style Waterfront Home On a Private Island: $28

Spanish-style home at Darrow Estates (small)I'm making a prediction: While the real estate market in RL (real life) is cooling off, the real estate market in Second Life (SL) is heating up.

I was recently contacted via IM (instant message) by Elliot Eldrich. I interviewed Elliot several months ago for a feature-length article about urban planning in Second Life. (The article appeared in the January, 2007 issue of the American Planning Association's Planning magazine, but is now also available online.)

The G-Word

Are politicians becoming obsolete in the age of the Internet? Are they simply the 'middle-men' that will be replaced by votes cast directly by citizens? This was the issue before a veritable rock-star cast of poliltical insiders from California and around the country. So what is the G-Word?

panelists

 

 

 

Planning In Second Life

Anhinga Island I've just about finished researching and writing an article about the implications for planning in a virtual environment called Second Life.

If you're one of the 578,672 people worldwide who participate in the virtual world called Second Life, you are empowered. You use the game's virtual environment to interact with others, design buildings, develop communities, or even construct your own island, complete with an economy, design guidelines, and many of the same issues and problems that come with a real community.

Wi-Fi... Shades of the early cable days?

Bob Jacobson emails to say that Brian Deagon's article for Investor's Business Daily, "Cities' Wi-Fi Efforts Might Pose Threat To Cable, Telecom" is a good article and reminds him of "the early cable days!"

More cities are starting to manage Internet access much like they manage electricity, water and transportation services. That trend could cost cable and telecom providers billions of dollars in lost business.

As of July 1, 59 cities were running broadband Internet networks, up from 38 a year earlier, according to MuniWireless.com, which tracks this subject.

(Google) Sketchup Now Free

USC Tower / 3-D Warehouse - Google SketchUpPublish is reporting that Google has released a free version of the popular 3-D drawing program, SketchUp, reviewed so well on TechTalk earlier by Ken (Snyder).

Sun(burned) - A Review of Sun's 'Environmentally Friendly' T2000 Server

Note to readers: Justin Emond is a project manager and web developer at Urban Insight, and a former IT manager for the University of Southern California's School of Theatre.

By Justin Emond
My First Experience with a Sun Server.


Sun Fire T2000 ServerI was excited when the company I work for decided to take advantage of Sun's Try and Buy program

A Mobile Marketing Ecosystem?

Will the new urban ecosystem be wireless? And if so, will corporate American own this new ecosystem?

That's the fascinating point Jeffrey Chester makes in his new article, "The Dangers of Corporate Wi-Fi", published on TheNation.com and distributed through AlterNet. Chester argues that there's no such thing as a free wireless lunch:

"Consumers and public officials should have no illusions that what is being touted as a public benefit is also designed to spur the growth of a mobile marketing ecosystem, an emerging field of electronic commerce that is expected to generate huge revenues for Google, Microsoft, AT&T and many others. Soon, wherever we wander, a ubiquitous online environment will follow us with ads and information dovetailed to our interests and our geographic location."

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