Blogs

The strike has begun! Negotiations have broken down between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, forcing Hollywood's TV and movie writers into a strike. What, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with planning? Well, to put it bluntly, this strike is arguably the most important opportunity in American history for the widespread development of infrastructure and public works projects. Blog Post
Nov 6, 2007   By Nate Berg
I first learned of Okham’s Razor in an undergraduate economics class. Also called the Law of Parsimony, the idea states that the simplest of two competing ideas or theories is preferable to the more complicated one. Blog Post
Nov 6, 2007   By Samuel Staley
Last week I attended the Society of American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) conference in Portland, Maine. The conference attracted a variety of notable planners and historians to my hometown for sessions on everything from radical 1970s public participation exercises to best practices in waterfront planning. Blog Post
Nov 4, 2007   By Robert Goodspeed
Although it is sometimes difficult to recognize in day-to-day planning activities, our ultimate goal is to make the world better, that is, to help create paradise on earth. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it! There are two different and often conflicting concepts of how to create paradise. It is important that planners understand the differences between them. Blog Post
Nov 4, 2007   By Todd Litman
Some of you may remember my observations in an earlier post on the wonderful event I participated in earlier this year, with New York's Forum for Urban Design. Its rare indeed to get the opportunity to discuss and debate issues of urbanism over 2 days with the chief planners for New York, Boston, London, Singapore and Toronto. Months later, I'm still thinking about some of the perspectives I debated about with my peers in these great cities. Blog Post
Nov 1, 2007   By Brent Toderian
As education has become more expensive students wonder about what they are getting for their money. Evaluations of faculty, rankings of programs, and internet chat-room gossip all aim to find how to purchase the best value for money given a specific set of preferences. However, it is a misunderstanding to see students as primarily consumers of instruction. Rather the best students collaborate with faculty and other students to produce their own learning. What does this mean? In planning, as an applied profession, the activity of producing learning has a number of components. Blog Post
Oct 31, 2007   By Ann Forsyth
Over the past three months, my girlfriend and I have made three trips to the suburbs of Miami. Twice to the Whole Foods we desperately lack on Miami Beach (Yes, Wild Oats is okay, but for us food snobs it just does not compare) and once to the brand new, soul-killing, 283,000 square foot IKEA to partially outfit our 450 square foot South Beach studio apartment. Blog Post
Oct 30, 2007   By Mike Lydon
You drank the Kool-Aid; you know that if you link transit and land use to create transit-oriented development (TOD) the result is fewer car trips and a host of benefits. From Portland to Miami, Boston to Los Angeles, a record number of TODs are being built in the US. Yet most bankers, developers and regulators are drinking from a different cup. As a result the majority of new development adjacent to transit stops in America has been built in a manner oblivious to the fact that a rail stop is nearby. Blog Post
Oct 29, 2007   By G.B. Arrington
How sustainable is the internal combustion engine? The answer depends, in part, on your historical perspective. This point becomes startlingly evident in a recent article by UCLA doctoral student Eric Morris in the most recent issue of Access magazine. The magazine publishes accessible versions of academic research and is published by the University of California Transportation Center at Berkeley. Blog Post
Oct 24, 2007   By Samuel Staley
I spent a few days last week in Newcastle, England - a real gem of a town for tech history enthusiasts and urbanists. Newcastle is where the first steam trains and railways were built at the dawn of the industrial revolution. It was the demonstration of Robert Stephenson's Rocket in 1829 in Newcastle that you might mark as the beginning of mass mechanical mobility. Blog Post
Oct 23, 2007   By Anthony Townsend