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In January I explored what kind of exit paper or project students of planning should prepare, why they should write such papers, and when. This month I turn to the proposal, examining key issues any proposal writer needs to consider. As I outline below, the parts of the proposal are fairly standard. However, three areas typically trip up students working on exit projects: identifying the audience(s), framing the question, and reviewing the literature. Blog Post
Feb 29, 2008   By Ann Forsyth
Every city has blight – the unsightly, derelict, abandoned, disheveled, and under-utilized spaces of our urban areas. It drains the life out of neighborhoods, drives down the values of surrounding properties, and just looks really bad. So what do cities do about it? Some seize it through eminent domain for redevelopment and others offer incentives to developers to replace it with something better. Many of them, though, don’t do anything at all. But removing blight from a city is not impossible, and it doesn’t have to be an elaborate multi-party scheme or a drawn-out political process. Blog Post
Feb 27, 2008   By Nate Berg
How could a new chamber of commerce algorithm drive decisions about employer locations, improve mobility of workers, while reducing pollution accruing from longer daily work trips?  The answer is simple, says the chief economist of the Greater Dallas Chamber, Lyssa Jenkens, “You change the data system to deliver information people never got before.” Blog Post
Feb 20, 2008   By
Rethinking College Park Is College Park, Maryland a great college town? Although the town is home to a top-ranked national research university that is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland, the town pales in comparison with the nation's best-liked college towns, whether Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ithaca, New York, or Charlottesville, Virginia. In this post I describe one attempt to use the internet to improve an aspiring college town. Blog Post
Feb 14, 2008   By Robert Goodspeed
The Strange Maps blog is an eclectic collection of maps, diagrams, and cartoons. Some graphics featured on this blog are informative, some are creative, and others are completely bizarre.The website is maintained by an anonymous blogger. The posted graphic is often accompanied by informative notes. Here is a list of 21 maps that I found interesting: Blog Post
Feb 11, 2008   By Abhijeet Chavan
Who doesn’t love the Apocalypse? Society collapses, people run around in chaos, and we try to imitate the survival strategies culled from too many Hollywood end-of-the world blockbusters. Apocalyptic predictions have always been part of American culture, and why not? Blog Post
Feb 6, 2008   By Greg Smithsimon
I've always hated songs about cities, particularly mawkish anthems like "New York, New York," "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," and the ghastly "I Love L.A." Lyricists seem to dream them up when there's nothing else to sing about. Indeed, cities are the setting for life, not the object of it. Singing about them is like performing a play about a theater. Blog Post
Feb 2, 2008   By Josh Stephens
My December blog dealt with key problems faced by those heading for an end-of-school-year graduation—completing a proposal, choosing methods, starting to write, and dealing with formatting. This month I step back and ask some bigger questions: what kind of exit paper or project you should prepare, why, and when? Blog Post
Jan 30, 2008   By Ann Forsyth
We’re recognizing the scale of the global warming crisis just as there’s a parallel crisis of imagination about how to address environmental problems. Because of years of conservatives’ claims that government doesn’t work, and that the only option is to privatize and deregulate, we’re left believing that we can’t take decisive action in the public interest. We think we can do no more than charge a fee while allowing the smokestacks to keep belching. Blog Post
Jan 30, 2008   By Greg Smithsimon
As technology becomes more an integral part of planning and public outreach around planning, the need for a “creative touch” becomes increasingly important. While technology can increase the quality and quantity of public input, it can also diminish the quality of human interaction and creativeness. As we look for technologies that engage citizens, we also need to find ways to utilize art materials, maps and other visuals, and encourage storytelling. Blog Post
Jan 27, 2008   By Ken Snyder