Urban Fold


We all know there's a lot of planning going on around the world. Much of it is poor, short-sighted and generally just no good. But there are also some really great ideas being developed and adopted, and they should be considered by cities and communities all over the world as instructive examples of good planning. Here are what I think are some of the best ideas in urban planning from the last week. Blog Post
Mar 21, 2008   By Nate Berg
It's tough to say what the impact of a decision like this is for the US market, where there are already so many obstacles to making money on the last mile. Blog Post
Mar 20, 2008   By Anthony Townsend
The Federal Reserve’s bailout (arranged liquidation to some) of Bear Stearns over the weekend seriously calls into question the headlong march toward neoliberalism that has been ascendant for the past few decades. Blog Post
Mar 18, 2008   By Lance Freeman
If you think of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, surely you do not think of Miami. In fact, if you have ever been to the "Magic City," or perhaps live here, you probably shudder at the idea of using two wheels instead of four. That may be changing. Blog Post
Mar 18, 2008   By Mike Lydon
Often, planners and economists seem to be at odds. Actually, a better description would be talking past each other—literally two ships passing in the night. Planners often think economists are too narrowly focused on dollars, cents, and rational decisionmaking. Economists can’t understand why planners don’t recognize the real world of markets and why incentives matter—a lot. Blog Post
Mar 15, 2008   By Samuel Staley
I'm reposting this from my Future of Cities blog. You're all invited to join our conversation over there: it's sort of for urban studies what Planetizen is for urban planning and design. Some of you may know that my wife and I welcomed a little girl to the world last month (Stella!). Despite the fact that my mother was a nurse for 40 years - or perhaps because of it - I've never spent a lot of time around hospitals. In fact, like many of you I share an aversion to the centralization of sick people. Blog Post
Mar 13, 2008   By Anthony Townsend
Why plan? That’s an important question for a planning skeptic like myself. I’m not at all convinced that conventional public urban planning has much value, despite (or because of?) spending eight years on a city planning commission. Yet, I don’t consider myself an “antiplanner”. I’m happy to leave that role to my friend and virtual colleague Randal O’Toole at the Cato Institute. (He even runs a blog called “The Antiplanner”.) Urban planning has a role even though, IMO, on balance, its application has had a negative impact on communities and cities. Blog Post
Mar 12, 2008   By Samuel Staley
                    Anne Street, Dublin City Center: A mixture of uses prevail in this pedestrian friendly, human-scaled street. Blog Post
Mar 9, 2008   By Mike Lydon
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