Blogs

Over the last few weeks, I have participated in two panels on Social and Environmental Sustainability. The first one was at the Ringling School of Art’s "Designing for Life" conference, the second was at BuildBoston where Adaptive Environments organized a day long symposium on Universal Design. In both cases, design took center stage. Design as a means towards change, and design as a business force. This is good news for advocates of Universal Design. Blog Post
Nov 23, 2007   By Barbara Knecht
Many families move to sprawled, automobile-dependent suburbs because they want a safe place to raise their children. They are mistaken. A smart growth community is actually a much safer and healthier place to live overall. Blog Post
Nov 20, 2007   By Todd Litman
Last year California was one of the states targeted by libertarians in the post-Kelo environment for an initiative that, if successful, would essentially outlaw takings. The country is still at near-fever pitch about eminent domain, but the really scary aspect of the legislation (modeled on Oregon's Prop 37) was that it would have virtually tied local governments' hands with regard to regulatory takings as well. In California Proposition 90 failed to pass after the New York developer who was financing the campaign stopped funding it. Blog Post
Nov 18, 2007   By Lisa Feldstein
Transcontinental flights are a great time to catch up on reading, and a recent flight from San Jose to Chicago inspired this blog post. As I was reading book #1 (below), I realized that a number books have been published recently that have important things to say about cities although they might be dismissed too easily as reactionary, ideological, or simply not relevant to urban planning. Blog Post
Nov 15, 2007   By Samuel Staley
Here 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. Blog Post
Nov 12, 2007   By Chris Steins
Yes, yes. We all want to save the children. They are our most precious resource and hold the key to our future. Let them lead the way, and please, lord, don't let them get run over by a train. Fortunately, most American kids face no such danger because they are held safe in far-flung suburbs where conformity and the cocoon of the strip mall tend to their well-being. They are growing up strong and worldly behind gates and in perfect communities far from the strife of the city, where art, culture, diversity, adventure, and freedom might stimulate them just a little too much. Blog Post
Nov 10, 2007   By Josh Stephens
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