Blogs

During my commute this morning, one of the segments on the piped-in TV news that repeats endlessly on the bus mentioned that the City of Long Beach, California, had decided put new water restrictions in effect due to an impending water shortage. The city is advising residents to refrain from watering their lawns and taking long showers – while urging restaurants to only serve water to diners who request it. Blog Post
Sep 14, 2007   By Christian Madera
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. ~Ernest Hemingway Blog Post
Sep 9, 2007   By Mike Lydon
This week Salon.com published a remarkable interview with a contender for the White House. The candidate didn't offer the solution to stabilizing Iraq, strengthening the economy, or bringing down the price of a six-pack (at least not directly), but for the first time in the history of American campaigning that I'm aware of, he referred to the issue of "land use." Blog Post
Sep 6, 2007   By Josh Stephens
My Toyota Prius just turned 100,000. That’s quite a milestone for a car and it may be a harbinger of things to come. Many planners are betting so-called “peak oil” will undermine our car culture because we won’t have the fuel to feed them. The history of my Prius suggests otherwise. Blog Post
Sep 5, 2007   By Samuel Staley
This Labor Day weekend, Southern California is facing an extreme heat wave, with temperatures soaring well above 100 degrees. Air conditioners have to work overtime to keep indoor temperatures near 80, and California power resources are operating at near capacity. As condominiums bake in the sun (as they do most of the year around here), there is not a solar panel in sight. While we are still waiting for renewable energy, a few simple measures could lead to big residential power savings. Enter the laundry line, one of the oldest and most practical ways to use solar energy. Blog Post
Sep 4, 2007   By Diana DeRubertis
Last month, the Mayors’ Institute on City Design hosted a regional session in partnership with the University of Washington, and we were fortunate that the session’s organizers were able to secure meeting space in the entry pavilion to the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Blog Post
Aug 30, 2007   By Jess Zimbabwe
“I have always thought that design can be a form of social activism,” says Don Meeker, environmental graphic designer and co-creator of “Clearview” typeface. This small but radical quotation was buried in an article from the 8.12.07 NY Times Sunday magazine (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/12/magazine/12fonts-t.html) on the redesign of highway sign typeface. Meeker, James Montalbano, and a team of collaborators understood that it was the design of highway signage that was contributing to highway fatalities. Blog Post
Aug 23, 2007   By Barbara Knecht
Like many others, I tuned into the CNN/YouTube debate a few weeks ago. As a firm believer in citizen involvement, to the point of recently writing a book* full of case studies of public process in action, I found CNN’s broadcast of real people with real questions in real time to be utterly fascinating. The public taking hold of technology, influencing candidates with their frank questions, and getting answers that sounded less scripted and on message—it was a sight to see. YouTubers’ questions of the nine Democratic candidates were succinct and to the point. Blog Post
Aug 20, 2007   By Barbara Faga
With the summer coming to a close new students are making their way to graduate planning programs. For those thinking about applying for 2008 it is time to start preparing. The deadlines can be as early as December, now only a few months away. Blog Post
Aug 18, 2007   By Ann Forsyth
The Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, a think tank close to Hong Kong governor Donald Tsang, has just released a report arguing that it might make sense for Hong Kong and Shenzhen to merge into a single metropolitan entity. According to The Economist Cities Guide email update (one of the magazine's best services for subscribers and a most for global urban trendwatches): Blog Post
Aug 14, 2007   By Anthony Townsend