Blogs

It's the talk of the town today. The Metropolitan Transit Authority, after years of dithering has finally signed a contract to build out a shared cell phone infrastructure inside the underground portions of the subway system. Sort of. According to the New York Times, "[t]he cellphone network will start in six downtown Manhattan stations in two years. Once it is shown to be working properly, Transit Wireless will have four more years to outfit the rest of the underground stations." Thats six years to completion, folks. Awesome. Blog Post
Sep 20, 2007   By Anthony Townsend
With cities developing today at a rate that is outpacing architects’ and planners’ efforts to shape them, there is no longer sufficient time to plan. As a result, architecture’s role in the city has fundamentally changed from that of designing buildings which both engage and are a product of their context, to that of creating commodified experiences--like everything else, tied first and foremost to speculation in future identity, and real estate values. Blog Post
Sep 18, 2007   By Roger Sherman
It's like something out of a Flannery O'Connor story. The setting is the small town of Natchez, Miss., which was built on an unstable, water-soluble bluff. An entire street, Clifton Avenue, collapsed about 20 years ago. Swallowed up. A few years back—in 1995, to be exact, Sen. Trent Lott urged Congress to shore up the bluff to save not just people—two women died in a 1980 street collapse—but "to protect these historically significant properties and to prevent potential loss of lives," as he put it. Blog Post
Sep 18, 2007   By Margaret Foster
I was visiting Las Vegas for a wedding and, rather than blow my salary on the blackjack table, I was eager to try the new Las Vegas Monorail. As the world's only city-scale example of a technology that was once envisioned as the future of mass transit, the Las Vegas Monorail has seven stops along a route that roughly parallels Las Vegas Strip, with stations connected to major hotels. Blog Post
Sep 16, 2007   By Chris Steins
The following came through on a planning list serve, and I thought it raised several very provocative points that speak to the core of how we plan in the U.S. “I heard, though I cannot remember the source, of a municipality that countered predictable neighborhood opposition to a higher density TOD proposal by broadening the review process to the whole community. I believe that the actual adjacent property owners were deemed to have a conflict of interest: i.e. their backyard versus overall better transit and housing opportunities for the entire town. Blog Post
Sep 14, 2007   By Samuel Staley
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