Anyone seen any of the three museum shows in New York on Robert Moses, the colossus of urban planning? I myself have not, seeing as how I live 3,000 miles away from them. To recap: highly controversial figure, built many public works from the 1920s through the 1960s, in the end wanted to destroy neighborhoods to build freeways, ultimately brought low by grassroots organizing and the sainted Jane Jacobs via her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.The exhibits have gotten a lot of ink in the New York press and the planning press. Opinion
Mar 14, 2007   By
My friend Wes was talking about a burger joint. Wes is from Texas, so sometimes that gives him the right. The Beef Burger Barrel, a barrel-shaped hunk of roadside architecture in Amarillo, closed last month after 60-odd years of hamburger heaven. "It wasn't beloved until everyone heard it was closing," Wes told me. The Barrel started out selling A&W root beer on Route 66 in the 1930s and was rolled later to a less-traveled part of town. Now locals are trying to find a way to reopen Amarillo's quirkiest building. Opinion
Mar 13, 2007   By Margaret Foster
The family and I took a recreational ride on the newest light rail line in San Francisco today, the Muni train known as the T. It runs along the city's east-west spine, Market St., and then cuts south along the water of the bay, then inland and way, way south down Third Street—from the city's hottest under-construction neighborhood through the worst ghetto.As such, it's an interesting new ride in San Francisco. Some photos and observations after the jump. Opinion
Mar 10, 2007   By
Greetings from Victoria, British Columbia! Opinion
Mar 10, 2007   By Todd Litman
At the PlaceMatters06 fall conference, participants were treated to the first sneak preview of, a spatially enabled hub for blogs and forums that adds location-based information to online discussions. Steven Berlin Johnson, author of several books including Emergence, and The Ghost Map, and the leading inspiration behind’s conception, demonstrated the beta site during his keynote session. It created a buzz with conference participants quick to recognize its potential as a tool for encouraging community dialogue and place making. Opinion
Mar 9, 2007   By Ken Snyder
Are politicians becoming obsolete in the age of the Internet? Are they simply the 'middle-men' that will be replaced by votes cast directly by citizens? This was the issue before a veritable rock-star cast of poliltical insiders from California and around the country. So what is the G-Word?     Opinion
Mar 9, 2007   By Chris Steins
Across the U.S., dozens of colleges and universities are planning or building major campus expansions. However, unlike the 1990s which saw gleaming bioscience research facilities appear on campuses, the new construction is calculated to help attract and retain faculty and students with amenities for living and shopping. Almost without exception, these projects are in a strictly neotraditional design mold. Opinion
Mar 9, 2007   By Robert Goodspeed
How useful is planning scholarship to planners in practice? Thirty years ago, the author of a British study of information use by planners found, "The journal is not a source of major importance to the planner in practice, though this statement must be taken to reflect inadequate privision and inadequate timeing for reading" (White, 1974). Perspectives differ, but at least some of the problem has been the difficulty of finding relevant scholarship at the moment it is needed. Opinion
Mar 9, 2007   By Bruce Stiftel
This week, I came to the Planetizen office to find that I had received a package in the mail containing a matching set of men's and women's athletic socks. After opening the box, I learned that these were not ordinary socks – which are manufactured from petroleum derived synthetic fibers – but from a new type of fiber made from corn (which, along with soybeans and bamboo, seems set to become one of the most versatile substances of the 21st century). Opinion
Mar 8, 2007   By Christian Madera
During my term of office as president of the American Planning Association, I made my theme “telling the planning story.” My point then – and today – is that we need to do a better job of explaining to our many publics what it is that planners do and why it makes a difference. Opinion
Mar 7, 2007   By Eric Damian Kelly