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4 tools that support community building at the street level.Just heard from my co-worker, Chris Haller, who is at Where 2.0 that Google has announced yet another cool tool for visualization. Street View provides panoramic views embedded as an additional view to g-maps. Initially this tool is only available in 5 cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and San Francisco. Was able to locate the following YouTube demo. Corny video, but cool technology. Blog Post
May 30, 2007   By Ken Snyder
With the coming of summer, students finish courses, faculty head off to do research, and practitioners think about vacations. However, for those interested in keeping up to date with academic issues in planning, a number of bloggists provide useful insights into the politics and hot issues in planning education. For students they are a window into the work of educators and for practicing planners they are an easy way to keep up to date with what’s happening in the schools. Blog Post
May 29, 2007   By Ann Forsyth
Houston or Holland? The rapidly growing suburbs of Madrid uncomfortably (and instructively) amalgamate some of both. I was lucky to receive a recent tour from David Cohn, a long-time colleague and 20-year resident of Madrid; Sylvia Perea, a post-doctoral student and, until recently, an editor at the journal Arquitectura Viva, and Emilio Ontiveros, a young architect of the local Research Group on Social Housing. Blog Post
May 28, 2007   By James S. Russell
Think big.That’s what the people of Ontario and the Toronto region set out to do more than 5 years ago when they began a visionary planning process for the area known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario, Canada. (The Greater Golden Horseshoe is the area around Lake Ontario that stretches from roughly Peterborough to the east, west through metropolitan Toronto, and around the west tip of the lake to the southern side and Niagara Falls — hence the horseshoe shape.) Blog Post
May 22, 2007   By
“We underwrite fun,” says Naomi McCleary, Manager of arts for the Waitakere City Council, one of the municipalities that make up the Auckland (New Zealand) metropolitan region. She is referring to the practice of involving artists in the thinking and creation of public places, buildings, streets, bridges; they take an equal seat at the table from conception to completion. According to Ms. McCleary, the results are remarkable. Fun is a partner of beauty and happiness, it is a means toward the creation of objects and places that are beautifully usable. Blog Post
May 22, 2007   By Barbara Knecht
I would like to think that the overwhelming response to the question posed in the title would be a resounding, "No!"  I never gave the issue much thought before last week because frankly, I didn't really need to.  Working in a city like Philadelphia where the overwhelming percentage of proposed projects requires a zoning variance, we've trained ourselves to work within an imperfect system and make the best of what's at hand.  (It should be noted that Philadelphia is about to embark upon a process to re-vamp the zoning code, but that is for another post in the future).  Mo Blog Post
May 21, 2007   By Scott Page
A commodity is something that is normally bought and sold. Not everything is a commodity. Sure, most people need to purchase a certain amount of food, clothing and housing, but many other things that we value are not for sale. For example, simply purchasing exercise equipment will not make you physically fit – it requires effort. Similarly, health, safety, education, rewarding personal relationships, community and our satisfaction with life are aspirations that depend more on our behavior than on how much we spend. Blog Post
May 17, 2007   By Todd Litman
Don't know if you've heard, but Arizona voters passed a new law in November, a nameless one called Proposition 207. And here's what preservationists have to say about it:"With Prop 207, we're dead in the water," Debbie Abele, Scottsdale historic preservation officer, told the East Valley Tribune.It's modeled after Oregon's controversial property-rights law Measure 37. In a nutshell, it allows property owners to seek compensation from the state for infringing on their right to use, divide, sell, or possess their property via a land-use law. Blog Post
May 14, 2007   By Margaret Foster
In the short story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, Ursula LeGuin depicts a utopia that is made possible by the transference of all misery to a child who is kept in a cellar. Some in the community ignore the scapegoat’s existence, choosing the easy life of bliss that is offered to them. Those whose consciences do not allow them to live in willful ignorance often chose to leave Omelas and live complete, full lives that include awareness, and shouldering their own pain. Blog Post
May 14, 2007   By Lisa Feldstein
SHANGHAI, CHINA--I've been a fan of New Urbanism for several years, but I've always considered myself an urban "pluralist"--someone who doesn't believe there is an "objective" or general urban form that is persistently successful over long periods of time. Indeed, Bob Bruegmann's thesis in Sprawl: A Compact History, suggests that urban form changes and evolves over time, although generally in a less dense direction. Blog Post
May 13, 2007   By Samuel Staley