Blogs

BEIJING--When I first learned that I wouldn't be able to rent a car in Beijing, I was disappointed. That's how I usually break away from the business "bubble" to learn something about a city. But, it didn't take more than an hour to realize that I was better off with a local driver than tackling it myself.  Driving habits, combined with roads choking with pedestrians, cars, buses, and taxis, convinced me I needed to leave the driving to a "pro". Blog Post
May 9, 2007   By Samuel Staley
Just east of downtown Brooklyn on a 22 acre site Forest City Ratner is proposing a mega-project that would transform the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Vanderbilt rail yards and a few adjacent blocks into 6,430 units of housing, 336,000 feet of office space, 247,000 feet of retail space, a hotel and an arena that would be the new home of the NBA New Jersey Nets. Like almost any mega-project proposed in a dense city like New York, Atlantic Yards is raising the ire of many. In this case, however, the names and roles of the usual suspects have changed. Blog Post
May 7, 2007   By Lance Freeman
Locating residential development closer to city centers comes with a price: increased exposure to air pollutants. Blog Post
May 3, 2007   By Diana DeRubertis
It’s not just those buff lifeguards.  Most coastal and Great Lakes states have a coastal zone management program.  And not only are the coastal zone managers watching the beach, they are watching what’s being built in their communities.  In fact, in recent interviews of coastal zone managers, 56 out of 58 said growth was the top pressure on coastal resources in their state.    Blog Post
May 2, 2007   By
Most people that I know want to act responsibly, but when it comes to daily travel decisions they often choose driving over more resource-efficient but less comfortable and convenient alternative modes, such as walking, cycling and public transportation. As a result, they feel guilty, and communities suffer from problems such as congestion, infrastructure costs, consumer costs, accidents, energy consumption, and pollution emissions. Blog Post
Apr 26, 2007   By Todd Litman
The 1950’s and 1960’s were boom times for planning and building in the northeastern United States. Projects were designed and built seemingly overnight. For those who idolize Edmund Bacon (Philadelphia's director of city planning from 1949 to 1970) and Robert Moses (New York City’s master builder from 1924 to 1968), that was the time to plan and design and implement and build --quickly. Blog Post
Apr 26, 2007   By Barbara Faga
These days, there are many important city-building issues we’re promoting here in Vancouver. The first of which is always sustainability, and particularly ecological sustainability (its difficult to consider an economic or socially sustainable future, if the powerful changes necessary to truly address climate change and other ecological implications do not happen). But beneath (or within) sustainability, there are countless issues and debates about the nature of city-building that need to have powerful voices, particularly within the broader public (as opposed to us converted). Blog Post
Apr 25, 2007   By Brent Toderian
The new San Francisco Federal Building, designed by Morphosis starchitect Thom Mayne, opened earlier this year. It's visible from the windows of our kitchen at work, so I see it at least five times a day, every time I make myself a decaf double americano. And I knew it looked familiar. Today I finally figured it out. The building: And what must have been the inspiration: (Oh, come on. It's the Sandcrawler from Star Wars. The nerds got it.) Blog Post
Apr 24, 2007   By
I've been spending a lot of time over the past couple of years examining the planning literature on sustainable development. Sustainable development, as a concept, remains vague. For those interested, take a look at my recent article in the journal Property Management. Blog Post
Apr 24, 2007   By Samuel Staley
This week, a few stories circulated around our office that generated some discussion. One was a piece in The New Yorker by Nick Paumgarten on commuting in America entitled "There and Back Again". The tease at the beginning sums up the entire piece: "People may endure miserable commutes out of an inability to weigh their general well-being against quantifiable material gains."In this story, the writer accompanies commuters in Manhattan and Atlanta while attempting to understand the life of an "extreme commuter." Blog Post
Apr 24, 2007   By