Blogs

Two years ago I saw John Norquist, former Mayor of Milwaukee and current President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, give a presentation on the state of America’s cities. During the slide show, Norquist used two sets of images to effectively convey a point about urban disinvestment in America. The first set of images was of Berlin and Detroit circa 1945. Unsurprisingly, the Berlin image displayed a war-torn and rubble-strewn city, while the Detroit image revealed why it was once called the Paris of the Midwest -- it was simply elegant. Blog Post
Jun 3, 2007   By Mike Lydon
It’s great that global warming is finally getting its day in the media spotlight. But with all the buzz about carbon footprints and carbon offsets, I wonder whether the average American now believes that carbon dioxide is the only pollutant that we need to worry about? Blog Post
Jun 3, 2007   By Diana DeRubertis
City Limits magazine recently completed a review of the 18 presidential candidates' stances on urban issues, and the major news is that there is no news. Most domestic issues, let alone those related to cities, don't even appear on the candidates' -- or the media's -- radar screens. Their article quotes a political scientist who "says 2008 is shaping up as 'yet another gigantic referendum on Bush and Iraq.'" The bright spots? Blog Post
Jun 2, 2007   By David Gest
It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating – the reconstruction of New Orleans is both a planner’s dream – and a planner’s nightmare. Even before the flood waters subsided, planners and architects from around the globe descended on the Crescent City to give their take on the road to recovery. Close to two years later, a host of plans lay in the wake of the constant ebb and flow of professionals in and out of the city. Local residents are exasperated with the proposed plans and the progress of the recovery. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has seemingly lost interest. Blog Post
Jun 1, 2007   By Christian Madera
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