So we're hiring for two new positions at Urban Insight (the company that supports Planetizen). We're hiring a Web Designer/Developer (with preference given to candidates with backgrounds in planning), and a Web Developer / Programmer. I published the job announcements to several lists and also on a few online services that I've had success with in the past. I've received a fair number of responses, and, thank goodness, and several highly-qualified candidates (although not so many with backgrounds in planning/architecture/urban esign). Opinion
Oct 19, 2005   By Chris Steins
While not strictly relevant to planning, it's always interesting to compare plans prepared by planners with plans prepared by other branches of government, in this case the California CIO and the IT Council Strategic Plan Committee have prepared the new California State Information Technology Strategic Plan (PDF, 220KB) The plan lists six impressive strategic goals:Make Government services more accessible to citizens and State clients. Opinion
Oct 18, 2005   By Chris Steins
Abhijeet presented last week at the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEC) 2005 San Diego Regional Conference on open source content management frameworks for building websites for nonprofit. He published his fabulous presentation online under a creative commons license:Building Websites For Nonprofits With Open Source Content Management Frameworks He really knows what he's presenting on, since much of his presentation is based on his hands-on experience with a massive project we just completed here at Urban Insight. Opinion
Oct 3, 2005   By Chris Steins
When recently working in a distressed community in Philadelphia, we were thinking of the best ways to communicate what we were planning for the area and guide residents toward local resources that exist but are rarely used. As a cost effective solution, we worked with the Klip Collective to implement a video installation within a vacant storefront. The installation runs every evening. Besides providing some valuable information, we used the installation to instill some street activity along what was once an active commercial corridor. Opinion
Sep 23, 2005   By Scott Page
Open source is not just about lowering costs. It's about staying in control of your own data. For governments, it is important to specify open file formats for storing public data. Eric Kriss, Massachussets' secretary of administration and finance asks an important question about long-term archiving of public documents created with Microsoft Office. "Will those documents still be legible 10 years from now, or in 50?" The state of Massachusetts has given some thought to that question and is taking action. Opinion
Sep 22, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan
…here comes Joomla. There was a lot of uncertainty about the future of the Content Management System Mambo over the past months. Finally the Developers now left Mambo and started Joomla. As this article in eWeek points out, "the original owners [Miro], wanted to regain control of the project. The developers, realizing that they were being cut out of executive management, decided to take the code and run…” The outcomes might describe the state of open source today. Opinion
Sep 22, 2005   By Ken Snyder
Joel Garreau weighed in yesterday on whether New Orleans should (or can) be rebuilt. He's always smart and readable; if you haven't read Edge City you should go get it. It's a brilliant, well-reported take on urban theory and how cities are changing. Anyway, here Opinion
Sep 12, 2005   By
A Los Angeles Times article titled "Web Proves Its Capacity to Help in Time of Need" documents the importance of the Web as a communications medium. It reunited families and connected them with shelter. It turned amateur photographers into chroniclers of history and ordinary people into pundits. It allowed television stations to keep broadcasting and newspapers to keep publishing. Opinion
Sep 11, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan
Two stories in the New York Times' science section today relevant to our game here. First, Dennis Overbye takes a historical trip to cities that died, here. Good bits:"Cities rise and fall depending on what made them go in the first place," said Peirce Lewis, an expert on the history of New Orleans and an emeritus professor of geography at Pennsylvania State University. Changes in climate can make a friendly place less welcoming. Catastrophes like volcanoes or giant earthquakes can kill a city quickly. Opinion
Sep 6, 2005   By
Mapping enthusiasts are using Google Maps and Google Earth and other data to compile maps of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. One Web site,, is combating the confusion by encouraging users to annotate a Google Map of New Orleans with information about specific locations. Collectively, the community is creating a collaborative map Wikipedia. Anyone with something to add can enter a street address and leave a marker on the map at that location, providing a few lines of text about conditions at that spot. Opinion
Sep 2, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan