A few months ago, when I was still taking the bus to work - and walking from San Francisco's Transbay Terminal to my office - my favorite shortcut got strange. And I'm glad it did, because it helped me crystallize one of the necessary qualities for a great city: surprise. I'd taken to shaving a few minutes off the march by cutting down a narrow walkway between two skyscrapers. Tall brick on one side, tall concrete on the other. And at the end: pop. The backend of a simple plaza, bits of crummy retail and a Starbucks guarding the front. Blog Post
Jan 21, 2006   By
Do I love this? I love this. Fake Is the New Real compares two dozen subway systems from around the world, at the same scale. All these fractal diagrams show, incidentally, a city's rough sprawl-to-core ratio, density, and size -- at a glance. Below, London versus Los Angeles (winner: London). via Curbed LA Blog Post
Jan 18, 2006   By
I got a slew of responses (some positive, some not) on my post, "Top 8 Sins For RFPs". The best response came from Chelsea Pierce, an Associate Planner with the City of East Providence, Rhode Island , who offers a few of her proposal pet peeves. Chelsea writes:Great list of RFP sins! I'll keep those things in mind when I write my next one. I have a few proposal submittal pet peeves I'd like to share - small things, really, but also things that drive me bananas. Blog Post
Dec 28, 2005   By Chris Steins
Cool application underway by Socialight. Sticky Shadows are digital post-it notes for urban areas. I like the idea of neighborhood narratives. From their website: "How's it Used? -- I leave a note for all my friends at the mall to let them know where I'm hanging out. All my friends in the area see it. -- A woman shows all her close friends the tree under which she had her first kiss. -- An entire neighborhood gets together and documents all the unwanted litter they find in an effort to share ownership of a community problem. Blog Post
Dec 23, 2005   By Scott Page
Working at Urban Insight, I see about 10-20 RFPs for various projects each month. We have to evaluate the cost/benefit of deciding to respond to any one of these RFPs, and so the RFPs are evaluated by us much the way that our proposal would be evaluated by an organization or agency. While some RFPs are outstanding, and clearly describe the project, evaluation, and process, others are, well, downright embarrassing, or contain clauses and provisions that leave you scratching your head. Blog Post
Dec 20, 2005   By Chris Steins
The popularity of blogs and podcasting is partly driven by the simple concept of web content syndication and aggregation using RSS and ATOM feeds. Yet, a study by Yahoo suggests that RSS is still not widely adopted. The study reports:"...27% of users actually consume RSS on personalized start pages without realizing that it's the underlying technology enabling what they read. Sites such as MyYahoo, MyMSN, and the Firefox browser with its active bookmarks provide easy access to regularly updated RSS feeds with little or no effort from users." Blog Post
Dec 15, 2005   By Abhijeet Chavan
Even though I knew this data existed, seeing it spatially displayed so I could easily get the scoop on all my neighbors made me uneasy. Straight from Mathew Kane, a doctoral student in the Indiana University School of Informatics, has generated an interesting Google mashup. Blog Post
Dec 15, 2005   By Ken Snyder
Okay, somebody out there try this. Somebody who knows their way around Portland, Oregon. And then you, somebody, whoever you are, send an email reporting back. Because this is Google's new trip planner beta -- it uses Google Maps and transit info to tell you how to get from here to there on bus and so forth, as long as "here" and "there" are in Portland. And I haven't spent real time in Portland in almost 20 years. But it's Google, right? And they're smarter than all of us. Blog Post
Dec 11, 2005   By
As a new father struggling with finding baby names (our little guy was two months early), it was a pleasure to stumble across Baby Name Wizard (this requires java). The site tracks the popularity of baby names through time. The interactive design is fascinating and a great example of how to pack a lot of overlapping information into one clear graphic. It seems the name we chose - Kai - is gaining popularity. I'm always behind the trends. Blog Post
Nov 21, 2005   By Scott Page
What will be the next public participation technology? Here's one possibility… wireless laptops with electronic ink capability (and built in hand generators to boot!). All packaged to cost less than today's keypad polling devices. Way cool! 1. 2. Too bad they're not for sale, but I'm sure others will follow. Blog Post
Nov 17, 2005   By Ken Snyder