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The surging housing market and development pressure in Philadelphia has resurrected what was once an all but dormant profession - planning. Meeting after meeting is being held with community leaders, politicians, developers and others to discuss the current lack of planning in the City in the wake of this widespread change. The concensus of each meeting is that the City needs a Master Plan. Further, there also appears to be a major call to finally empower the planning commission which has, for years, been cast aside as a step-child of City governance. Blog Post
Jul 21, 2006   By Scott Page
Portland's river is a central gathering place for the city. New York lives between two rivers. A river defines Washington DC's geography. In Los Angeles, the river is a concretized ditch. But that river was always wilder than the others. Until the last century it ran not north-south -- its course today -- but east-west, emptying in Santa Monica instead of San Pedro. I have an antique map of Los Angeles on my living room wall, the first one published (1849 or so), and the river does indeed run perpendicular to the one I grew up driving over, or next to. Blog Post
Jun 23, 2006   By
There's been an increasing number of urban projects breaking out the paint brushes as a low-cost means of improving cities. As stated by Jaime Lerner, former Mayor of Curitiba, for every zero that is removed from a city budget, the more creative solutions become. It seems these examples represent areas with extremely limited budgets. Object Orange is a public art project in Detroit that is calling attention to blighted structures through the use of bright orange paint. It seems their efforts have resulted in their desired outcome - increased demolition of unsafe structures. Blog Post
Jun 6, 2006   By Scott Page
The always-rewarding Bldgblog has a fun interview with Mike Davis, who wrote the iconic history of Los Angeles City of Quartz. Davis is flacking a new book, Planet of Slums Blog Post
May 23, 2006   By
Next weekend -- that'd be May 6-7 -- a bunch of GPS geeks are going to map the entire Isle of Wight, off England. Not much on the Isle, apparently, but whatever's there is gonna get mapped. Says the New Scientist blog: These high-tech cartographers will drive, cycle and ramble all over the island, using their GPS receivers to record the co-ordinates of roads, natural landmarks and points of interest. They'll use this data to create a completely digital map which will be available online to anyone. Blog Post
May 2, 2006   By
Building on the Google thread here started by Chris, this Geo-Tracing site was brought to my attention that links google mapping with individually uploaded content. Its, as I see it, the next iteration of Found City and other geo-tagging sites. Very interesting combination of technology to provide a sense of experience and place in cities that is often hard to capture on screen. As stated from the site: "The main concept is depicted above. Blog Post
May 1, 2006   By Scott Page
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Apr 30, 2006   By Abhijeet Chavan
Chris' last posting is big news! Imagine a google earth world where millions of enthusiastic users build replicas of their homes and the stores/ buildings in their neighborhood and then they become veiwable by anybody else. Wiki style, people can work collaboratively to improve and constantly update buildings. What would normally cost billions of dollars for 3D design company to make available then become part of a 3D vitual town/yellow pages. And it would be built for free and rapidly. Like Second Life Blog Post
Apr 27, 2006   By Ken Snyder
Publish is reporting that Google has released a free version of the popular 3-D drawing program, SketchUp, reviewed so well on TechTalk earlier by Ken (Snyder). Blog Post
Apr 27, 2006   By Chris Steins
Nice bit of writing on London's sewers starting up on Slate today. Down in the Fleet, Rob shines his helmet lamp on a pipe. It's encrusted with something. "Liquid concrete!" he says with disgust. "This is a throwaway society. Out of sight, out of mind." People will chuck anything, he says. Flushers—wastewater operatives got their name because they used to flush river water into the system to help it flow—have found gold, jewelry, even motorbikes. But mostly they find cotton buds, condoms, and fat. Blog Post
Apr 24, 2006   By