It is nearly impossible to talk about Twitter to people who haven't experienced it. The name is difficult to get behind, for one -- it's too much like "fritter", which is something you do to waste time, or "twiddle", which you do with your thumbs while bored. But while Twitter may seem like a timewaster, it can be a powerful tool for communicating and sharing information.
"Nothing interesting can be said in 140 characters," say the naysayers. But the brevity of Twitter is exactly what makes it so powerful, allowing one to scan through hundreds of Tweets easily to search for items of interest. And while the list we've created is narrow to the field of urban planning, design and development, a person's Twitter feed is usually an idiosyncratic collection of topics and ephemera. There are plenty of dead celebrities clogging up the Twittersphere (@JimiHendrix: "Finally found that pick I've been looking for..."), but you control what you see.
So without further ado, here's our editors' picks for the Top Twitter Feeds on Urban Planning, updated for Fall 2010. The Twitter page of each person, publication or group is linked, followed by their brief Twitter bio. While we've divided our list into a few main groups, the list is in no particular order, and we encourage people to recommend their own personal best Twitterers in the comments at the end.
Carol Coletta, Mike Lydon and Alison Arieff use Twitter to share the latest in urban planning.
Top Urban Planning Twitter Feeds
- Anne Lutz Fernandez Writer, teacher, ex-of Wall Street and Madison Ave., swimmer in and critic of car culture
- Nick Grossman Urbanist, technologist, neighborhood handyman. Dir of Civic Works @ openplans.org. Open tech tools & strategies to help cities work better. Geek love.
- MIT CoLab equity matters when it comes to urban planning.
- Dale Bowerman Social media, Web 2.0, Gov 2.0, urban planning, gadgets, widgets, robots, and Strategic Account Manager at Collabforge Pty Ltd
- Aarieff By Design columnist for the New York Times and Food & Shelter Ambassador, GOOD
- DanBurden Dan Burden is helping America become more walkable. To date 2500 towns have shared their secrets, passions and hopes for a healthier future.
- Richard_Florida Urbanist, Author, Professor, Researcher, Talker, Bike Rider, Guitar Player
- Ehooge I share ideas and design projects for innovative and sustainable cities (futurist and public marketing consultant)
- OtisWhite I help localities (cities, counties, regions) make strategic decisions
- ccoletta Carol Coletta: Cities, Future, Talent Development, Design, Chicago, Politics, Memphis
- BlairKamin An RSS feed from Cityscapes by Blair Kamin, architecture critic of the Chicago Tribune
- anthonyflint Urbanist, father, author of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on NY's Master Builder & Transformed the American City
- MikeLydon Life is better on two wheels.
- naparstek Streetsblog Editor-in-chief
- jmassengale Architect, Urbanist, Educator, Author
- gosner George Osner, AICP resilient/sustainable urban planner extraordinaire, cyclist, dad/grandpa, CEQA guru for infrastructure, amateur genealogist, hotair balloonist
- stevemouzon Steve is a principal of the New Urban Guild and Mouzon Design in Miami. He is an author, and lectures frequently across the country and abroad.
- Gelatobaby If I could write all my articles in under 140 characters, I would.
- cityofsound http://www.cityofsound.com/
- lcarroli Writer, Editor, Consultant. Harbinger Consultants. Interests: Art, Technology, Futures, Communities & Urbanism.
- Urbanverse architect, futurist, rhetorician, adjunct prof, treehugger, former biz owner now a writer exploring city futures, reborn from @cindyfw.
- HawthorneLAT Architecture Critic, L.A. Times
- Pazzler Aspiring Member of the Yinzerati. Undergrad student in Metro. & Regional Mgmt. at GWU. Transit freak & trainiac. Urban explorer. Ballroom Dancer. Bowtie lover.
- marynewsom Charlotte urbanist, journalist, op-ed columnist, um, bloggist?
- jetjocko Senior Editor at Wired. Science, defense tech, miscellaneous geekery.
- AlexSteffen I think, write and speak about how to live well and be a good ancestor...
News Sources and Blogs
- The Infrastructurist Infrastructurist.com covers the rebuilding of America
- The Global Urbanist News and analysis on urban affairs from cities across the developed and developing world: planning, governance, economy, communities, environment, international
- Walkonomics Urban walkability, sustainable transport, street design, climate change, GIS, bikability, walking and cycling, urban design, blogging
- alttransport Your guide to smarter ways of getting around.
- urbanexus Teaching and doing outreach for the Program in Real Estate at Cornell University. Involved in real estate and development planning since the 1970s.
- archpaper Architecture and design news from New York, California, the Midwest & beyond.
- streetsblog The national blog network for sustainable transport, smart growth and livable streets.
- PlanningJournal Wayne Senville, Editor, Planning Comm'rs Journal; member, Burlington, Vermont, Planning Commission. For more info: www.plannersweb.com
- bldgblog Author of BLDGBLOG and The BLDGBLOG Book, Contributing Editor at Wired UK.
- theoverheadwire Jeff Wood is an urban planner living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- UrbanOmnibus Urban Omnibus is an online project of the Architectural League that explores the relationship between design and the physical environment of New York City.
- Urbanreinventor The Urban Reinventors Urban Journal is a magazine featuring writings, commentaries, reportages, photographic galleries, films and videos on urban issues
- PlacesJournal A Forum of Design for the Public Realm. Edited by Nancy Levinson. Part of the Design Observer Group.
- volume_mag Volume is an independent quarterly magazine that sets the agenda for architecture and design.
- ArchitectureMNP Ninja architecture blogger
- Architectmag The business, technology, and culture of architecture, urbanism, building products, and design. Your guides: @bagnese + @amandakhurley
- ttpolitic The Transport Politic
- dwell Following our team around the modern world. See who's saying what dwell.com/twitter
- Infrastructurst Infrastructurist.com covers the rebuilding of America
- NextAmCity Making Cities Better
- subtopes Just havin' a look around.
- pruned Spatialist.
- CityJournal A quarterly magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute, edited by Brian C. Anderson.
- MarketUrbanism Urbanism for Capitalists / Capitalism for Urbanists
- MetropolisMag The magazine of Architecture and Design
Planning, Construction and Architecture Firms
- LandUseAttorney I'm a lawyer specializing in environmental and land use law.
- PBWorld Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) is a leader in developing and operating infrastructure around the world.
- LandUseXperts Land Use Experts is a national political consulting firm specializing in winning controversial land use battles.
- svrdesign SvR Design Co specializes in innovative and sustainable solutions. Civil Engineering. Landscape Architecture. Ped and Bike Planning. Env Restoration.
- sustainableurb Walkable, transit-served urbanism integrated with high performance buildings and infrastructure.
- GenslerOnCities We Tweet about cities, their design, plans and potential futures. Gensler's @leahray + Lisa Beazley are the voices behind @GenslerOnCities.
- cubitplanning Provide cut-and-paste ready environmental data in seconds. Mapping + urban planning + data + technology + start ups
- smarterplanet (IBM) Welcome to Building a Smarter Planet. Maintained by IBMers - usually @adamclyde @junkstar @ragtag and a few others...
- CNT_tweets Center for Neighborhood Technology is a creative think-and-do tank that combines rigorous research with effective solutions.
- BrookingsMetro Providing decision-makers with the analysis and research necessary for improving the health and prosperity of American cities and metros.
- smartgrowthUSA SGA is a national coalition working towards better choices for our communities through land use, transportation & environmental reforms. Join us!
- NtlBuildingMuseum Learn about architecture, design, engineering, construction, landscape architecture and much more at the National Building Museum.
- Complete Streets The National Complete Streets Coalition
- NewUrbanism News and blog entries from the Congress for the New Urbanism, plus wide-ranging urban observations, many from CNU comm director Steve Filmanowicz
- Landarchitects The American Society of Landscape Architects
- trustmodern Chris Madrid French, Historian with a passion for American Modern architecture. Director, Modernism + Recent Past, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- UrbanLandInst ULI's mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.
- reconnecting Reconnecting America is a national nonprofit working to integrate transportation systems and the communities they serve
- landpolicy The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
- T4America A nationwide coalition of groups and individuals focused on creating a national transportation program for the 21st century.
- TheCityFix Exploring sustainable solutions to the problems of urban mobility.
- PPS_Placemaking Placemaking for communities
- ApolloAlliance Apollo Alliance is a coalition of labor, business, enviro and community leaders catalyzing a clean energy revolution and creating millions of green-collar jobs.
- RegionalPlan For 80+ years, RPA has been shaping transportation systems, protecting open spaces, and promoting better community design for NY-NJ-CT's continued growth.
- U.S. Green Building Council Green buildings and communities for all within a generation.
- googlemaps News, tips and candid tales of Google Maps
- gearthblog The blog that follows everything about Google Earth.
- geoparadigm The georevolution will be tweeted.
- gisuser GISuser is THE resource for GIS, mapping, mashup news, social location, and location technology news, tools, and tips - managed by @gletham
- digitalurban http://www.digitalurban.blogspot.com/
- geocommons Open geospatial data and tools
- MayorSamAdams Mayor of Portland, Oregon, focused on public safety, education, jobs and economic development, arts, transportation, planning and sustainability.
- RayLaHood The official Twitter page of the US Secretary of Transportation
- FTA_DOT Online updates from the Federal Transit Administration
- Repblumenauer Earl Blumenauer
- HUDNEWS Welcome to the official Twitter feed for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development managed by the Office of Public Affairs
- USInteriorNews Official Dept. of the Interior Twitter account. Learn more about DOI at http://www.doi.gov
High-Speed Rail NEW!
- GoRail An independent non-profit organization that supports policies that will benefit the freight and passenger rail industry.
- Californians for High-Speed Rail Grassroots, statewide coalition of high speed rail supporters
- High Speed Rail U.S. National High Speed Rail Advocacy Group
- High Speed Rail Membership group pushing for high speed rail in the United States (at least $12B annually from the feds)
- Transportation 4 America A nationwide coalition of groups and individuals focused on creating a national transportation program for the 21st century.
- US High Speed Rail A non-profit advocacy group focused on bringing a clean, energy-efficient 17,000 mile state-of-the-art high speed rail system to the US.
- American HSR Alliance We are a nonprofit advocacy organization whose members are dedicated to creating and sustaining a clean and energy-efficient advanced national HSRail system.
- planetizen The urban planning news website
- HSR News HSR News is a news site dedicated to covering the expansion of high-speed rail in the United States and around the world.
- halbur Tim Halbur, Managing Editor
- nate_berg Nate Berg, Assistant Editor
- urbaninsight Assorted tidbits from the Urban Insight team, edited by Chris Steins
- chrisloos Web Developer and Urban Planner with Urban Insight.