February 9, 2005, 2pm PST
An article by Shane Petersen in the publication Government Technology
provides an update on how government agencies are using Open Source Software
OSS has finally achieved an aura of legitimacy, paving the way for government agencies to pursue higher levels of OSS integration...OSS has moved from fringe applications to core business functions because more enterprises now trust its stability.
February 4, 2005, 10am PST
Thanks to Larry Segal (former editor of The Planning Report
, now at KBHome
) for pointing me at an interesting observation
from LA Observed
about open source:
Eric Garcetti: The blogging councilman and colleagues Wendy Greuel and Jack Weiss offered a motion to push the city toward using more open source computer programs and re-routing the money saved on software to hiring more cops.
January 30, 2005, 11am PST
When I was living in Boston the first time, in 1993, I had a conversation with my cousin, a longtime resident, about the then just-starting Big Dig
project, putting the Central Artery highways underground (and increasing their capacity). Boston has terrible traffic (and terrible drivers -- I have never been closer to a stress-induced stroke than trying to drive around the Hub in rush hour) and I told my cousin, Jeff, that the Big Dig was a good thing, since it would certainly reduce congestion in the city.
January 25, 2005, 4pm PST
So I'm reading the January 7 issue of the journal Science
the other day -- because that's the kind of fun I have -- and I noticed two stories that looked related to me, though apparently not to the editors, who separated them. Science
is subscription only on the Web, but I'll put links to the citations, at least.
The first was from the journal's NetWatch page, where they highlight cool stuff around the Web.
January 24, 2005, 2pm PST
The United States has a wicked high infant mortality rate compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Possible reasons: better reporting in the US, a more diverse population in the US, and a lack of universal health care. All those things are true.
Another possible reason is that we have a lot of poor people in the States, relative to comparable nations. So a couple of researchers at NYU and Boston University decided to put that last assertion to the test. In the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health
(subscription req'd; here's the abstract
January 24, 2005, 8am PST
Another city experimenting with another wireless network: this time it's Las Vegas, and according to this
article in the always-educational IEEE Spectrum
they're building not WiFi but a mesh network, and it's for municipal services, not bloggers drunk on the Strip.
A mesh network, as almost everyone reading this will know better than I do, is nodeless -- that is, instead of having a hub that directs traffic to and from spokes, mesh networks treat every user as a place to route data.
January 18, 2005, 12am PST
The current tsunami disaster should cause serious rethinking of seaside development for all coastal locations, but there is little evidence that it will.
January 14, 2005, 9pm PST
In advance of a conference
on natural disasters this week in Kobe, the United Nations is warning city-makers to...beware what lies beneath! Okay, so they're probably not flacking the kind of eldritch horrors that our friends in the Fantastic Four dealt with in their very first issue, but according to this article
from the BBC they are concerned about concentrations of subterranean development in the same places that get hit with tsunamis and earthquakes.
January 11, 2005, 7pm PST
What happens in a city where the rule of law and public health fall apart, but capitalism and technology do not? It's a different kind of post-apocalyptic town -- Los Angeles without the Blade Runners, or maybe just present-day Johannesburg. Here's
an article from the Naval War College Review
from a couple years back that sketches the map of such a city. All the problems of a megacity and none of the fun, it sounds like.
January 10, 2005, 12am PST
Jeff Speck offers advice -- in the form ten City Design Resolutions -- for city mayors who want to build better places.
January 9, 2005, 3pm PST
|Take a planning challenge, add some technology and a pinch of public process, mix them just the right, and you have a recipe for good decision making. Orlando County Florida is cooking up such an event- and planners, practitioners, academics and members from all communities will be interested in watching their progress. |
Orlando Florida is embarking on a year-long initiative to address economic, environmental, land use, and transportation needs for a 90,000-acre study area in southeast Orange County.
January 5, 2005, 11am PST
I wanted to offer this picture as a New Year's gift for those interested in the sometimes strange mix of technology and space. I took this a couple years back in Chang Mai, Thailand.
January 3, 2005, 2pm PST
Because I can: here's another Wired story I can flack. Writer David Goldenberg collects half a dozen examples of supercool, high-tech bridges
in the latest issue. When Chris or Abhijeet teach me how to upload pics with our new software, I'll put a couple here. Meanwhile, the story's online. Salient bits:
Today, an explosion of new designs and materials is creating a third golden age of bridge building. Cable-stays transfer the load on the roadway to towers via radiating wires. Electromagnetic dampers and giant underwater shock absorbers resist the kinetic energy of wind, quakes, and collisions. Sensors - fiber-optic cables, digital cameras, and accelerometers - let engineers know how bridges are holding up in real time. And higher-performing steel, concrete, and carbon fiber-reinforced polymers are making spans lighter, stronger, longer, and taller.
December 21, 2004, 12pm PST
|Exciting improvements in planning are possible when GIS tools are used in combination with public participation tools such as keypad polling. During a comprehensive plan update meeting in Hayden Colorado, flip charts were replaced with computerized systems and keypad voting tools to gather resident input on a proposed development and future growth. CommunityViz and GIS were used to analyze the impacts of growth and to create a visualization of what the proposed development would look like in the landscape.|
December 19, 2004, 7pm PST
Because I'm kind of a dumbass, I forgot to post the link to this really interesting story
from the December issue of Wired
, the magazine for which I work. Does it still count as flacking my mag if I didn't write or edit the story?
Anyway, the point of the piece is that you can control traffic by not controlling it -- let chaos reign, and people naturally slow down and find their own order. Wisdom of crowds, or something like that.
December 16, 2004, 4pm PST
This time I didn't make it up. From the strange, inventive, and apparently European Web site socialfiction.org comes Psychogeographical Markup Language
, a way to tag urban environments with metadata that's not cartographic but emotional. They say, "PML incorporates work done in fields like annotated space, geo-tagging, mental mapping, GIS & collaborative mapping but is different in that it aims at the invisible & the absurd."
As socialfiction's explanation
December 16, 2004, 12pm PST
David Sucher argues that France's spectacular new bridge is not just a feat of engineering -- it's architecture
"...I'd suggest that it qualifies as architecture, maybe even top-notch architecture..."
Brian Micklethwait wonders about the reason
for building the bridge:
"Economically it looks crazy to me. A few more curves on the road and they could surely have saved themselves billions."
December 16, 2004, 12am PST
Weblogs are helping the World Wide Web realize its potential, writes Planetizen co-founder and editor, Abhijeet Chavan.
December 15, 2004, 7pm PST
(subscription required, unfortunately) in the Wall Street Journal:
"The most important development this year in U.S. wireless communications wasn't the headline-grabbing mergers of various wireless carriers. It was the quiet, gradual rollout by Verizon Wireless of a technology called EV-DO, which for the first time is providing broadband-speed Internet access over the air from anywhere in the cities where it has been deployed."
December 13, 2004, 3pm PST
Hey, look, it's another way to look at city/non-city living! It's from the New York Times Magazine's Year in Ideas
issue (reg. req'd). Here it is: your moment of geographic zen.
What does it say about you if you live in a dark green region? Um...that you shop at WalMart? That you have satellite TV? That you're more likely to drive a truck?
I've read the Times
article and I still don't really get it.