Urban Fold

The Legacy of Bucky Fuller

The results are in for the Annual Buckminster Fuller Design Challenge. The winning designs include robo-scooters, biocentres, and a "future map".

"The annual Buckminster Fuller Design Challenge awards $100,000 to a visionary design project, one that can be inserted into a failing system to do no less than accelerate the transition to an equitable and sustainable future. In his book on the condition of man, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, Fuller wrote that: "If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top." Today more than ever, it has become clear that much of the technology, design, and systems in use in our everyday lives?-?from our transportation system and our power grid to the way we build our homes and think about sanitation ?-?is a sea of piano tops. Fuller called for a different approach to problem solving, which he called "comprehensive anticipatory design science," that utilized systems thinking and scientific rigor with faithful reliance on nature's underlying principles."

Full Story: The Dymaxion Tomorrow



Sustainable Personal Mobility and Mobility-on-Demand Systems

I was very encouraged to see the MIT team is proposing scooters as a part of their mobility solution. Makes sense, personal mobility, efficiency, affordable, eases traffic congestion, etc…. However, they are really ignoring the elephant in the room – safety. According to the FHWA, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 34 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash! So, if anyone from the MIT team is reading this, please consider addressing safe motorcycle infrastructure as a precondition to your plan. Otherwise, you will never find enough risk takers to implement this system on a city-wide scale.

Duane Verner
Exclusive Motorcycle Lanes (EML)

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245