Urban Design

Blog post
May 18, 2014, 1pm PDT
The recent attempts to lure a NFL team to Los Angeles shows how successful site design will depend on the cultural characteristics of the uses of the site as much as it will depend on planning for land use and logistics.
Reuben Duarte
May 18, 2014, 5am PDT
Birmingham, Michigan; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Providence, Rhode Island; and others that adopted a new urban approach 15 or 20 years ago have transformed themselves.
Better! Cities & Towns
May 17, 2014, 5am PDT
Columbia University's Cloud Lab aims to measure participants' brainwaves and figure out their state of mind of as they experience their surroundings.
CityLab
Blog post
April 29, 2014, 9pm PDT
The biggest mobility challenge in cities isn't about what comes out of a car's tailpipe - it's about the massive amount of space that cars demand. Space to drive in, and space to park in. When explaining this, these pictures are worth 1000 words.
Brent Toderian
April 22, 2014, 2pm PDT
A City Council committee got its first look at a proposed revision of the streetscape licensing process by which restaurants and cafés can acquire sidewalk seating. Councilmembers sent the plan back the drawing board again.
Dallas Observer
April 15, 2014, 11am PDT
The multifamily industry is building more in walkable locations, but developers still need instruction on the manners of placemaking. Here are some hints.
Better! Cities & Towns
Blog post
April 15, 2014, 7am PDT
Medellín has been called the most innovative city in the world, and recently hosted the World Urban Forum WUF7 to huge acclaim. It has taken back the city's public realm, found simple solutions to complex problems, and emphasized a "City for Life."
Brent Toderian
March 24, 2014, 9am PDT
A new book by Charles Montgomery makes the case that many of the best possible outcomes for the built environment require human interaction—whether commuting to work or walking around residential neighborhoods.
The Globe and Mail
Feature
March 12, 2014, 6am PDT
All growing cities must find ways to develop at appropriate, transit-supporting densities without overwhelming the surrounding context. The human-scaled, mid-rise building can be a solution—but achieving a good neighbourhood “fit” is not easy.
Robert Freedman
February 18, 2014, 12pm PST
Vancouver’s reputation as a beautiful “mini-Manhattan” is well documented and well earned. But how did the city manage to fend off regrettable fashions in planning over the years, and how prepared is it to continue its success in the future?
ULI Urban Land Magazine
October 11, 2013, 8am PDT
New York's chief urban designer, Alexandros Washburn, addresses the monumental task of rebuilding New York after Hurricane Sandy and preparing for the next storm.
Places Journal
September 10, 2013, 10am PDT
With their unhealthy environments, unsustainability, and relatively poor return on investment, "the suburbs" are an easy target for criticism. But suburbs aren't inherently inadequate, says David Levinson, they suffer from poor postwar urban design.
Streets MN
May 27, 2013, 1pm PDT
Utilizing new approaches and new technologies for illuminating the built environment, lighting designers are helping to create safer, more dynamic, and more accessible cities.
The Architect's Newspaper
March 25, 2013, 7am PDT
San Antonio City Design Center's Executive Manager Mark Brodeur describes his observations of the nationwide trend in cities establishing independent urban design departments.
UrbDeZine.com
February 26, 2013, 10am PST
Are you a Place-Maker or a Place-Shaker? Check out Scott Doyon's post for a look at where to draw the line. Spoiler alert: It's all about the politics.
PlaceShakers
December 9, 2012, 11am PST
In a globalized world, China's economic, environmental and urban development has implications for us all, posits Henry M. Paulson Jr. The problems the country faces, and any potential solutions, revolve around its approach to urbanization.
The New York Times
December 7, 2012, 11am PST
In a recent paper, urban theorist Stephen Marshall rehashes Jane Jacobs's criticism of city planning as a pseudoscience built "on a foundation of nonsense." Can science and design be reconciled to provide planning a more stable foundation?
Scientific American
November 13, 2012, 9am PST
Robin Finn profiles Alexandros E. Washburn, head of the urban design division of the New York City Department of City Planning, and the work of his team, which has been responsible for "turning projects into places that people want to be."
The New York Times
November 6, 2012, 9am PST
Artist Stephen Glassman and a team of engineers and planners have developed a plan for transforming L.A.'s ubiquitous billboards into floating, globally connected urban forests. All that's needed for the first prototype are a few generous strangers.
Curbed LA
October 20, 2012, 5am PDT
In a provocative essay, Mitchell Sutika Sipus examines the dangers of subscribing to conventions such as style or planning trends, and argues why planners must forgo ideologies to create better solutions for community problems.
Humanitarian Space