Abhijeet Chavan is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of Planetizen.

Top Word For 2004: 'Blog'

Merriam-Webster Inc. announced that the word "blog" was the "most looked-up word" [CNN] this year. The word will be a new entry in the next edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

A four-letter term that came to symbolize the difference between old and new media during this year's presidential campaign tops U.S. dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.

Economics = less emissions (Peter Gordon* will be so proud)

The best English-language science magazine, New Scientist, reports this week that London's congestion pricing -- 5 pounds to drive into downtown -- lowered emissions last year. The story's not online yet (next week it'll be in the archive at New but I've thoughtfully copied out the salient bits:
...nitrogen oxides and particulates fell by 16 per cent. A fall in the number of cars and an increase in speed of 4 kilometres an hour were responsible for three-quarters of this fall, with greener technology in cars making up the rest. Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 19 per cent. Even an increase in the number of buses, whose diesel engines are among the worst polluters, could not offset the drop, partly because modern buses are fitted with particulate traps.

Developing an Open Source Content Management Strategy For E-Government

Web-based communication in e-government In case you missed this on Planetizen, Abhijeet has posted his presentation and proceedings paper, Developing an Open Source Content Management Strategy For E-Government from his presentation at the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association 42nd annual conference.

In the Air Tonight...Whoa Oh

Journalistic truism #539: Headlines that reference 1980s pop songs draw in readers. Proof? Well, you're here, aren't you?

Just some musings about air pollution in honor of Thanksgiving. And no, I don't really get the connection, either.

First, CNN reports that five years worth of negotiations between state and local agencies and airports have failed to result in emissions cutbacks for airports.

Wi-Fi and Quality of Life

Cities are planning major wireless infrastructure projects to provide city-wide wireless access. Taipei wants to build the world's largest "hotspot" providing outdoor Internet access throughout the city. [Via Slashdot]

The article quotes a Taipei city official who talks about the Wi-Fi project as not only beneficial to businesses but also to improve residents' quality of life [Italics mine].

Cities Kill!

I keep saying, urban life is not for the faint of heart. New article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (here's the abstract; fulltext is subscriber-only) says that elevated ozone events correlate to increased deaths.

They looked at 95 cities; here's the salient bit from the abstract:
A 10-ppb increase in the previous week�s ozone was associated with a 0.52% increase in daily mortality (95% posterior interval [PI], 0.27%-0.77%) and a 0.64% increase in cardiovascular and respiratory mortality (95% PI, 0.31%-0.98%).

What if you could really see what it would look like?

The Sierra Club is using photomontage images online to demonstrate what "smart growth" can look like and feel like Several photos show the difference between existing sprawl and potential smart growth solutions.

Photomontage is a visualization technique that is becoming increasingly popular as a tool to demonstrate what the future might look like under different design or build-out scenarios.

Mapping Election Results

A color-coded map of how different states voted in the 2004 U.S. presidential election was probably the most common graphic used to convey the election results in a single picture by the news media. The following graphic by CNN uses color to highlight the states that "switched" parties.

 2004 Election Results by State

CNN: 2004 Election Results by State

The New York Times had a more informative map that took into account population density.

Digital Dispersion

In which metropolitan areas did businesses move to adopt the Internet most quickly?

A July, 2003 research paper from Carnegie Mellon University, co-authored by Chris Forman, Avi Goldfarb and Shane Greenstein, explores the extent of commercial adoption of the Internet in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas.

The paper --
"How did Location Affect Adoption of the Commercial Internet?-Global Village, Urban Density and Industry Composition"
--explores the connection between industry composition and city size in explaining business use of the Internet.

Why Cities Matter, part 4

I've been talking about Democratic margins in cities, but check out this exit poll analysis from CJR Campaign Desk:

[T]he category in which Bush showed the most significant gains over the year 2000 was urban voters (who made up 30 percent of all voters), among whom Bush polled 9 percentage points better than in 2000. Bush did even better among voters in the largest cities, picking up 12 points on his 2000 performance.

On the other hand, the New York Times has a bunch of maps on the back page of its special Election section today (which I can't find a link to; sorry) says that Kerry's margins in cities were actually much larger than Bush's margins in rural areas.