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Steven Snell is a professional urban planner and novelist with a master’s degree in urban design. Opinions here are his own.
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Programmed to Need Urban Nature

Human beings are both born and programmed to need open spaces. As our existence becomes increasingly urban, cities and towns must provide the open spaces our natures require.

Location Optimization Tools: Toward More Comprehensive and Multi-Modal Indicators

New tools are becoming available to help people evaluate the quality of walking, cycling, public transit and automobile accessibility when making home location decisions. This information can help create more efficient and sustainable communities.

The Pluck of Dawn Zimmer

Planners can learn a lot about the havoc money unleashes on otherwise benign development plans from the moral fortitude displayed by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

See-Saws, Circles, and Narrative Fallacies

A minor word of caution on statistical inference and the stories it can tell

The Roots of Snowmageddon

Last week, many Atlantans were stuck in traffic overnight because of fewer than three inches of snow. What went wrong?

How Should We Measure Traffic Congestion?

Transportation system performance is often evaluated using congestion intensity indicators, which favor automobile-dependency and sprawl. Strategic planning requires more comprehensive and multi-modal indicators which measure congestion costs.

Jittery Places, Reducing the Right to Just Be

You’re being monitored. Everything you are is tracked and stored in a data centre. How do you feel about these digital and physical forms of regulation? Do they make you jittery? Do you feel more secure? Are you a wiser consumer?

End the Transit Commuter Benefit, And Replace It With This

If we really want more people to use transit, and we think it's a worthwhile goal to subsidize people's commutes, why go through all the trouble of tax deductions and employer control? Why not just subsidize transit passes directly?

Learning from Chicago's Schools

As the north side of Chicago has gentrified, many Chicago schools' test scores have improved- evidence that if a city neighborhood attracts enough affluent families, its schools will become more attractive as well.

StreetSeen: A New Tool for Understanding the Built Environment

Want an easy to use public engagement tool that helps you to understand the visual preferences of the public? StreetSeen (http://streetseen.osu.edu), a free online tool allows planners and others to simply construct and deploy visual surveys.

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