Tim Halbur's blog

Urbanism is for Everyone

Is it mid-March already?

I’m far overdue for announcing my departure from Planetizen, which happened at the tail end of 2011. It was a wonderful 3 ½ years at the helm, and I thank Chris Steins and Abhijeet Chavan for giving me the opportunity back in 2008 to steer this incomparable resource.

Planner to Politician: The Inspiring Story of Ann Cheng

Back in 2006, when I was working at Reconnecting America (A non-profit that promotes and studies transit-oriented development), I ended up crossing paths with a dedicated and intelligent woman named Ann Cheng. In her late-20s, she was working for an organization known as the Transportation and Land Use Coalition (they've since gone with the more attractive moniker TransForm). 

A Planning Parable, Circa 1984


Burning rainforests. Smog alerts. Gridlocked cities. Seabirds caked with oil. That's how it was, ladies and gentlemen, as we entered the '90s.

This list of environmental peril is familiar still today, although we can cite some success fighting the smog. In this case, the quote is from a TV reporter in 1984, a character in a Ray Bradbury story called "The Toynbee Convector." 

Data Rules the Day: Live from CNU

I'm at the 18th Congress for the New Urbanism, always a stimulating affair and this year is no exception. We're in Atlanta, Georgia, although I've unfortunately not seen much of the city beyond a few leafy, upscale blocks past the anonymous section of downtown. Right now, I'm waiting for a session on "The Great American Grid" to begin, undoubtedly a topic of some interest to our readers considering the comments inspired by Fanis Grammenos' dismissal of America's grid worship.

Rise of the Cruisers

A few weeks back, I had a meeting at the University of Southern California's campus. It was a moderately nice day by Los Angeles standards, which in other parts of the country would equate to the best day of the year weather-wise. As I walked among the brick buildings, I was impressed by the number of bicycles parked willy-nilly around the grounds.

Cruiser bikes on the USC Campus.