Exclusives

Blog post
Yesterday
Elon Musk's vision for transportation networks made of tunnels and powered by magnets may or may not come to pass. But planners can still take a cue from his vision for infrastructure development.
Josh Stephens
Blog post
November 16, 2005, 12pm PST
Just to keep everyone updated on the continuing development of Wi-Fi, Muni-wireless released a new report on the state of the Wi-Fi market. The long and short of it is the market is expanding rapidly with just about every city looking to get in on the action.

On the flip side, the Philadelphia Inquirer last weekend ran a story about the uncertain future of wireless as a city-led initiative.
Scott Page
Feature
November 7, 2005, 7am PST

Planners from around the country have already descended on the Gulf Coast region, beginning a series of charrettes to shape the future of land use and community development in the devastate

Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP
Feature
October 31, 2005, 7am PST
Two months after Katrina, what have we learned? Graham Stroh analyzes Katrina's disaster management lessons on law enforcement, communication and social infrastructure.
Graham Stroh
Blog post
October 26, 2005, 3pm PDT
Clark KelsoClark Kelso, California's Chief Information Officer, was kind enough to respond to my recent post, California Updates State IT Strategic Plan, commenting on the state's new strategic plan and what I perceived to be a lack of focus on making technology accessible to people with disabilities.

Clark writes:

...I am pleased to see that our planning activities are being followed so closely in the trade press.

The last paragraph in your article suggests we may not be paying sufficient attention to Section 508 issues in our web developments. Although we did not cite Section 508 in the strategic plan, accessibility is the very heart of our efforts. As your article notes,
the very first goal of the plan is to "Make government services more accessible to citizens and State clients." That concept of accessibility includes not only opening up new, technology-enabled vehicles for delivering services, information and benefits, but the goal of ensuring that those vehicles -- as well as all existing vehicles -- are ADA accessible and compliant.

Our Portal Steering Committee, which was only recently created and is just starting to warm up to the topic, has already expressly recognized ADA compliance as a required component of the State's web presence. The following link plainly identifies ADA accessibility and compliance as a necessary aspect of the user interface:
http://www.cio.ca.gov/PDFs/Portal_Committee-040805.pdf (PDF, 100KB)

The State's web pages are NOT always appropriately accessible, but this is most certainly an issue that we take seriously at the highest planning levels, and we encourage all departments to make accessibility a high priority.
Chris Steins
Feature
October 24, 2005, 7am PDT
What are the necessary ingredients for successful Transit Oriented Development (TOD)? Bruce Liedstrand, Planner for Liedstrand Associates, lists the ten fundamental, common-sense elements of TOD.
Bruce Liedstrand
Blog post
October 19, 2005, 5am PDT
So we're hiring for two new positions at Urban Insight (the company that supports Planetizen). We're hiring a Web Designer/Developer (with preference given to candidates with backgrounds in planning), and a Web Developer / Programmer.

I published the job announcements to several lists and also on a few online services that I've had success with in the past. I've received a fair number of responses, and, thank goodness, and several highly-qualified candidates (although not so many with backgrounds in planning/architecture/urban esign).
Chris Steins
Blog post
October 18, 2005, 5am PDT
California State Information Technology Strategic PlanWhile not strictly relevant to planning, it's always interesting to compare plans prepared by planners with plans prepared by other branches of government, in this case the California CIO and the IT Council Strategic Plan Committee have prepared the new California State Information Technology Strategic Plan (PDF, 220KB)

The plan lists six impressive strategic goals:

  • Make Government services more accessible to citizens and State clients.
  • Chris Steins
    Feature
    October 17, 2005, 7am PDT

    Can property owners succeed where regional planners have failed?

    David Renkert
    Feature
    October 11, 2005, 2pm PDT
    Spatial information professionals gather at the 43rd Annual Conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association being held in Kansas City, MO.
    Abhijeet Chavan
    Feature
    October 10, 2005, 7am PDT

    If happiness comes in supersizing a home, and if this doesn't interfere with somebody else's life, then should we be concerned about what it will mean to fuel consumption and the environmen

    Sriram Khé
    Blog post
    October 3, 2005, 10pm PDT
    NTEN Conference LogoAbhijeet presented last week at the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (NTEC) 2005 San Diego Regional Conference on open source content management frameworks for building websites for nonprofit. He published his fabulous presentation online under a creative commons license:

    Building Websites For Nonprofits With Open Source Content Management Frameworks

    He really knows what he's presenting on, since much of his presentation is based on his hands-on experience with a massive project we just completed here at Urban Insight.
    Chris Steins
    Feature
    October 3, 2005, 11am PDT

    In just three years under the leadership of Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, the city built the Trans-Milenio, a bus rapid transit system, rehabbed 1,200 parks, laid 300

    David Goldberg
    Feature
    September 29, 2005, 5am PDT

    Ken Snyder, Director for PlaceMatters.com, argues that improvement in planning can only come from bringing democracy and accessible technology into the decision-making process.

    Ken Snyder
    Feature
    September 26, 2005, 5am PDT

    Should New Orleans be rebuilt? Whose fault was the flooding?

    Jason Henderson
    Blog post
    September 23, 2005, 10am PDT
    When recently working in a distressed community in Philadelphia, we were thinking of the best ways to communicate what we were planning for the area and guide residents toward local resources that exist but are rarely used. As a cost effective solution, we worked with the Klip Collective to implement a video installation within a vacant storefront. The installation runs every evening. Besides providing some valuable information, we used the installation to instill some street activity along what was once an active commercial corridor.
    Scott Page
    Blog post
    September 22, 2005, 9pm PDT
    OpenOffice

    Open source is not just about lowering costs. It's about staying in control of your own data. For governments, it is important to specify open file formats for storing public data. Eric Kriss, Massachussets' secretary of administration and finance asks an important question about long-term archiving of public documents created with Microsoft Office. "Will those documents still be legible 10 years from now, or in 50?" The state of Massachusetts has given some thought to that question and is taking action.
    Abhijeet Chavan
    Blog post
    September 22, 2005, 1pm PDT
    …here comes Joomla. There was a lot of uncertainty about the future of the Content Management System Mambo over the past months. Finally the Developers now left Mambo and started Joomla.

    As this article in eWeek points out, "the original owners [Miro], wanted to regain control of the project. The developers, realizing that they were being cut out of executive management, decided to take the code and run…”

    The outcomes might describe the state of open source today.
    Ken Snyder
    Feature
    September 21, 2005, 11am PDT

    Thomas Campanella, co-editor of The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover From Disaster, contemplates the case of New Orleans.

    Thomas J. Campanella
    Feature
    September 21, 2005, 8am PDT
    Bob Ransford reviews the magical and often paradoxical relationship Vancouver shares with its natural surroundings as described in Lance Berelowitz's Dream City: Vancouver and the Global Imagination.
    Bob Ransford
    Feature
    September 20, 2005, 8am PDT
    Can a campus community become a "green" model for society as a whole? Educators, students, and professionals meet at an interdisciplinary conference to promote sustainability in education, research, operations and affiliated service organizations.
    R. Umashankar