Exclusives

Feature
June 13, 2017, 9am PDT
The 5th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is now available. The new Guide includes Planetizen's updated ranking of the Top 25 graduate urban planning programs.
The Planetizen Team
Blog post
November 30, 2004, 2pm PST
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 Scientist.com) 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.
Blog post
November 26, 2004, 6pm PST
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.
Chris Steins
Blog post
November 24, 2004, 10am PST
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.
Blog post
November 19, 2004, 8am PST
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].
Abhijeet Chavan
Blog post
November 16, 2004, 3pm PST
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%).
Feature
November 15, 2004, 12am PST

Without a fundamental shift by government to address the fundamental policies that exacerbate urban sprawl, building new light rail systems and subsidizing select projects alone will have l

Chris Fiscelli
Blog post
November 9, 2004, 12pm PST
The Sierra Club is using photomontage images online to demonstrate what "smart growth" can look like and feel like http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/community/transformations/index.asp. 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.
Ken Snyder
Blog post
November 5, 2004, 8pm PST
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.
Abhijeet Chavan
Blog post
November 5, 2004, 11am PST
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.
Chris Steins
Blog post
November 4, 2004, 1pm PST
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.
Blog post
November 4, 2004, 10am PST
Here's the county-by-county map for this year, thanks to USA Today.



Blue is mostly cities; red is suburban and rural, as I've pointed out before. What's interesting is, as I understand it, Kerry victories in the blue towns were by a much narrower margin than Bush victories in the red regions.
Blog post
November 2, 2004, 8pm PST
Liveblogging this on election night: I told you so. CNN now explaining that the islands of blue in Ohio, in a sea of red, are the counties containing Cleveland and Dayton. Islands of blue in Florida are Miami. I'm just sayin'...if Kerry wins tonight (or tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow) it'll be the urban areas that do it.
Blog post
November 1, 2004, 5pm PST
I've been hearing a lot about WiMax, and thi article,Mobile 'hot spots' push limits from the St. Paul Pioneer Press explains how a Twin Cities tech entrepreneur has retrofitted an old TV-station truck to serve as a roving hot spot for Internet access. His technology firm has blanketed the metropolitan area with WiMax transmitters atop local skyscrapers.

"DeVaan's modified van performs a similar trick. Its mast communicates with any of the wireless-Internet transceivers Implex.net has put atop Twin Cities skyscrapers, including Wells Fargo Place in downtown St. Paul and several in downtown Minneapolis. Presto! The van is Net-connected. All DeVaan has to do is plug in his Webcam and point it... In addition to serving as a roving eye, the van can provide high-speed wireless Internet access within a 1,500- to 2,000-foot radius."
Chris Steins
Blog post
November 1, 2004, 9am PST
An article in the St. Paul Pioneer Press features some interesting approaches to enhancing a city's WiFi infrastructure. (Via Slashdot)

"WazTempe, a Tempe, Ariz.-based wireless-Internet pro-vider that is turning the city into one big Wi-Fi hot spot, has come up with a clever way to plug gaps in its network: golf carts equipped as Wi-Fi repeaters. The Waz Mobile Units transmit in a roughly one-mile radius and can integrate with the rest of the city's wireless "mesh" infrastructure."
Abhijeet Chavan
Blog post
October 30, 2004, 8am PDT
Several colleagues have forwarded me this recent letter from CommunityViz, which suggests:

Sample 3-D image from CV
"The software will in the near future be made available at little or no cost. (This offering will include Scenario 360 v2.1 and later, and SiteBuilder 3D for CommunityViz.) We are in the process of exploring the logistics of this exciting new mode of distribution."
Chris Steins
Blog post
October 28, 2004, 10am PDT
I was interested to read inSetting sites on Section 508 about an accessibility tool built into Windows XP:

"There is a decent screen magnifier in Windows XP, which also includes a text-to-speech tool called Narrator. It is pretty limited and is only available in English, but it provides a useful tool in Notepad, Wordpad, Control Panel and Internet Explorer, as well as the Windows desktop and Windows setup."


You can launch Narrator easily by pressing the Windows logo key and the U key, which also lets you start and stop the tool.
Chris Steins
Blog post
October 27, 2004, 4pm PDT
Remember when interactive television was dead? Time-Warner's Full Service Television experiment in Florida in the 1990s was a failure -- people hated it. Something about how the set-top boxes sucked, I think. So the concept went away, fading like CD-ROMs before the onslaught of the Internet.

At least, that seems to be what the New York Times remembers. Here's the part I'm talking about:
The Microsoft Home is more like a concept car, a design to dream about. Microsoft has imagined a dream house before: 10 years ago the company unveiled its first such demonstration home. At the time Microsoft's designers were intrigued by interactive television, a technology that never became the next big thing.
Blog post
October 18, 2004, 1pm PDT
Okay, I get it. Cities are getting wireless data connectivity. Here's CNN.com on the subject. Salient bits:
One of only a handful of cities in the nation to try it, Chaska -- just southwest of Minneapolis -- plans to have most of the city's 15 square miles Wi-Fi operational by the end of October.

"We firmly believe that the Internet is going to be just as much a part of everybody's future as the telephone or electricity is and we want to make sure that everybody has equal access to it," says Bradley Mayer, Chaska's information systems manager. "We wanted to ensure there was some sort of broadband activity that could be affordable by our residents."
Blog post
October 14, 2004, 2pm PDT
A financial program running on Linux is helping Stanislaw County, CA, save money [Modesto Bee].

"The Linux server now in use by the county helps manage its finances...employees who track the county's money log on to the server through a Web browser...Because there's only one program for the server instead of hundreds of copies for each computer at employees' workstations, the county also saves money on software licensing..."
Abhijeet Chavan
Blog post
October 14, 2004, 1pm PDT

The Internet can be a great way to supplement public meetings and get more people to participate in registering their opinions and preferences for planning alternatives. (Of course there are equity issues but that's a discussion for another piece.)



The image below is an example of a question asked on the online visual preference survey used by Midtown Columbus Georgia. Results from the survey, gathered both in public meetings and online, are being used as a foundation for guiding the future planning recommendations for Midtown Columbus.

Ken Snyder