History / Preservation

Skyline of Phoenix, Arizona with mountains in background at dawn or dusk.

City Profile: Phoenix

A modern city with an ancient history, Phoenix became a booming desert oasis in the late 20th century. Now, extreme heat and dwindling water supplies require a new path forward.

May 15, 2024 - Diana Ionescu

Aerial view of marshy land at Fort Mose State Historic Park in Florida.

Florida State Park Will Pay Homage to First Free Black Settlement in US

In the late 1700s, Fort Mose was home to enslaved African people seeking freedom from the English colonies farther north along the Atlantic coast.

May 14, 2024 - The Washington Post

Aerial view of homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with brick university buildings in distance.

A Look at Milwaukee’s Proposed Zoning Reform

The proposed changes would permit more flexible housing development while limiting changes in historic neighborhoods and on smaller streets.

May 10, 2024 - Urban Milwaukee

Row of colorful 'Painted Ladies' Victorian homes in San Francisco, California.

Two Cheers For the Planners’ Pledge

A “Planners’ Pledge” created by some of the leading authorities on planning sets forth a bold urbanist agenda- even if not every idea in the pledge is equally useful in all cities.

May 8, 2024 - Michael Lewyn

Aerial view of Juneau, Alaska town and waterfront from aerial tram.

Preserving, Restoring, and Revitalizing Juneau's Downtown

For the past six years, a commission of Juneau, Alaska, residents has examined every aspect of downtown and created Blueprint Downtown to lay the foundation for what comes in the next 20 years.

May 1, 2024 - Alaska Public Media

Close-up of green ornate clock with Greenwich written in gold on street in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut.

Revitalizing Connecticut’s Downtowns

An injection of federal funding is helping restore buildings and infrastructure to bring residents and businesses back to central districts.

April 30, 2024 - The CT Mirror

Aerial view of Macarthur Park lake with downtown Los Angeles skyline in background.

LA County Receives Reconnecting Communities Grants

Seven grant awards totaling $162 million will be used for planning, capital projects, and regional partnerships to reduce environmental harm and improve access in disadvantaged communities.

April 16, 2024 - Streetblog LA

Aerial view of Monte Alban plaza ruins in Mexico.

First Cities: Planning Lessons for the 21st Century

A new book about urban planning in the deep human past explores principles, strategies, and lessons relevant for today.

April 9, 2024 - Dean Saitta

Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota skylinw with stone arched brige in foreground.

City Profile: Minneapolis

Known as the first city to eliminate single-family zoning, Minneapolis has a lot to live up to — a host of challenges beyond housing.

April 7, 2024 - Planetizen

Man sitting on wooden bench under tall streetlight at night.

Elevating the ‘Small Stuff’ in Urban Design

Chuck Wolfe recaps arguments in favor of increased attention to incidentals — from benches to bollards — in urban development practices.

April 4, 2024 - Resurgence: A Journey via Substack

Two large California live oaks in a field of dry grass.

California’s Live Oaks in Focus

The new exhibit explores the hidden network that allows heritage coast live oak trees to communicate with one another.

April 4, 2024 - Outlook Valley Sun

View form second story inside Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota with escalators and model cars parked on downstairs floor.

The Mall Is Dead — Long Live the Mall

The American shopping mall may be closer to its original vision than ever.

March 21, 2024 - Governing

Historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles with large "Pan American Lofts" sign on side of building.

Adaptive Reuse Bills Introduced in California Assembly

The legislation would expand eligibility for economic incentives and let cities loosen regulations to allow for more building conversions.

March 18, 2024 - Beverly Press

Cobblestone street with streetcar line, row of vintage streetlights on left, and colorful restaurant and shop awnings on right on River Street in Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah: A City of Planning Contrasts

From a human-scales, plaza-anchored grid to suburban sprawl, the oldest planned city in the United States has seen wildly different development patterns.

March 12, 2024 - Strong Towns

Pink light art installation above public plaza in Singapore by Janet Echelman.

Celebrating Women Urbanists

This International Women’s Month, we look back on our list of Most Influential Urbanists to highlight the contributions of women in urban planning and urban design.

March 12, 2024 - Planetizen

View of Statue of Liberty with New York City skyline in background

City Profile: New York City

One of the earliest urban centers in the United States, New York City is a vibrant, multicultural city with a complex set of challenges ahead of it.

March 7, 2024 - Planetizen

View from between tall white brick buildings in evening in downtown Los Angeles with modern office building across street.

Federal Office Conversion Program Slow to Start

To date, no loans have closed through a federal program meant to spur office-to-residential conversions.

March 3, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Black-and-white photo of street with old black model T and brick building on the corner.

The History of Racial Zoning and Housing Discrimination in the US

More than a century of discriminatory housing policy divided cities and contributed to the racial wealth gap and other social and economic inequities.

February 29, 2024 - Urban Land Magazine

Paved walkways with wood benches in green city park with large trees.

Considering Mindfulness as an Urban Planner's Tool

A recent blog post in Substack considers the appropriation of mindfulness to urban observation and, implicitly, urban planning today.

February 26, 2024 - Resurgence: A Journey via Substack

View from inside York House adaptive reuse building in London.

Adaptive Reuse: The Missing Piece to the Housing Puzzle?

Millions of square feet sit vacant while millions of Americans struggle to find affordable housing. Can reimagining our empty skyscrapers be the key to unlocking both solutions?

February 26, 2024 - Ricardo Brites

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.