Vacant Lot

The Importance of Unintentional Nature in Cities

A new book argues in favor of spontaneous, informal natural spaces.

March 14, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Los Angeles Sunset

Hiking For All: Making the Great Outdoors More Welcoming

Not everyone feels comfortable going for a hike. Various groups are working to break down barriers so that more people can experience the joys and benefits of being in nature.

April 1, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Canada WInter

Serpentine Maze: Pop-Up Parks in the Pandemic

If the combined effects of winter's cold and the pandemic has you bummed, check out this community-building exercise in the frozen North.

January 20, 2021 - PlaceShakers

Chicago Lake Michigan Trees

More Parks and Trees Can Increase Life Expectancy

New research shows that increasing park acreage in areas that face park deficits and low levels of tree canopy could lead to significant population-level increases in life expectancy.

November 22, 2020 - Parks & Recreation Magazine

A Pirate Looks at . . . Seventy?

Reflections on a long career, a great interview, and six sssentials for greener, healthier communities via Kaid Benfield, one of the founders of Smart Growth America

September 11, 2020 - PlaceShakers

National Park Service

Earth Day: 1970 and Now

The decade that began with the first Earth Day became a pivotal moment in U.S. environmental awareness and action. The core principles of the environmental decade are now questioned in the highest offices of our land.

April 22, 2020 - Bruce Stiftel

California Spring

Lessons Emerge as Cities Cede Public Space to Contain the Pandemic

One of the dominant themes to emerge from the spread of COVID-19 is the conflict between the need to be in nature for health and well-being while avoiding public space as much as possible to prevent the spread.

April 6, 2020 - James Brasuell

Wynyard Quarter

Code Score: A New Aid for Aligning Policy and Vision With Outcomes

A compendium of benefits of walkable urban places, put together by Hazel Borys and Kaid Benfield.

October 2, 2019 - PlaceShakers

Mountain Lion

Wild LA: An Excellent and Beautifully Illustrated Resource for L.A.’s Biodiversity

Los Angeled has plenty of urban wildlife, but people don’t usually associate the city with the term biodiversity. L.A. County park planner Clement Lau offers a book review on the a book on that subject, "Wild LA."

June 17, 2019 - UrbDeZine

Goose Island Chicago

A 'Wild Mile' on the Chicago River Utilizes Floating Gardens

An effort is underway to reintroduce a natural habitats along a stretch of postindustrial Chicago River canal-scape. Floating garden modules are being used to attract species back to the area.

July 11, 2018 - The Chicago Tribune

Trees and People

Walkability Needs Nature

The healthiest neighborhoods are both walkable and green, according to a growing body of evidence.

April 3, 2018 - PlaceMakers

Green Healthy Community

Ten Key Ingredients of a Green and Healthy Community

Everyone has a different answer on what makes a great place, depending on how wonky you'd like to get. Kaid Benfield lists his top 10 ingredients for a healthy community.

September 18, 2017 - PlaceMakers

Chicago Lake Michigan Trees

Study: Greenery Improves Quality and Length of Life

Living near vegetation appears to be linked to a longer life and better mental health—for women, at least.

May 5, 2017 - CNN

Tropical Beach

Islands of the World Get Their Own Smart Congress

After six years of successful Smart City Expo World Congresses in Barcelona, the island of Majorca will host one that focuses exclusively on islands. It will focus on technology and innovation, and address unique challenges islands face.

March 25, 2017 - Cities of the Future

Melbourne University lawns

An Abundance of Male Trees Is Upping Your Allergy Misery

All that pollen in the air giving you the sneezes is probably because of all the male trees your city has been planting.

March 17, 2017 - Greater Greater Washington

Forester Pass, Sierra Nevada

Building Trails

Designing trails means serving many masters. Those who do it professionally must balance aesthetics with practical concerns like drainage.

March 4, 2017 - 99% Invisible

Place Dauphine in Paris

The Trifecta: Urbanism, Architecture, and Nature

Susan Henderson shares some thoughts about the alignment of issues contributing to well-being in cities.

February 1, 2017 - PlaceShakers

Bosque de Chapultapec

Rewilding Cities: Wellness and Nature

When nature is integrated into urbanism, wellness surges. Hazel Borys looks at the benefits.

January 17, 2017 - PlaceShakers

Raleigh Park

The Connection Between Green Space and Better Behaved Kids

Researchers have made a positive link between increased greenery in a child's neighborhoods and a reduction in aggressive behavior.

July 5, 2016 - Pacific Standard

Klyde Warren Park

Op-Ed: Tech Can Enhance Parks

In the traditional view, nature and digital technology clash. But for many people, tech can offer ways to better engage with parks.

March 29, 2016 - KCET

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

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.