for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them.
A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism
(pdf) from MIT
looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
Jaywalking, in time
Is San Francisco The Brooklyn To Silicon Valley's Unbuilt Manhattan?
Much has been said about how San Francisco should build up and become a new Manhattan. (Previously
.) Similarly, much has been said about the utterly boring suburban sprawl that is Silicon Valley. (At least in San Jose.
) The Awl
's Ken Layne points out that there's a lot of underdeveloped land in between that isn't exactly virgin wilderness- and suggests making more out of it: an entire metropolis, in fact. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Cities
mentions that Redwood City is the neighborhood of the future
. [more inside]
"...Charles Marohn and his colleagues at the Minnesota-based nonprofit Strong Towns have made a very compelling case that suburban sprawl is basically a Ponzi scheme, in which municipalities expand infrastructure hoping to attract new taxpayers that can pay off the mounting costs associated with the last infrastructure expansion, over and over." Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism
. [more inside]
Forum for the Future
, a UK-based non-profit, has produced a series of short videos depicting possible future scenarios for sustainable urban mobility. Titled "Megacities on the move," the series explores "how we will live and travel in the cities of 2040". The four scenarios are (links to Vimeo): Planned-opolis
, and Sprawl-ville
. [more inside]
"Eighty-seven percent of all trips are made by personal vehicle and 99 percent of those trips arrive at a free parking space
." But that free parking comes at a high cost
according to Donald Shoup's research
. He advocates for charging the right price
for on-street parking
and for removing off-street parking requirements
. Shoup's ideas are coming to the streets in San Francisco's new demand-responsive parking system
. Loyal Shoupistas
work to spread and implement his ideas.
The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative
(OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
Visualizing Early Washington.
A project at the Imaging Research Center
of the University of Maryland-Baltimore County has reconstructed the original landscape
of Washington DC before its radical transformation into a modern capital city
. [more inside]
New York City is the greenest city in America. Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot. That's ten times the rate for Americans in general, and eight times the rate for residents of Los Angeles County. New York City is more populous than all but eleven states; if it were granted statehood, it would rank 51st in per-capita energy use.
But this is not necessarily something people want to hear:
In a conversation with a Sierra Club representative involved in Challenge to Sprawl, I said that the organization's anti-sprawl suggestions and the modified streetscapes in the slide show shared many significant features with Manhattan-whose most salient characteristics include wide sidewalks, narrow streets, mixed uses, densely packed buildings, and an extensive network of subways and buses. The representative hesitated, then said that I was essentially correct, although he would prefer that the program not be described in such terms, since emulating New York City would not be considered an appealing goal by most of the people whom the Sierra Club is trying to persuade
It took a long time for many achievements of the ancient world to be duplicated. The first city to reach one million people was Baghdad in 775 CE
(or possibly Rome
nine hundred years before), a feat that would not be duplicated until London and Beijing grew in the 19th century
. The largest building in the world was the Great Pyramid
for forty centuries until the 19th
, and the world's current longest canal
is over two millenia old. Some mysteries still remain, such as the formula of Greek Fire
, but it looks like a different ancient weapon's secret has been discovered, that of Damascus steel
. The key ingredient -- nanotech
The City Desk
is a blog dedicated to covering the history and traditions of a city that does not exist. Get the dirt on about the tramway that never happened
or take a gander at fascinating statistics about the population
. Heck, there's even a definitive origin for the term "Black Friday."
Are these huge gated communities OUR urban future?
Enormous gated communities in Latin America - complete with schools, clinics, and a wide array of recreational possibilities - are now billing
themselves as Latin America's best example of New Urbanism.
The Big Urban Game:
Minneapolis and St. Paul have just been turned into a 108-square mile game board
. The game ends Sunday, so you still have plenty of time to play.
Why we are all Venetians now
Witold Rybczynski talks about the changing functions of cities, urban planning and reuse, and the tourism industry where "the urban experience has become a new product of cities."
DC Suburbs slowly getting denser
I've been a participant for the past 5 years in what is easily the 2nd-3rd most insane housing market in the US: Washington DC. Apartment occupancy is 99% in the desirable areas, and "affordable starter homes" (in finger quotes) are priced at $250-$350k. People with good jobs can barely afford this. So what happens to folks who are just getting their feet on the ground in the country? More the merrier. How do you strike a balance between providing affordable housing that is accessible to living-wage jobs without running out the existing neighbors?
'You will stay in Saskatoon, you will stay in Moose Jaw': Plan would force newcomers to agree to live outside biggest cities for three to five years
A new idea would have immigrants forced to live in rural Canadian communities for the first 3-5 years to offset the fact that young Canadians are fleeing them for the opportunities in the big cities.
I sympathize with the loss that rural Canada is facing, I just don't see this working out the way proponents expect.
ULTRa set for take off in Cardiff!
Urban Light Transport is finally here, and trials are under way in Cardiff, Wales for these four passenger driverless cars. It is estimated that the cost of implementation ($60m) will be 1/3 to 1/2 of that of a comparable light rail system.
is a new housing design concept in London. It's a small living space intended for young urban types; as a gimmicky promotion, two people will live in Microflats within a department store. Flash required.
A developer is pushing new luxury rental apartments in this building
in Lower Manhattan with ads on nytimes.com
. Rentals are probably slow because the building is five blocks
from a disaster zone. But let's all just pretend it's not. Potential renters, take note: "actual view south"
may not be the actual view south.
urban coffee opportunities
according to this map, there are 38 starbucks within my area code alone. and right down the block, there are 2 out of 4 storefronts, of which this map only notes one: meaning there are more coffee opportunities available.
is the full link, since i think the first one got cut off.
idea from adbusters, but i did the work myself!
In the late 1940s, a builder named William Levitt started a revolution in a Long Island potato field. Levitt built 2,000 simple, identical houses for returning GIs in the midst of a nationwide housing crisis. Levittown, as the development became known, was the first emblem of a new American lifestyle -- suburbanism
"I think the reality of the situation is that the suburbs are going to become the slums of tomorrow ... Some of them will be the ruins of tomorrow."
link via thewebtoday
Would you like to live in a city where everything you need is within a five-minute walk? Where you can get from one side of a city of a million people to the other in less than thirty minutes? Where the air is clean, people are healthy, children and the elderly aren't dependent on others to get where they want to go, and life is beautiful? You can have it all--just ban cars.