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Detroit: Then & Now

The latest project of detroiturbex.com is Detroit: The Evolution of a City, showing incredible then and now photographs with a sliding interface, so you can see the changes (good and bad) across the decades. It's broken up into five sections: A Growing City, Deindustrialization, Unrest, Decay, and Revival. Previously from detroiturbex: Cass Tech superimposed photos. [more inside]
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective on Apr 1, 2014 - 11 comments

Google Maps, Now Customized

For years, Google Maps has been the map of our world in a historically unprecedented way. The new Google Maps (announcement) will eschew the uniformity of the old Maps and instead customize the map experience based on a user's behavior. Some are concerned how this artificial narrowing will affect the way we experience places and relate to our urban spaces. Others believe the customization makes the new maps more honest. Most, however, will probably just want to comment on the huge overhaul to the interface.
posted by Defenestrator on May 29, 2013 - 104 comments

A pervasive and pernicious notion says you!

Richard Florida Concedes the Limits of the Creative Class. Or does he?
posted by spamandkimchi on Apr 2, 2013 - 55 comments

Cairobserver

Cairobserver is the start of a conversation about Cairo’s architecture and building, urban fabric and city life. A well curated blog about Cairo featuring both Arabic and English essays. [more inside]
posted by Corduroy on Feb 17, 2013 - 2 comments

Please Feed The Meters

The Next Parking Revolution [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 28, 2013 - 40 comments

Why We Abandoned the Public Realm, and Why We Need It Again

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Way down in ...

"The Hole is a small triangle of land divided in half by Brooklyn and Queens, and is located west of the intersection of Linden and Conduit Boulevard. The Hole is literally a hole. It is "30 feet below grade," according to the NY Times, sunken down from the busy roads around it. The neighborhood floods often and is only a few feet above the water table, so its homes are "not incorporated into the city sewer system. They all have cesspools," according to the NY Times. Streets are threatened by reedy marshes, and many residents keep a boat parked in the driveway." It's also home to some stables used by the Federation of Black Cowboys. Brooklyn's Lost Neighborhood [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 25, 2012 - 37 comments

The High Cost of Free Parking

"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.
posted by parudox on Jul 13, 2010 - 192 comments

We were promised jetpacks. (Not the band.)

What are the things that will help create more Nimble Cities? (This post is heavy with slate-related links.) Slate asks readers to help make transportation in and between cities more efficient, safe, and pleasant. "While we're certainly not opposed to your most forward-looking proposals: Let's fire up Chicago's once sprawling pneumatic tube network; let's not let those zeppelin masts go to waste!--what we're most interested in are things in the here and now, things that are already making (or will soon be making) a difference in your city." Should cities install moving sidewalks? How about eliminating parking spaces or bicycle highways? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 8, 2010 - 81 comments

Not just a city in Egypt

Cairo, Illinois is mostly abandoned. It was once a thriving city of 15,000, but the Mississippi barges don't stop there anymore, and racial turmoil, including a three-year boycott of white-owned businesses that refused to hire black workers, killed the town's economy. The Cairo Project, from Southern Illinois University, is a good overview of Cairo's history and its current situation. Can punk label Plan-it-X start a rebirth by moving to Cairo and opening a coffeeshop? If it helps, there's still good barbecue.
posted by escabeche on Jun 12, 2010 - 54 comments

Urbanism in the Metroplex

A Better Block. For a weekend, local urbanism advocates in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas transformed a block into a complete street. Reactions from city officials have been positive. Also: photos from the event and associated Art Crawl, and a deeper look at the event and what it means.
posted by kmz on Apr 22, 2010 - 20 comments

The White City

"Imagine a large corporation with a workforce whose African American percentage far lagged its industry peers, sans any apparent concern, and without a credible action plan to remediate it. Would such a corporation be viewed as a progressive firm and employer? The answer is obvious. Yet the same situation in major cities yields a different answer."
posted by revgeorge on Oct 26, 2009 - 128 comments

If not in your backyard, then whose?

Newcomers, with the zeal of recent converts, are often the most vocal in resisting change to the neighborhood they have just discovered. An exploration of NIMBYism. If not in your backyard, then whose? Probably a low-income minority group. Opposition to affordable housing is often thinly-veiled racism. How NIMBYism affects a seven-year old boy on LA's skid row. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Aug 25, 2008 - 61 comments

Place matters

Another Paul Graham essay, Cities and Ambition. This one's one of his better ones though. His claim: each city sends its inhabitants a distinct message about how they should live their lives. New York City sends the message that you should be richer. Cambridge sends the message that you should be smarter. Berkeley sends the message that you should live better. Consequently, the city you live in has a profound effect on what you strive for, what you value, and how you channel your ambitions. Place matters; choose wisely. [more inside]
posted by decoherence on Jun 2, 2008 - 87 comments

prefab

Landscape Urbanism Bullshit Generator. Now you can join in when the rest of the architecture grad students go to the roof to smoke a joint/apply for grant money.
posted by plexi on Jan 30, 2008 - 22 comments

So, it wasn't the Happiest Town on Earth?

Remember the Town Disney Built? -- 50% of the homes in Celebration, Florida are up for sale. A failure of corporate-owned and -planned Community™? or just a fallout of the bursting of the housing bubble? And whither New Urbanism? [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Oct 4, 2007 - 66 comments

Exploring the City

The Conflux Festival brings together mapmakers, urban adventurers, and performers to "investigate the physical and psychological landscapes of cities," NYC in this case. Tunnels and shortcuts, turning city sound samples into music, guerilla radio on unused FM frequencies, and a nighttime game of pursuit. My personal favorite is tide-propelled commuting on the Tide and Current Taxi. Via Flavorpill.
posted by salvia on Sep 14, 2006 - 7 comments

Vertical Farms

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth’s population will reside in urban centers. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. A Potential Solution: farm vertically.
posted by signal on Jun 22, 2005 - 36 comments

A machine for living in

BoKlok: Flat-packed boxes + alan wrench = home! With these relatively attractive six-plexes, Ikea seems to have made a reality of Le Corbusier's dream of mass-produced housing.
posted by pieisexactlythree on May 12, 2005 - 26 comments

Cyburbia

Cyburbia - the urban planning portal. (Check out the photo gallery.)
posted by PrinceValium on Jun 9, 2004 - 1 comment

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