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Managing Tables and Chairs in the Public Realm

February 26, 2015 by Brian Phelps

Tables, Chairs, and Public Spaces

Local coffee shops vying to be the neighborhood’s “third place” understand the importance of providing tables and chairs for their customers. They understand while some people may want to lounge in sofas that, per square foot, tables and chairs are a far more useful and appealing option to a wider array of customers.[read more]

Neighborhood Alliance Plans to Convert Vacant Lot into Urban Farm, Housing Complex

February 26, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Urban Food and Housing Redevelopment

The Hilltop Alliance, a nonprofit, is working on a project that could drastically advance urban agriculture in the state. The organization wants to turn a vacant 107-acre lot into Hilltop Village Farm, a multi-use development that would include 120 townhomes, a 20-acre urban farm incubator, a youth farm and CSA.[read more]

Placemaking and Place-Led Development: A New Paradigm for Cities of the Future

February 24, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Placemaking Development

At the Urban Age Conference, head of UN-Habitat Joan Clos stressed the need for a new paradigm for shaping communities around the world. When asked if that meant that government(s) would need to change as well, Dr. Clos replied with a brief and direct “yes,”. Simply having a public space often isn’t enough.[read more]

The Future of Public Space Analytics

February 23, 2015 by Brian Phelps

Public Space Analysis Innovation

Public space is an essential component of any great city. It brings people together to socialize, recreate, and work. It attracts people to the city, builds relationships, and spurs innovation and new ideas that fuel a city’s economic growth. How do we optimize the investments made in these spaces?[read more]

Why We Need to Think About Streets When We Design Parks

February 17, 2015 by Jake Tobin Garrett

Streets, Parks, and Design Integration

We should be thinking, especially in small parks, about how streets and sidewalks can complement the park, or how connections feed into the park. Too frequently we focus our attention solely inside the boundaries of the park and forget the network of sidewalks, streets, and laneways that surround it.[read more]

Shipping Containers Add Hip Sustainability To New Marriott Brand [PHOTOS]

February 16, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Shipping Containers and Placemaking

If you’ve ever seen stacks and stacks of shipping containers sitting at a port, words like “hip,” “edgy,” and “stylish” probably didn’t come to mind. But designers around the world have seen all sorts of cool possibilities in these basic structures. One of the latest comes from hotel chain Marriott.[read more]

Unintended Consequences Can Be Opportunities for Conservation

February 16, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Intentions and Conservation

Many of the United Kingdom’s most spectacular urban wetlands are the unintended consequences of industrial activities. Are there abandoned industrial sites in your city that present an opportunity to be turned into nature reserves to increase resilience, biodiversity and provide social amenities?[read more]

The Real Cost of Bad Eating

February 14, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Food and Public Health

“Eat food, mostly plants, and not too much,” suggests best-selling author and science journalism professor Michael Pollan, whose books cover the rising food movement. It’s a great way to keep things simple in a world where we are bombarded with new ideas in nutritional science, and fad diets.[read more]

The Story Behind Vancouver's Oldest Music Club

February 13, 2015 by Jillian Glover

Vancouver Music Club History

Once upon a time, Vancouver was home to many live music clubs and ballrooms where celebrated musicians played and even launched their careers. All gone now, but one old girl still reigns supreme. Even though she is almost 85 years old, The Commodore Ballroom has been hosting musicians since 1929.[read more]

Eight Examples of Using Indigenous Knowledge for Urban Biodiversity 

February 11, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Urbanization, Local Knowledge and Biodiversity

The original inhabitants of a city's location know it better than anyone. Here are examples of how their expertise on biodiversity and ecosystems for the provision of water, food and other services are recognized, in Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Japan, Australia and Canada.[read more]

Why Cities are Made for Reading, Cover to Cover

February 10, 2015 by Chuck Wolfe

Reading a City

Open a book, read only, say, page 77, and the prose may please the mind or heart, but the richness of the story may suffer. Why? Because the plot is still unclear. Reading the city is no different. In urban venues, we should first take in each view, with sensation, but not draw any immediate conclusion.[read more]

Smarter Commercial Trash Cans For Greener, Cleaner Public Spaces

February 7, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Trash Cans and Keeping Public Spaces Clean

I’m a daily user of public commercial trash cans, and I know that sometimes these cans have plenty of room in them, and other times, they’re overflowing. I also know that regardless of the situation, the city’s refuse collection service makes its rounds about once a week. And that’s incredibly inefficient.[read more]