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New York City's Mean Streets Get Sweeter

January 28, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

NYC and Street Life

“New York City’s mean streets are getting a little sweeter,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the NYC Transportation Commissioner for Mayor Mike Bloomberg. That sweetness takes the form of a “new ecosystem of pedestrian plazas and bike lanes.”[read more]

Call to Action: Help us Identify the World’s Most Endangered Markets

January 28, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Public Market Preservation

Public markets in many cities are under threat. The '10 Most Endangered Markets in the World' will be the first list ever to call international attention to markets at risk. The list will be released in late March at the upcoming 9th International Public Markets Conference in Barcelona.[read more]

3 Stages of Intensification

January 28, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Intensification in Toronto

We all know that the Greater Toronto Area is growing and intensifying at an incredible pace. Last year the region set a record with 25,571 new condominium units completed. If you listen to industry experts, they’ll tell you that this level of intensification is really a decade in the making.[read more]

Urban Design for Safer Roads: Insights from EMBARQ Turkey's RSLab

January 28, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Design and Road Safety

More than 1.2 million people worldwide are killed in road traffic crashes every year, and 20 to 50 million are injured. According to the World Health Organization, if urgent action is not taken, these figures will increase by 65% over the next 20 years, making crashes the fifth-leading cause of death by 2030.[read more]

Can Aquaponics Thrive in the Midwest? Indiana Startup Bets On It

January 28, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Midwest Local Food Source Development

How can a cold, Midwestern state grow organic produce all year, while also providing fresh fish to the local community? Those are the questions Justin Long, co-founder and CEO, and Jason Fry, co-founder, asked themselves before founding Blue Lotus Aquaponics in November 2013.[read more]

Six Mayors Who Bike, and Why This is a Good Thing

January 28, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Biking Mayors and Urban Transportation

With more cities than ever before implementing bike-share systems and expanding cycling infrastructure, we had to ask ourselves: are our leaders practicing what they preach on sustainable urban mobility? As it turns out, many of them are.[read more]

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Will Hyper/CAT Be the Secret Engine Behind Smart Cities Worldwide?

January 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

The HyperCAT logo

Hyper/CAT! It sounds like some kind of super powered feline, but if a certain group of people in the UK have their way it will be even more powerful than that. For HyperCat it is an emerging new standard, rather like HTML, but for the Internet of Things. It will help everything that is in a smart city talk to everything else. If it were to become globally applicable then all cities in the world will be one day interoperable, connectable, and able to use the same technology.[read more]

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Healthy, Liveable, and Sustainable Communities Can Make a Big Difference in Our Lives

January 27, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez

Sustainable Communities and Health

Imagine a community — neighborhood, village, town, or city — that provides residents with plenty of opportunities to enjoy a high quality of life. A world-class community that strives to preserve or improve its economy, the quality of its environment, and the health and well being of its residents.[read more]

The Growing Shadow of Self Storage

January 27, 2015 by Tyler Caine

Self Storage Growth

Similar to the growth of digital space in the cloud, the displacement of our excess stuff to an out-of-sight location can be perceived as utilizing an endless amount of space with little repercussion, but this strengthening trend has fuelled an industry in the business of taking up space while giving little back.[read more]

Are Small Retail Condos a Sustainable Use of Buildings?

January 27, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Retail and Real Estate

Retail is one of the hardest — if not the hardest — real estate category to get right. If you don’t have the right setup, the right location, and the right tenant mix, you can fail pretty easily. It’s a bit of an art. And that obviously applies to both landlords and tenants.[read more]

Complete Streets vs. Trucks

January 27, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

What about the delivery vehicles?

As more communities invest in green, complete streets to create environments that are both safer and more accessible for pedestrians and bicyclists, there are growing problems for those who must move goods, says Peter Plumeau of the Resource Systems Group.[read more]

Giza 2030: From Deterioration to Gentrification?

January 27, 2015 by This Big City

Giza Urban Planning and Gentrification

In Egypt, countless studies have outlined local issues and visions for our urban future. Such studies, which cost the state millions, gather dust in the drawers of governmental institutions. A closer look shows that it is a blessing that the schemes and projects of the proposed visions did not see the light of the day.[read more]

Is Suburbia the Answer? Jobs and Housing Balance in Inland Empire, California

January 27, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Suburbia, Jobs, and Housing

Is low density suburban development a mistake? Take a look at an aerial map of Riverside County from a couple of years ago, and you will notice some strange crop-circle-like formations. These weren’t created by extraterrestrial life, but are in fact stalled single-family home developments, whose streets contain signs displaying prices from nearly a decade ago.[read more]

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There's a $90 Trillion Plan to Rid the World's Cities of Cars

January 26, 2015 by David Thorpe
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The way to go.

Over the next 15 years, about $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture and energy systems. 24 leaders from government, business, finance and economics in 19 countries think it should be spent fighting climate change. And one of the key challenges is to remove cars from cities.[read more]

Vancouver Takes an Icepick to its Heritage Train Station

January 26, 2015 by Jillian Glover

Heritage vs. Innovation in Vancouver Architecture

For years, there has been a small parking lot next to Vancouver’s Waterfront Station offering spectacular views of the city’s North Shore. While many have argued that a park should be put there to open the area up to the public, it turns out that the city has much grander plans for the site.[read more]

Bringing Sustainability to Small-Town America

January 26, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Small-scale sustainability

In my writing I frequently celebrate leadership in community sustainability from such progressive, highly urbanized metro areas. But it can be tough to find green practices in smaller towns and cities, many of which are struggling to stay alive and have trouble assembling the resources for new initiatives of any sort.[read more]

Engaging Local Governments at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Disaster Mitigation and Government Policy

The Third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Reduction will take place from in March in Sendai, Japan, where an agreement on the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction will be adopted. This framework will support our collective efforts to build nations and communities that are resilient to disasters.[read more]

What Excites You About Cities and Transportation?

January 26, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Urban Transport and the Future

“Climate change is already costly and shaping development,” said Rachel Kyte, the World Bank’s chief climate representative. “The problem is this poor trade-off has been set-up: we can either have growth, progress, prosperity, or we can halt all our dreams to reduce carbon emissions. It’s not a vote getter.”[read more]

Future London: 5 Developments to Watch in 2015

January 26, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Cranes over London

London’s rate of change means that cranes along the skyline are something of a fixture, but the vast swathes of the city undergoing redevelopment in 2015 stand as a telling reflection of the priorities, opportunities and challenges of London today.[read more]

Micro-Apartments: Making 160 Square Feet Livable in San Francisco

January 26, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Micro-Apartments in San Francisco

California’s smallest legal apartment lies in San Francisco. The 160 square foot apartment holds enough space for one person. This urban dweller’s dream is equipped with a sofa which folds out as a bed, sliding doors, resourceful storage, and a “smart bench” which transforms into a table for two.[read more]

Michigan's Governor Dissolves State Food Policy Council as MSU Looks to Build Local Council Network

January 25, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Michigan Food Policy and Support

The Michigan Food Policy Council was created in 2005 with the task of bringing together stakeholders across the state interested in improving the food environment in Michigan. The council worked with a variety of urban and rural community groups, providing direct support to farmers as well.[read more]

Was Choosing Frank Gehry to Design Paris' Foundation Louis Vuitton in Bad Taste?

January 25, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Frank Gehry and Building Design

 

A product of its times? A techno-monumentalist Blockbuster? The Vuitton Foundation, inaugurated in Paris at the end of October 2014, became the object of all the praise of the great national publications. Still, the foreign press has shown itself more nuanced and critical.[read more]

Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui Valley, Chile

January 25, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Design and Natural Integration

Measures taken in cities to improve their adaptation to drought and for carbon sequestration are usually based on an efficient use of water and energy. But nature and rural areas near cities can provide key ideas to address these issues which are more in line with local needs and nature.[read more]

How Montreal Makes Winter Awesome

January 25, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Montreal and Winter Activities

It’s wintertime right now in Canada and that means there are a lot of people complaining about the cold and/or the fact that in our climate there are certain things that simply can’t (or shouldn’t) be done when it comes to city building. But I don’t buy that.[read more]

3 Challenges for Informal Traders

January 24, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Informal Economics

Informal trade is a characteristic element of many African cities, yet it still resists easy explanation and classification. Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising have produced a study that explores the various conditions of street vendors in Accra, Ahmedabad, Durban, Lima and Nakuru.[read more]

People-Oriented Streets and the Built Environment: Lee Schipper Memorial Scholars Present at Transforming Transportation 2015

January 24, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ
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People-Oriented Street Design

Last week’s Transforming Transportation conference put forth multiple innovative ideas for how cities can transform mobility to become more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable. Speakers included former heads of state, road safety champions, and entrepreneurs.[read more]

2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record

January 24, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

2014 and Temperature Records

In 2014, the Earth reached its hottest levels at least since 1880, when global temperatures were first recorded. According to NASA and the NOAA, much of the 1.24 F (0.68 C) temperature increase over the 30-year average was driven by warmer oceans, which were up 1 degree F over the average.[read more]

Before and After at 109 Hazelton Avenue

January 24, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Urban Renewal and Design

I recently connected with one of the principals of a Toronto-based construction management firm called Ripple Projects, which focuses primarily on contemporary custom homes. The founders spent many years prior to this doing similar projects at similar companies, such as Wilson Project Management.[read more]

Bécancour, Quebec, Canada Unveils New Brand Identity

January 24, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Urban Brand Identity Action

The City of Bécancour in Quebec, Canada has just announced that, as promised, it has created a new visual identity for itself. This includes a graphic platform and signature, created to completely redefine the city. The goal, from the beginning, was to revise and standardize the city’s image.[read more]

Interview with Chris Reed on Stoss' Futuristic Landscapes

January 23, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Futuristic Landscape Architecture

Chris Reed, ASLA, is founding principal of Stoss, which won the National Design Award for landscape architecture in 2012. Reed is Associate Professor in practice of landscape architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His most recent book is 'Projective Ecologies.'[read more]