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Urban Planning

How Billboards Fund Public Art in Toronto

April 17, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Billboards and Art in Toronto

Artists in Toronto have long been undervalued. “Artists were constantly pitching projects to the city, but there was never enough money [in the city budget],” said Devon Ostrom, co-founder of BeautifulCity.ca, an alliance of over sixty organizations supporting the arts in Toronto.[read more]

Introducing the Black Tie Bicycle Test: Does Your City Pass?

April 17, 2014 by Mark K Ames

Biking In Amsterdam

I was in Amsterdam over the weekend for a family trip. It's the first time I've been to the city as a pedestrian and have not been riding a bicycle while I was in the city, and walking the streets of the Dutch capital gave me a totally different perspective.[read more]

Urban Density and Sustainability

April 17, 2014 by Christopher Berggren

Density and Sustainability

Urban density is the number of people living in a particular urban area and is an important aspect of how cities function. Many modern urban planners advocate higher densities because of the widely held theory that cities operate more efficiently when residents live in denser urban surroundings.[read more]

Are Historically-Black Towns History?

April 17, 2014 by Kristen Jeffers

Historically-Black Towns

Recently, I came across two sets of articles about Historically Black towns in Oklahoma and in Missouri. Part as a means of segregation and part as a means of dignity, self-respect and control of the civic space, African-Americans established or had help establishing their own towns after slavery.[read more]

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Vienna Seeks Ideas to Reinvent Citizen Inclusion

April 17, 2014 by David Thorpe

Vienna seeks proposals for social harmony.

Forward-thinking cities around the world are increasingly competing - as well as cooperating - to position themselves as 'greener' than each other or to promote some singular quality that makes them stand out. Now Vienna has launched a competition for proposals to do just this.[read more]

The Business of Cities

April 17, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Over the past few months on this blog, I’ve started to introduce business terms into the way I describe and talk about cities. I’ve referred to residents and visitors as customers of a city, experiences within a city as products and services, and cities themselves as businesses.[read more]

Every Street Can't Be Everything to Everyone

April 16, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Toronto is a city of neighborhoods and small main streets—at least in the areas where our streetcars live. Streets such as King and Queen are only 4 lanes. And the problem we’re facing is that we’re trying to accommodate every single use case on them: cars, on-street parking, cyclists and streetcars.[read more]

Cutting the Super Block Down to Size

April 16, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

Super Blocks

To accommodate the millions coming in from the countryside each year, China’s cities are tearing down their old human-scale, socially-rich neighborhoods, with their meandering, bicycle-friendly streets, and putting in highways and incredibly isolating towers set amid vacant-feeling “super blocks.”[read more]

Baltimore's Car-Stuffed Waterfront is Poised to Keep Adding More Cars

April 16, 2014 by Jeff La Noue

Baltimore Car Culture

Fancy office towers, hotels, museums, and tourist attractions line the contours of Baltimore’s Chesapeake Bay harborfront. So too, do massive parking garages and interstate-sized roadways that feed them. What does the future hold? According to a new plan, still more parking.[read more]

The Coolest Urban Trail You are Likely to See

April 16, 2014 by Kaid Benfield

Urban Trails

Something special is happening in Indianapolis, and it's transforming neighborhoods. Revitalization when done well is almost unparalleled in its ability to boost the “triple bottom line” of sustainability: a healthy environment, a healthy economy, and a healthy and equitable social fabric.[read more]

The City Is Dying

April 16, 2014 by Jim Russell
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On one hand, the big loser from urbanization are country towns and villages (even small cities). In the developing world, that trend is going full bore. In developed countries such as the United States, rural communities have found a sustainable ground floor. That is, until now.[read more]

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ICLEI Says Smart Cities Need Citizen Buy-In

April 16, 2014 by David Thorpe

Do people want their cities wired?

“A smart city is a city which can provide - with fewer resources - more efficiency, more services for its citizens and a higher quality of life in a rapidly urbanizing world.” A fine ideal, but is this just for big business, or can citizens have a say? This was a hot topic at ICLEI's Global Town Hall 2014 last week.[read more]