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Entries in Urban Planning (59)

Monday
Jan182016

Where the Streets Have No Name

Image © Jordan Berta.

I see a picture of a girl sitting near New York City’s Highline, gazing out on an empty street. It’s an evocative image, a little sad actually, and I can’t help but wonder, “Why is the street so empty?” I realize it was taken at an off-hour, but that’s the wonder of the photograph. I joke to myself that The Highline has so wildly succeeded at presenting an above grade urban experience that the experiences of the surrounding streets have been sapped of their energy and urgency. I pause briefly to visualize a Blade Runner city of hierarchical levels racing upwards to new heights. I see a place where blighted streets sit empty, collecting trash and debris and housing the less fortunate. But that kind of dystopian future only happens in bad ‘60s urbanism and science fiction, right?

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Friday
Dec042015

Gensler Models Oakland’s Explosive Growth

Gensler Oakland’s 3D model of Oakland.

It’s no longer breaking news that the Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live and work in the U.S. There are a plethora of articles covering the surge of residents migrating to its neighboring city, Oakland. The San Francisco Business Times recently reported that 15 companies have decided to make the move from San Francisco to Oakland in 2015. Oakland is experiencing a major economic boom, which has piqued the interest of multiple parties including politicians, real estate developers, residents, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and more.

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Thursday
Dec032015

Small Interventions with Big Impact: Forging Relationships and Improving Cities through Tactical Urbanism

Renegade tactical urbanists are courting respectability, partnering with communities to infuse functional urban elements with touches of artistic flair. Image © Gensler

Plucky, pugnacious, and often thought provoking, tactical urbanism has historically been an affront to traditional city making. In its original form, it was not concerned with city making’s typical drivers; e.g., market demand, developer profit, grand aesthetic statements, etc. Instead, it addressed neglected concerns—often pertaining to safety, efficiency, and vibrancy—at the neighborhood level.

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Monday
Sep212015

Passive House: Sell It to Me!

Source: deposit photos

Looking for a new home? What if I told you that a Passive House could reduce your annual heating bills by 90% with no additional cost on construction? Would you take it?

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Tuesday
May052015

Barbican Pop-Up Garden

The new pop-up garden at the London Underground's Barbican station. Image © Gensler

Every day we Londoners make our way through the urban jungle. Our daily routines bring us together with strangers and friends alike and together we endure some of the more dire spaces that our modern metropolis produces. And yet we discover opportunities in the strangest places to improve our urban environment and perhaps put a smile on the faces of our fellow urbanites.

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