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Urban Planning

Measuring Public Space Engagement

October 9, 2015 by Brian Phelps

Capturing the total number of people occupying seating throughout the day gives a quick overview of the space’s daily use patterns. It serves as an initial level of understanding of the effectiveness of the space and answers the basic question if a space is even being used and if so to what extent. Managers of the space can immediately comprehend which areas may need further level of study and/or when and if they need to add additional programming or initiate potential design changes.[read more]


How Vision Zero Is Changing the Way We Feel About Traffic Deaths

October 9, 2015 by Joseph Kopser

The Vision Zero Initiative is a global campaign dedicated to bringing down the human death toll of traffic accidents to zero. This initiative will improve traffic at a microlevel and society at a macrolevel.[read more]

Biomimicry Tools to Inspire Designers

October 8, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

“Biomimicry is about learning from nature to inspire design solutions for human problems,” said Gretchen Hooker with the Biomimicry Institute at SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas. To enable the spread of these exciting solutions, Hooker, along with Cas Smith, Terrapin Bright Green, and Marjan Eggermont, Zygote Quarterly (ZQ), gave a tour of some of the best resources available for designers and engineers of all stripes:[read more]

Solutions Farms Combats Family Homelessness with Aquaponics Training in Vista, CA

The nonprofit’s Solutions Farms aquaponic training program provides “an opportunity for homeless families to regain their financial viability, their place in the community, their security and their happiness,” according to the project’s website.[read more]

WE TEST: Big Data – Small Actions

October 6, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

The WE TEST approach involves the use of data and experimentation to achieve citizen involvement, build the case for pedestrian and public space schemes and fast track implementation.[read more]

New Chicago Compost Ordinance Eases Restrictions for Urban Farmers and Gardeners

The new regulation will allow community gardens in Chicago to compost various types of organic waste, including food scraps such as vegetables and eggshells. Previously, only landscape waste was permitted for compost, such as grass and shrubbery clippings.[read more]

State of Emergency for Housing and Homelessness in Portland and City Club Affordable Housing Forum

October 6, 2015 by Taz Loomans

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has declared a state of emergency for housing and homelessness in the city. With a vacancy rate of 2.5-3.2%, less than half of that in a healthy housing market, and a 30% increase in rents in that last 5 years, it certainly feels like a state of emergency to everyone from the homeless to the working poor to artists and even to middle class professionals.[read more]


Siemens Launches City Performance Tool in the U.S. to Aid Sustainability Efforts

October 5, 2015 by Mary Ellen Egan

Siemens leads on climate change by committing to make its global operations carbon neutral by 2030.[read more]

Mumbai Streets Display Equality on Sundays

October 5, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Every day, Mumbai residents are being squeezed out of spaces to walk or cycle by the sheer pressure of cars. Equal Streets is a citizens’ movement that seeks to highlight the fundamental imbalance in Mumbai’s transport planning priorities.[read more]

Smog One Day, Blue Skies the Next: Beijing Gets a Breath of Fresh Air

For the first time in a long time, the color of Beijing’s sky was a perfect azure blue.[read more]

President Obama's Clean Power Plan and PEER

President Obama and the EPA recently announced the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s plan to alter the dangerous impact human activity has had relative to climate change. It’s a historic beginning.[read more]

How Infill Development Can Help Stop Urban Sprawl

Managing Mexico´s urban growth has been a challenge for decades. In the 1970s, Mexico transitioned from rural to urban and its cities expanded rapidly with little control and oversight. This uninhibited growth was a direct consequence of the institutional framework around urban and territorial planning, housing policy, and a lack of leadership in place at the time. As a result, in the last 30 years although population doubled, the area of developed land grew seven-fold.[read more]