Green Apple Talk #2: The Urban Environment

A discussion exploring the connection between urban planning, architecture, and contemporary design. How can we make our buildings, transportation and cities better for both the environment and people? What decisions can people make in the urban environment that can have a positive impact, both now and into the future? Featuring Buzz Poole, editor of Green Design, Alex Marshall, author of Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities, and urban planner and blogger Shin-Pei Tsay. Moderated by best-selling author Bryan Keefer.

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Historical Photos of St. Louis Capture the Great Violence of “Urban Renewal”

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Some of these images, dug up by Alex Ihnen at NextSTL, almost look like a war zone. Buildings exploding. Entire city blocks reduced to ghost towns. Families out on curbs, carrying all their belongings in suitcases. It wasn’t a war, though — it was mid-century St. Louis. Perhaps no other American city more enthusiastically embraced the development strategy known as “urban renewal,” a euphemism […]
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Study Links Quality Urbanism to Happiness :)

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Finally, a scientific explanation for the feeling of depression I get from suburban environments dominated by Applebee’s, OfficeMax and eight-lane thoroughfares. According to a new study published in Urban Affairs Review, urban design can have a measurable effect on how people feel. Researchers at the University of West Virginia and the University of South Carolina […]
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The Value of “Good Enough Urbanism”

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In the urbanist blogosphere, there’s a lot of discussion about “getting density right” — the art and science of designing good urban space and codifying those qualities in zoning. Today at Strong Towns blog, Andrew Burleson has something interesting to add. Burleson says many of our cities have been so profoundly weakened that, short of […]

Who Are You Nominating for the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal?

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The Rockefeller Foundation has opened up the nomination process for the 2008 Jane Jacobs Medal. The deadline to submit a nomination is February 1. The award, launched last year, recognizes "two living individuals whose creative vision for the urban environment has significantly contributed to the vibrancy and variety of New York City." Last year, Transportation […]
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NACTO Urban Street Design Guide Sets Out to Change the DNA of Our Cities

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In a direct challenge to the long-standing authority of state DOTs to determine how transportation infrastructure gets designed, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) yesterday launched its Urban Street Design Guide. NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide has already empowered cities around the country to embrace protected bike lanes and other innovative designs that […]

Connecting Urban Design and Public Health

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Public-Health advocate Richard Jackson, author of "Urban Sprawl and Public Health: Designing, Planning, and Building for Healthy Communities," argues in this month’s Metropolis Magazine that the way we build cities and neighborhoods is a major source of illness. When did you first start to make the connection between the design of our national landscape and […]