In Carmel, driving around in circles isn’t a symptom of being lost; it’s a way of life. Despite its small size, the Indiana city has more roundabouts than any other burg in the U.S. [...]
The thing most people don’t know is how much money is saved by converting traffic signals into roundabouts. Our city engineer’s office has found that on average, roundabouts in Carmel have cost $250,000 less to build than signalized intersections and they are much less expensive to maintain [...]. — citylab.com
Even if Abu Dhabi has almost unique economic and institutional conditions and rests for now as a borderline case of development profiles, it still highlights several common problems in contemporary large-scale development projects and in the use of star architecture in other parts of the world: little care for the context of branded projects, de-politicization of urban development, weak and inconsistent public planning...[and] spectacular architecture [for] global competition and media exposure — CityLab
What better way to teach high school-age students how to tackle the problems of urban planning than with Legos? This was the thought of the Urban Land Institute, which according to this article in Metro News put on a workshop for an 11th grade class in Toronto to help them plan a city that, while...
Visionary plans, policy, and infrastructure have all played crucial roles in the development of the city and consequently in the definition of its edge. Today, conflicting interests regarding ownership, use, and value of the Lakefront have produced a stalemate of what this civic treasure could become. — Chicago Architectural Club
The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. — the Guardian
The Obama administration Monday is calling on cities and counties to rethink their zoning laws, saying that antiquated rules on construction, housing and land use are contributing to high rents and income inequality, and dragging down the U.S. economy as a whole [...]
The White House published a “toolkit” of economic evidence and policy fixes to help local political leaders fight back against the NIMBYs that tend to hold sway over municipal zoning meetings. — Politico
“Village” may not seem like the right term for a cluster of tenement-style walkups that can house more than 100,000 people. Chengzhongcun hang onto the name partly because of the familiarity evoked by the traditions and small-scale businesses that thrive among their migrant populations, and partly because when modern Shenzhen began growing, these places really were just villages in the middle of the city. — foreignpolicy.com
There is something romantic about the idea of a holdout, a David to the big developer's Goliath, a protagonist for whom home matters more than money, a solitary survivor. In the Pixar movie "Up," the holdout is the hero. In the real-life Seattle version of the story that reportedly inspired the film's premise, an elderly woman who refused to sell her home became — along with her home itself — a city icon. — washingtonpost.com
Researchers from the Urban Displacement project, a joint UCLA and UC Berkeley effort, recently released a gentrification map of Los Angeles.
They examined the city from 1990 to 2000 and up to 2015, focusing on neighborhoods near transit stops. The goal was to see if these areas saw higher rents and more displacement than other areas.
The answer? Yes — with some exceptions. — scpr.org
Some of the UCLA researchers' key findings for Los Angeles Country (via the project's website, urbandisplacement.org):Our analysis found that areas around transit stations are changing and that many of the changes are in direction of neighborhood upscaling and gentrification.Examining the changes...
When a group of Burners describing themselves as the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning announced a design competition last fall for a new urban plan for Burning Man, Phil Walker had never given the matter much thought.
“I’m actually not a Burner. I’ve never done it,” says Walker, the senior associate vice president for CallisonRTKL, an architecture firm and design consultancy. “Maybe a bit of vicarious living for a middle-aged suburban dad is what appealed to me.” — citylab.com
Part of the challenge throughout California and plenty of other communities...is that we tend to make local policy — and housing policy in particular — as if the only people who matter in a community are the ones who go to bed there at night.
We don't think of people who work but don't "live" there, or who'd like to live there but can't afford to, or who once lived there but had to leave, or who could access better jobs if only they could move there, or who commute through there... — the Washington Post
[T]he city of Bao'an in Shenzhen is setting its sights on revamping the 30 kilometer, 12-lane G107 highway...By rethinking the notion of a highway and envisioned with a series of utopian-like renderings, [Avoid Obvious Architects + Tetra Architects & Planners] proposed “a smaller, more fluid, multi-layered thoroughfare that will be a spectacular starting point of growth for an organic smart city.” — Bustler
Today, Airbnb is revealing a new division tasked with inventing new futures for the company, called Samara. Airbnb is also unveiling Samara’s first project: a communal housing project designed to revitalize a small town in Japan. That model isn’t meant to be a one-off. After this project, Airbnb will look to scale it to other declining small towns across the world. The idea is that Airbnb could become a force not only in sharing homes, but in urban planning. — FastCo.Design
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