“Smart growth,” i.e. the densification of development in both new and established communities, especially along transportation corridors, is not only a worthy objective, it’s a necessity. Sprawling development has many established negative impacts. The infrastructure to support it is disproportionately expensive to build and maintain. Its environmental footprint is disproportionately large and wasteful. It has been shown to create negative impacts on the social and physical quality of people’s lives. [Read more…] about When Smart Growth is Not and the NIMBY Is
Turn the freeways into solar collectors and at the same time mitigate noise, pollution, blight, and open space encroachment. This is a fascinating idea from architect Måns Tham of Sweden. He also proposes that the solar canopy capture auto exhaust for feeding algae ponds to create bio fuel. While it seems at first glance to be ‘pie in the sky,’ upon further reflection it may not be so far fetched. It could help resolve the controversy regarding solar arrays in the desert and possible effects on fauna such as the desert tortoise. Freeways typically involve vast sun exposed stretches of real estate that would seem ideally suited for solar panels. Read more on the architect’s blog.
What is the right balance between freedom and safety (as in regulations) in an urban land use setting? We travel to see cities with unique and exotic features such as rickshaws, street vendors, open air market places, sidewalk cafes, and so on. We even think fondly of the cacophony of signage in places like Hong Kong and Times Square. Yet the U.S., ‘freedom central,’ is relatively restrictive when it comes to municipal ordinances. Perhaps its not so much that we are ‘freedom central’ but that our democracy allows us rather, than a king, the freedom to issue restrictions. That’s a lot of people creating a lot of restrictions. As a result, U.S. cities often lean towards uniformity rather than diversity or uniqueness. [Read more…] about Of Bikes and Men
Dream – Commit – Implement
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