Cities are filled with spaces intended for the public -- but many of them are clearly owned and operated by the private sector. Though cities bend rules to get these spaces built, the public benefit is often outweighed by the cost. The challenge now is to make them better.
Green alley projects are popping up in cities all over the U.S. and Canada in an effort to make the concrete jungle a little better at absorbing rainwater. A new alley program in Los Angeles goes beyond the runoff to actively integrate these unique spaces into the urban fold.
Over the course of the year, the Planetizen staff editors review and post summaries of hundreds of articles, reports, books, studies, and editorials related to planning and urban development. Now, we take a look back at 2008 and the trends and issues that defined the year in urban planning.
It is a confusing time for cities and the people who work for them. On the one hand, the recent election showed a groundswell of support for new investment in infrastructure. At the same time, cities are facing mounting fiscal problems as the wave of the mortgage crisis hits home. How are cities making the tough decisions?
The balloons have fallen, and the yard signs have been yanked up. The people have chosen, and in a historic win, Senator Barack Obama will soon be our next president. Now the hopes and promises of the campaign must harden into reality. Editors Tim Halbur and Nate Berg summarize what we can expect from an Obama presidency in regards to urban issues.
In an effort to reduce traffic, citizens in Santa Monica, California have proposed a yearly cap on commercial development. Though many in the congested city are behind it, opponents say it's not an effective way to reduce traffic -- and that its passage could set a dangerous example.
Cars dominate cities, especially in America. But as many cities in other countries have found, removing cars can turn busy streets into lively public places. Now the U.S. is starting to catch on.
Some 'parkers' faced police harassment, but on the whole Park(ing) Day 2008 was sunny and positive, as Los Angelenos put their own stamp on the celebration. In this video slideshow, we take a tour of some of L.A.'s parking spot parks.
Human behavior and land use affect air quality, and those effects are very distinct at the local level. A new environmental game fusing public participation, air quality sensors and web technology shows how.
Planetizen talks with journalist and syndicated columnist Neal Peirce about the trends he's seen over the course of his career and the future of America's metropolitan regions.