Commentaries


Next American City
February 14, 2008
Public participation turned ugly last week in suburban Missouri, where a man burst into a city council meeting and shot and killed two police officers and three city councilors.
Planetizen
January 18, 2008
The other day, half a million plastic balls bounced down the Spanish Steps, one of Rome's most visited and historic public places. Many visitors, picture-takers and members of the media were caused to wonder 'what's up with all these balls?
Planetizen
November 27, 2007
A bit of bizarre news caught my attention recently and it got me thinking. It was about these roads in Japan that had been designed to play music as cars drive over them. The engineers behind this idea cut thousands of grooves into the roadway, separated them by certain specific intervals, and then drove their cars. What resulted is a weird humming melody that reverberates in the cars as they drive. The video linked below showing the roads and their songs is awesome, but so much more could be done.
Planetizen
November 6, 2007
The strike has begun! Negotiations have broken down between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, forcing Hollywood's TV and movie writers into a strike. What, you may be asking yourself, does this have to do with planning? Well, to put it bluntly, this strike is arguably the most important opportunity in American history for the widespread development of infrastructure and public works projects.
Planetizen
October 22, 2007
Most people don't know anything about planning. Sure, they may understand the general gist of it, but many planning concepts just haven't yet made it into the public consciousness. In an effort to accelerate the education of the public, here's an easy-to-use pictorial guide that relates some of those not-so-familiar planning concepts to something we're all familiar with: food.
Planetizen
August 9, 2007
The August 1 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis has briefly reminded municipalities across the continent that they, too, have crumbling infrastructure. Local officials have reacted to this tragic current event by reassuring their respective constituencies that they will do whatever they can to make sure their bridges are safe. But if that bridge in Minneapolis hadn't collapsed, would America's formerly-unconsidered bridges be getting all of this attention?
Planetizen
July 12, 2007
In the Chicago suburb of Berwyn, Illinois, an iconic piece of public art featuring a 40-foot spear stabbing through a pileup of eight cars will soon be replaced with a Walgreens pharmacy.
Planetizen
June 11, 2007
It is now about 22 months since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. I was recently in New Orleans for the first time and had plenty to see. The city is still very much in a state of devastation. But there has also been a lot of progress.
Planetizen
April 13, 2007
This message is brought to you by the frustrated residents of a city where strip malls prosper and the stock of affordable housing struggles to keep up with demand.
Planetizen
March 20, 2007
What better way to envision the future of a city than with a cartoon? None, I say!