Topic: Urban planning

In a Nutshell

Post World War 2 demographics, an abundance supply of cheap oil and massive expansion of debt in the past 60 years have transformed our cities from the traditional compact form into an expansive auto-dependent sprawl. Most if not all of these factors, upon which the auto-oriented development pattern is predicated, are either no longer valid or in the process of reversing.

Depending on how these factors reverse and interact with one another, the impact to cities and their residents can be smooth and indiscernible or abrupt and disorderly as a new paradigm asserts itself.


How Great Streets Revitalized Downtown Austin, Texas

Project Great Streets chronicles how the city of Austin, Texas, revitalized their once dying downtown by reclaiming its public realm for people and rebuilding its downtown grid as walkable and livable great streets.

April 7, 2017

How Much Are Drivers Willing to Pay to Save Travel Time?

Forget those hypothetical surveys. Nothing speaks louder than when one has to put money where the mouth is.

March 5, 2017

Vancouver’s Multi-Modal Success Story

Vancouver’s multi-modal success story – achieving a 50% sustainable mode share of bike, walk and transit, four years earlier than its goal – is demarcated by three seminal events in urban planning and spacing making.

December 6, 2016

Dealing with Auto Traffic Congestion

This Strong Town article draws an identical analogy between a natural watershed and our road system. The same principle of flood control applies to both.

November 18, 2015

The Myth of Users Pay Highways and Roads

The first and necessary step towards a rational re-thinking of our transportation priorities involves the dispelling of the long held and common myth that drivers pay for the full cost of the roads they drive on.

September 30, 2015

8 Essential Elements of an Attractive Urban Place

The lost art of urban design and the essential elements that make an urban place attractive, as ‘re-discovered’ in this dated video by a then pioneer of urban space design, are refreshingly and equally, if not even more so, applicable in today’s new towns and suburbs.

August 23, 2015

No Money Down – the Allure and Dangers Of Municipal Development Projects

Lured by no-money-down and an immediate boost in property tax revenue, a city often approves development projects which end up with negative returns down the road. This concept only becomes obvious after digging into the income and expenses over a lifecycle of a project.

May 25, 2015

Vision Zero 2.0 – the Streets of Stockholm

The capital of Sweden, which pioneered the concept of Vision Zero, an ambitious goal of having zero traffic fatalities, Stockholm has made much progress in transforming itself into a more walk-able and bike-able city with stimulating public places, as illustrated by this Streetfilms short film.

March 25, 2015

Vibrant Centers – The Changing Landscape of Office Space Preferences

Companies seeking young, educated Millenial talents are driving a growing demand for office space in compact, connected and mixed-used environments, resulting in an office rental renaissance in urban centers and presenting a unique opportunity to suburban town centers to play host to these companies.

February 24, 2015

Financial Productivity – How Urban Land Use Affects A City’s Wallet

See how a blighted and run-down block built in a traditional pattern compars against a shiny and new auto-oriented block built for a drive-through fast food chain restaurant when it comes to tax revenues to the city.

January 24, 2015