Urban Planning

Post image for Retracing a Lifetime of Urban Activism Through Jane Jacob’s Last Interview

“The kind of planning for a city that would really work would be a sort of informed, intelligent improvisation, which is what most of our planning in life is in any case,” said Jane Jacobs in a 1962 interview with Mademoiselle, conducted just after the 1961 publication of her influential The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

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Post image for Trying to Plan a Future Detroit Without Leaving the Past Behind

DETROIT — I didn’t know what to expect as I prepared for the first evening of Ideas City Detroit on April 25.

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Post image for A Portrait of a Chinese Ghost Town on the Verge of New Life

The district of Kangbashi in Inner Mongolia, China, is famous for its emptiness.

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Post image for Archaeologist Discovers Ancient Mayan City Built on a Grid

If you’ve ever found yourself lost in Manhattan, you know that city grids are a beautiful thing.

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Post image for Finding People in Los Angeles’s Urban Sprawl

The photographer Patrick Gookin recently explored the psychological ramifications of car culture in a series called LA by Car.

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Urban Solutions for the World in 2030

by Allison Meier on January 9, 2015

Post image for Urban Solutions for the World in 2030

Around the world people are rapidly moving to cities in an incredible manifestation of consolidated growth. The Museum of Modern Art’s Uneven Growth is the culmination of a 14-month initiative to address developing problems in six of those cities by involving the communities most impacted.

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Post image for Models of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Utopia Show the Architect as City Planner

Frank Lloyd Wright believed dense urban cities would never make it into the next century. He wrote that “the citizen of the near future preferring horizontality — the gift of his motorcar, and telephonic or telegraphic inventions — will turn and reject verticality as the body of any American city.”

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Post image for Remix the Urban Jungle in the Cloud

I suspect most of us take the designs of our cities and streets for granted, at least when they’re working the way we want them to. But planning a single street requires myriad decisions. A nifty new web app called Streetmix, made by the current fellows of Code for America, lets you think about and play around with all those choices.

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Post image for Urban Heroes of Istanbul: It’s About Public Space

ISTANBUL — Last Monday night, the word on Twitter was that the police tanks were coming back to the square from the southeast. Thousands rallied, adorned in their bike helmets, swimming goggles, and bright smiles underneath their gas masks.

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Post image for Imagining the Payphones of the Future

I suspect everyone who’s wandered around New York — or any major city, really — has had the experience of walking past a payphone and wondering about its fate. Public phones often strike me as the ultimate objects in transition, relics from a pre-digital age dotting the cityscape. It may be a coincidental sign of the times that the vendor contracts for New York City’s more than 11,000 (!) payphones will expire next year.

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