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Latest Articles in Urban Planning

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Urban writer and author Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs Video

I was so pleased to come across this video recently on the website Grist—a nearly ten-minute film about creating healthy neighborhoods, narrated by the late, great urban writer and activist Jane Jacobs and produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I've read Jacobs before (she is best known for her classic tome The Death and Life of Great American Cities) but I've never heard her speak. Here, in her later years, she endearingly discusses the impact on automobiles on neighborhoods and our health; how to create dignified places where people will be proud to live (and how to do it affordably); and why cities should provide places for skateboarders "to do their weird skateboarding thing."
April 30, 2012
KAC SporanoMooney sky

Kimball Art Center Finalists

Last week I was in Park City, Utah, home of the Kimball Art Center. Founded in 1976, and housed in what was once the Kimball Bros. auto garage, the Kimball is a living museum offering the people of this sleepy ski town (unless you show up for the Sundance Film Festival) gallery space, classes, education, and community engagement. And it's about to nearly triple in size thanks to its Transformation Project. Five architecture firms out of a shortlist of some 200 have been selected by the Kimball to design the extension it hopes to open by 2015. Check out the slideshow to see which designs have made the cut and to learn more about how this particular architecture competition works.
January 25, 2012
ff aaron 010612

Friday Finds 01.06.12

We're back this New Year with the first Friday Finds of 2012. Scroll down to find out more on New York's lost subway stations, Dutch designer Thomas Eyck, an art installation made up of thousands of stickers, and a clip from one of our favorite IFC shows.
January 6, 2012
Ganzenhoef1 path in Geldershoofd, Amsterdam

Walk This Way

No path? No problem. The desire lines in this Dutch photo essay prove that people are quite comfortable going their own way.
November 14, 2011
Touring Basel Switzerland part 2

Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 2

Last month I traveled to Basel, Switzerland, a European city first founded during the Roman Empire and still boasting beautiful buildings constructed more than 1,000 years agos. In Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 1, I explored the city's historic downtown, which is a mix of neo-Gothic cathedrals, knit graffiti, ancient bridges, and Richard Serra sculptures. In Part 2, we share the fun to be had in and around the Rhine and travel outside the city to the Vitra campus and the Laufen bathrooms factory.
October 12, 2011
Touring Basel Switzerland part 1

Touring Basel, Switzerland, Part 1

At the end of September, I hopped across the pond to visit Basel, Switzerland, and the nearby Laufen bathrooms factory and showroom. Basel is bisected by the Rhine and sits just south of the intersection of Switzerland, France, and Germany. In the ancient city, first settled during the days of the Roman Empire, you find a mix of soaring neo-Gothic cathedrals, Serra sculptures, knit graffiti, and more.
October 10, 2011
Amirah Shahid biking Cycle China

Cycle China: Week 5

In this special five-part series, we're riding along with SWA Group landscape designer Amirah Shahid as she cycles nearly 800 miles from Beijing to Shanghai (find the previous posts here). Join us as she tells about her journey and files exclusive photos from the road in an attempt to better understand China's urban and rural biking culture. Week Five: Back in the USA...   After three weeks of cycling from Beijing to Shanghai, landscape designer Amirah Shahid is back on U.S. soil. She traveled on dirt roads and newly paved national highways, around cows and drying bark on the road, on a ferry to cross the Yangtze River, and more. We caught up with Shahid over a cup of coffee, her first in weeks, to recount the 800-mile journey.
October 5, 2011
Cycle China Week 4

Cycle China: Week 4

In this special five-part series, we're riding along with SWA Group landscape designer Amirah Shahid as she cycles nearly 800 miles from Beijing to Shanghai (find the previous posts here). Join us as she tells about her journey and files exclusive photos from the road in an attempt to better understand China's urban and rural biking culture. Week Three: Arriving in Shanghai...   Landscape designer Amirah Shahid has dodged cows and poplar bark drying along roadsides on her nearly 800-mile cycling journey from Beijing to Shanghai. In this update, she makes it to her final destination—but not without a ferry trip to cross the Yangtze River (where bikes are not allowed on the bridge)—and contends with smog and rain along the way. Her SWA Group colleagues from the Shanghai office, however, were ready to toast her success upon arrival with glasses held high at an Oktoberfest Festival organized by a local Chinese development group. Read on!
September 29, 2011
Cycle China Week 3

Cycle China: Week 3

In this special five-part series, we're riding along with SWA Group landscape designer Amirah Shahid as she cycles nearly 800 miles from Beijing to Shanghai (find the previous posts here). Join us as she tells about her journey and files exclusive photos from the road in an attempt to better understand China's urban and rural biking culture. Week Three: Halfway there...   Amirah Shahid checks in from the road with images of the Confucius temple in Qufu, the Grand Canal (the world's largest man-made waterway), and Huian, where she witnessed indiviuals launching lanterns into the sky to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival.
September 22, 2011
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