Plan It and They Will Build

Urban planners can take a page from the “Field of Dreams” movie’s playbook.  In the movie, Kevin Costner built a baseball diamond in a cornfield and his dreams came true.  Planners around the world are finding that this technique can work for reshaping cities, too. In the old days of “master planning” lots of night… Read More

Planning for Open Space in an Urbanizing World

Cities around the world are exploding with new inhabitants and newly built structures.  The world population is growing at about 750 million people per decade.  That is the equivalent of adding 88 new New York Citys in 10 years.  By far the fastest growth, 80% of the growth, is happening on the edges of current… Read More

Map of Recent Urbanization Change in Europe

This new map was created by Germany’s BBSR, the country’s Federal Institute for Research onBuilding, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development.  It is the first ever to collect data published by all of Europe’s municipalities. The BBSR collected data between 2001 and 2011. While that might sound slightly outdated, these are actually the most up-to-date figures Europe has… Read More

Needed: An “Academy Awards” for Cities

America needs a National Urban Policy Summit. Kevyn Orr is an inspiring fellow.  And, as the Emergency Manager for the City of Detroit, overseeing the city’s bankruptcy process, he knows a thing or two about cities.  In a recent forum at Harvard University, he suggested the country is way overdue for a close look at what… Read More

Creating a Facilities Maintenance Department: Arlington Case Study

In Spring 2015, Arlington’s legislative body voted to approve the establishment of a new department to oversee Facilities Maintenance.  Ruth Bennett, Architect, was hired in August, 2015 to head the new department.  The process of establishing the department was the result of recommendations from the Capital Planning Committee to the Board of Selectman who established… Read More

White House Announces $160MM “Smart Cities” Initiative

The Obama administration, in conjunction with the Smart Cities Council Annual Meeting, on Sept. 14, announced $160mm in federal research, grants and collaborations to help local communities manage major challenges using 21st century tools. As part of the initiative, the Administration is announcing: More than $35 million in new grants and over $10 million in proposed… Read More

Olympics 2024 – Proxy for a Real Boston Master Plan Process

Don’t pick the fruit until it’s ripe.  That was one of the more profound lessons learned from my favorite Capital Finance professor.  The people of Boston, contemplating a decision about whether or not the city should host the Olympics in 2024 would be wise to take this lesson to heart. The City of Boston, with… Read More