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Rescooped by François Lanthier from Geography Education!

Explore old maps of US cities

Explore old maps of US cities | Fransoix's Musings - Les intérêts de Fransoix |

"This cool new historic mapping app from the folks at esri and the U.S. Geological Survey is worth exploring.  What it does is take 100 years of USGS maps and lets you overlay them for just about any location in the nation. That allows users to see how a city – say Harrisburg – developed between 1895 and today.  The library behind the project includes more than 178,000 maps dating from 1884 to 2006."

Via Seth Dixon
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 13, 2014 12:25 PM

For more ESRI maps that let you explore urban environmental change, the 'spyglass' feature gives these gorgeous vintage maps a modern facelift (but not available for as many places). The cities that are in this set of interactive maps are: 


Chicago (1868)Denver (1879) Los Angeles (1880)Washington D.C.(1851)New York City (1836)San Francisco (1859)
Hongsheng Li's curator insight, August 14, 2014 12:40 AM
Keegan Johns's curator insight, September 10, 2014 9:21 AM

This sounds like it would be really cool. I'm interested in being able to see how cities and roads have developed over  time. You can look at places where people might have migrated across the land. It amazes me that they have 178,000 old maps included in their library from 1884 to 2006..  

Rescooped by François Lanthier from green streets!

Sprouting Eco-Cities: Sustainability Trend-Setters Or Gated Communities?

Sprouting Eco-Cities: Sustainability Trend-Setters Or Gated Communities? | Fransoix's Musings - Les intérêts de Fransoix |

Not only are many cities bursting at the seams from urban overcrowding; they are also increasingly starting to bear the strains of climate change.

Although there are numerous solutions to either challenge, the building up of new "eco-cities" tries to kill the two birds with one stone. But what is the role of these master-planned communities in our sustainable futures?

The concept of an isolated, ecologically minded community is by no means a new one. The forward-thinking Buckminster Fuller was talking about "domed communities" in the 1960s, and in 1975 writer Ernest Callenbach published his novel Ecotopia, greatly influencing the green movements that would quickly follow.

While smaller versions may have grown more organically, contemporary Eco-Cities are often top-down master plans designed by big-name firms. Since many of these Eco-Cities are still under development, we can only speculate about their future performance and whether they will be flexible enough to function as a "real city."

Visit the link to read the complete article.

Via Lauren Moss
Norm Miller's curator insight, August 12, 2013 1:43 PM

This article raises a good question.  It makes more sense to retrofit existing buildings so why not existing cities?

Rescooped by François Lanthier from green streets!

Sky-high horticulture: Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan

Sky-high horticulture:  Shenzhen's 'farmscraper' plan | Fransoix's Musings - Les intérêts de Fransoix |

Conceived in response to a densely populated Chinese city's unchecked growth, Asian Cairns is an ambitious take on vertical farming.


A Belgian architect recently unveiled the 79-acre masterplan for Asian Cairns, a dizzying new vision of urban vertical farming in China. Consisting of a sextet of “sustainable monoliths for rural urbanity” — stacked, pebble-esque, steel-ringed transparent pods that are powered by both vertical wind turbines and photovoltaics — Vincent Callebaut Architects’ Asian Cairns is planned for the rapidly swelling, skyscraper-heavy port city of Shenzhen in the southern province of Guangdong north of Hong Kong.Beyond agricultural concerns, Asian Cairns is envisioned as a mixed-use development that also incorporates residential, retail, and recreational areas. Imagined as being completely emissions-free and producing more energy than they consume, the Cairns were conceived in direct response to Shenzhen’s unchecked urban development and the population growth and increased pollution levels that have accompanied it...
Via Lauren Moss
Duane Craig's curator insight, March 15, 2013 12:00 PM

Really cool, but I bet it will be a real challenge and expense to build it. Look at all the curved glass.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, March 19, 2013 1:08 PM

TY Lauren Moss...

Rescooped by François Lanthier from Geography Education!

Transportation and Planning

"When you combine a street and a road, you get a STROAD, one of the most dangerous and unproductive human environments. To get more for our transportation dollar, America needs an active policy of converting STROADs to productive streets or high capacity roadways."

Via Seth Dixon
François Lanthier's insight:

The Stroad - an unfortunate phenomenon... NYC is taking action to minimize its' STROADS... more cities should do the same.

Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 8, 2014 2:52 PM

In this video, a road provides high connectivity between places, and a street is a diverse platform of social interactions that create a place.  A 'stroad' can be likened unto a spork--it tries to do it everything but does nothing especially well.  While you may debate the principle being shown, this video (found on Atlantic Cities) is a good way to show the spatial thinking that city planners need to utilize to improve the urban environment. 

Tagstransportation, urban, planning.

Marcelle Searles's curator insight, January 25, 2014 5:03 AM

the danger of stroads

Rescooped by François Lanthier from green streets!

6 Examples of Urban Gardens, from Paris to Mexico City

6 Examples of Urban Gardens, from Paris to Mexico City | Fransoix's Musings - Les intérêts de Fransoix |

In honor of the opening of a new garden in Paris, Reuters has pulled together a list of some of their favorite green spaces.

Here are a couple favorites...

Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by François Lanthier from green streets!

Anatomy of a Smart City

Anatomy of a Smart City | Fransoix's Musings - Les intérêts de Fransoix |

The 19th century was a century of empires, 20th century was a century of nation states and the 21st century will be a century of cities...


This outstanding infographic (courtesy of begins with some information about our current state of urbanization.


Did you know that 1.3 million people are moving to cities each week?! It then explains the need for smart cities and delves into what is required to establish these intelligent connected environments, how the smart city may take various forms in the developing worlds and what specific technologies are necessary to achieve such grand goals in practice.

Via Lauren Moss
Eli Levine's curator insight, December 18, 2014 10:45 AM

There is an evolution taking place where politics, policy, technology, the environment, and the economy all intersect. This movement towards technical, empirically driven local policy making could be our saving grace.This could be the future of government.

Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, December 19, 2014 2:10 AM

A stunning infographic which predicts how urban living will change in this century.  Our age is truly becoming "a century of smart cities."  Exciting times lie ahead.  Aloha, Russ.

Paul Aneja - eTrends's curator insight, December 22, 2014 6:51 PM

What do you think makes a smarter city?