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NYTimes: The Death of the Fringe Suburb

NYTimes: The Death of the Fringe Suburb | Development geography | Scoop.it
As demand for housing in walkable neighborhoods rises, we should be investing in carless transit options.

 

Here is an excellent article that ties the economic mortgage crisis with the urban geography of the United States.  This is a good piece to challenge students to think about how the organization of cities matter. 


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How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live

How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live | Development geography | Scoop.it
The rapid increase in the number of cities home to more than 10 million people will bring huge challenges … and opportunities... 

 

It's not just that more people now live in cities than in the rural countryside (for the first time in human history).  It's not just that major cities are growing increasingly more important to the global economy.  The rise of the megacities (cities over 10 million inhabitants) is a startling new phenomenon that really is something we've only seen in the last 50 years or so with the expectation that the number of megacities will double in the next 10 to 20 years (currently there are 23).  This reorganization of population entails wholesale restructuring of the economic, environmental, cultural and political networks.  The urban challenges that we face today are only going to become increasingly important in the future.        

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 30, 2013 7:40 AM

 It's not just that more people now live in cities than in the rural countryside (for the first time in human history).  It's not just that major cities are growing increasingly more important to the global economy.  The rise of the megacities (cities over 10 million inhabitants) is a startling new phenomenon that really is something we've only seen in the last 50 years or so with the expectation that the number of megacities will double in the next 10 to 20 years (currently there are 23).  This reorganization of population entails wholesale restructuring of the economic, environmental, cultural and political networks.  The urban challenges that we face today are only going to become increasingly important in the future.       

Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:26 AM

It is a good thing that there is more megacities being created because you can see more people move in which will help the city function better economics wise. When it comes down to the population that is a different story because there is more people to worry and deal with. The increase of people could go both ways because it can be good but at the same time it can go bad because people will start arguing in which it can get physical which means city ratings going down.

Bec Seeto's curator insight, October 30, 5:58 PM

Great info graphic on mega cities. 

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Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs?

Are We Now in the Twilight of the Exurbs? | Development geography | Scoop.it
HometownAnnapolis.com - A Web site for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. Powered by Capital Gazette Communications and The Capital Newspaper.

 

This short article discusses the demographic shift in urban areas since the collapse of the housing bubble (explicitly referencing Burgess' Concentric Zone Model!).  With higher gas prices discouraging long commutes, is the era of sprawl over?  Some feel that suburban housing prices aren't in momentary decline, but that this represents a new normal as we reconceptualize the city and urban land values.  For more on the decline of the Exurbs, see: http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2012/04/05/growth-exurbs-falls-historic-low/WEsMHqBISD1n60T7WCJdTO/story.html ;     


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Radiant City

Radiant City | Development geography | Scoop.it
In this feature length film Gary Burns, Canada's king of surreal comedy, joins journalist Jim Brown on an outing to the suburbs.

 

This 2006 documentary is a critical look at suburbia that has comments from suburbanites interspersed with planners, real estate agents, experts and urban academics. 


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Chris St. Clair's comment, April 27, 2012 2:03 PM
I've showed this movie once in a while during the Urban unit and the kids enjoy it. "Edutainment"
Seth Dixon's comment, April 27, 2012 7:09 PM
It seems a mixture of vignettes, with some academic founding mixed in. Warning: There was one F-bomb in the movie.
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Downtowns: How Did We Get Here?

Kennedy Smith is considered one of the nation's leading experts on downtowns, downtown economics, independent business development and the economic impact of urban sprawl, with a long career in downtown revitalization.

 

This video discusses the decline of the American Central Business District, the rise of shopping malls, the importance of the automobile and spatial organization of particular economic sectors.

 

Parts Two  http://vimeo.com/37041011 ; and Three  http://vimeo.com/37050944 ; continue the discussion with an emphasis on practical urban planning policies for small cities to revitalize the downtown region with some domestic and foreign examples. 


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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:38 AM

I have wondered about that where these downtowns came from. I have thought of it because I am very curious to learn about downtown providence and how it became a downtown. Where did the word downtown come from? It is amazing how things are being called in this world.

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Making Cities Sing

Making Cities Sing | Development geography | Scoop.it
In urban centers around the country, local governments are looking to attract emerging industries and the next generation of entrepreneurs.

 

This video shows a panel of urbanists presenting at the Aspen Ideas Festival.  The panelists specialize in revitalizing cities and creating economically and culturally vibrant urban centers.  They focus not on public policy, but rather finding ways to implement the locally produced ideas of people from the neighborhood with an intimate knowledge of the community as well as a vested in strengthening the local networks.  They also highlight the arts, sense of place and the culture of a neighborhood as key components create attractive cities.

 

More videos from the Apsen Ideas Festival on urbanism, see: http://www.aspenideas.org/session/advice-megacity


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Streetcar Plans Plow Ahead

Streetcar Plans Plow Ahead | Development geography | Scoop.it
Cities from Los Angeles to Atlanta are making big bets to revitalize their downtowns by bringing back a form of transportation many abandoned decades ago: the streetcar.

 

The streetcar was a staple in urban development projects generations ago and was subsequently abandoned.  Many mid-sized cities today (and a few large ones) are returning to that 'outdated' mode of transportation and hoping that streetcar stops will encourage businesses to open shop in those neighborhoods. 


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Urbanizing the Suburban Street

Urbanizing the Suburban Street | Development geography | Scoop.it
A community tries some relatively pain-free fixes to make its streets greener and more walkable...

 

One of the most challenging aspects of suburbs, and of the prescriptions for improving them, is the character of their roadways. Most of us take the poor design of our streets – the most visible part of most suburban communities, if you think about it – so much for granted that it never occurs to us that they actually could be made better for the community and for the environment.

Consider, for example, main "arterial" streets so wide that pedestrians can’t cross them, even if there is a reason to; little if any greenery to absorb water, heat, or provide a calming influence; or residential streets with no sidewalks.

This is where Montgomery County’s new street-scape initiative comes in. It has done some things right, including the preservation of much of its farmland – in part by channeling growth into the central districts of Bethesda and Silver Spring, both served by D.C.’s rail transit system, and more recently by encouraging walkable redevelopment along the notoriously sprawled-out Rockville Pike corridor.


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Urbanology

Urbanology | Development geography | Scoop.it

"What would your future city look like? Find out now by playing Urbanology online.  Urbanology is a game that examines the complex ways in which cities develop."  This is a great teaching tool since you are asked 10 questions that city planners need to answer that will shape the cultural and economic patterns of the city.  For example, would you remove an automobile lane to put in a bike lane or expand the sidewalk?   Based on your answers, it will tell you what city is most similar to the one you envision and what is your highest (and lowest) priority in laying out the city.  


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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 29, 2012 5:23 PM
It seems Berlin is the ideal city for me since I have a high priority for innovation. How does a specialized city affect it longevity? Is it difficult to redesign, thus serving as a deterrent to innovation? Once you specialize, design and develop it for a certain purpose don’t you also make it venerable to change? (I’m thinking about Detroit)
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California Declares War on Suburbia

California Declares War on Suburbia | Development geography | Scoop.it
In The Wall Street Journal, Wendell Cox writes that government planners intend to herd millions of new state residents into densely packed urban corridors. It won't save the planet but will make traffic even worse.

 

This is a article/video against many of the regulations that embody the 'Smart Growth' movement that would serve as a good ideological counterweight to many of the other sources that are available.  Would more dense neighborhoods create transit problems?


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Sustainable Urbanism

http://www.ted.com Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see whats po...

 

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  To see an trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil, see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swQTTG3NcYY


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 8:02 AM

Jaime Lerner does not see cities as the problem; he sees urbanism as the solution to many global problems.  This video outlines practical plans to rethink the city to be more sustainable.  Click here to see the trailer for a documentary about the urban changes in Curitiba, Brazil. 

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 11:47 AM

This video is enlightening.  The speaker uses the city as a model for fixing problems in the world.  Instead of seeing the city as an enemy to environmentalism, he purposes changing the cities and reworking old sites like quarries into something that is useable today.  He also advocates the integration of the transportation systems to make commuting more feasible as well as less pollution generating. 

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Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality

Urban Trees Reveal Income Inequality | Development geography | Scoop.it
Wealthy cities seem to have it all. Expansive, well-manicured parks. Fine dining. Renowned orchestras and theaters. More trees. Wait, trees?

 

I certainly wouldn't argue that trees create economic inequality, but there appears to be a strong correlation in between high income neighborhoods and large mature trees in cities throughout the world (for a scholarly reference from the Journal, Landscape and Urban Planning, see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204607002174 ). Why is there such a connection? In terms of landscape analysis, what does this say about those who have created these environments? Why do societies value trees in cities? How does the presence of trees change the sense of place of a particular neighborhood? For more Google images that show the correlation between income and trees (and to share your own), see: http://persquaremile.com/2012/05/24/income-inequality-seen-from-space/


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Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 10:00 AM
this short article explains the evidence supporting tree to rich cities ratio. it goes to show that if I'm going to pay big bucks for location I would want the scenery to be beautiful hands down. they mention the per capita increase to tree ratio and how its only a dollar that influences such a high quantity of trees in city. bottom line is that it makes sense for the more trees in wealthier neighborhoods of the city because when your in the heart of the city you tend to see quantity of quality of homes and being jammed packed into small square footage doesn't leave much room for nature. but go just outside the city where the real estate is high and more spacious and you will find more trees the further and further from the center.
megan b clement's comment, December 16, 2013 1:04 AM
Like a previous article it explains how if viewing a neighborhood with lush grass and huge yards with landscaped grounds it is associated with big money. People pay top dollar for houses that have huge back yards and privacy of trees. You would not see yards like this is the city though so these neighborhoods on the outskirts of the citylines.
Shaun Scallan's curator insight, January 27, 11:48 PM

Interesting the value, in the broadest sense, that trees can bring in an urban setting

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Walk Appeal

Walk Appeal | Development geography | Scoop.it
Walk Appeal promises to be a major new tool for understanding and building walkable places, and it explains several things that were heretofore either contradictory or mysterious.

 

What is a reasonable distance to walk around town?  Research shows that cities with improved sidewalks, less parking lots, attractive storefronts and other amenities that encourage walking.  If  walking the urban environment is and of itself an experience worth having and makes the person feel like a flâneur, experiencing the city on a deeper level, automotive transport goes down and walking goes up.  Urban infrastructure is more important for most people than distance in deciding whether to get in the car or walk down the street (for distances under 2 miles).   Bottom line: neighborhoods that have an appealing sense of place are more walkable.


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