-- "The big story of the year could well turn out to be the big story of the first half of this century, says Armando Carbonell, chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form: the expected increase in global urban population by about 2.5 billion. Citing the work of former visiting fellow Shlomo “Solly” Angel (Planet of Cities, Atlas of Urban Expansion), The Economist notes how "cities are bound to grow, but they need planning to be liveable." As an alternative to creating new slums, this means anticipating growth and providing infrastructure and serviced land in the right locations, with good access to jobs." The article goes on to lament the challenges of affordable housing and chronic homelessness in the U.S.
Embroiled in a controversy surrounding the future of an 11.01-acre parcel of land tucked off Frederick Road in Catonsville, the nonprofit land trust NeighborSpace of Baltimore County recently became the steward of a 6.75-acre tract of land in the nearby Dunmore community.
"I tried to show myself as an anthropologist from a different solar system. What kind of new world was being built here?"
"A new world was being born," he said in a 1998 episode of Contacts. "It was simply a new, homogenized American environment that was marching across the land and being exported... And no one wanted to confront this."
The 320-foot-tall blast furnace that once drove the steel-making operation at Sparrows Point will come crumbling down in dramatic fashion next month, the new owners announced Monday.
"Sparrows Point Terminal, which is financially backed by local firm Redwood Capital Investments, has outlined plans to redevelop the site with manufacturing, logistics and port operations. The proposal has the blessing of Baltimore County officials, and in September the company signed a pact with state and federal environmental agencies for a $48 million cleanup on the site."
"Materials such as grass, leaves, and small brush are collected and taken to the Eastern Sanitary Landfill Solid Waste Management Facility (ESL) in White Marsh for composting. The goal of this program is to reduce the amount of organic matter that is being landfilled. In 2013 approximately 11,000 tons of yard materials from the County’s Yard Materials Recycling Collection Program were processed into compost."
"Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife" by John Marzluff ; Yale University Press (303 pages, $30)
"...the greatest bird diversity occurred not downtown, or even in forest reserves, but in outlying suburban neighborhoods "the jumbled collection of houses, allotments and gardens, derelict and vacant land, golf courses and other recreational sites, and by the cemeteries, schoolyards, highway and railway verges, business parks and shopping centres, situated amid the greenways that comprise suburbia..."
Looking at buildings designed for contemplation—like museums, churches, and libraries—may have positive, measurable effects on your mental state.
"The provisional conclusions of the study are that the brain behaves differently when exposed to contemplative and non-contemplative buildings, contemplative states elicited through “architectural aesthetics” are similar to the contemplation of traditional meditation in some ways, and different in other ways, and, finally, that “architectural design matters.”"
Sales of distressed properties in the Baltimore region continued to distort the area's real estate market in October, inflating overall sales but acting as a drag on home prices, according to the monthly report from the regional multiple listing service.
"the picture of Baltimore City and five surrounding counties appeared darker than it is because of the flat median sales prices due to distressed property sales."
Mandy Stepp helped get a neighborhood park in Ridgely Manor — and started a community association in the process.
Ground was broken in August, ending five years of community frustration over flooding and contamination from a nearby Hess gas station. Residents in the neighborhood of 200 brick duplexes sued Hess Corp., and Marks got involved. Hess settled the lawsuit, purchased and tore down 16 houses on the site, and built the 2-acre park in conjunction with NeighborSpace of Baltimore County and the Ridgely Manor Community Association, which formed in 2012, with Stepp as its president, soon after the lawsuit was settled.
"It feels good" to win a Citizen of the Year award, Stepp said, adding that the park has brought together many neighbors who didn't know one another. "It's nice to have recognition."
There are myriad issues that government agencies, NGOs, and philanthropic organizations must address in their efforts to strengthen communities—economic growth, environmental degradation, affordability, social isolation, access to affordable food and services, freedom of self-expression, to name only a few. Rather than tackling each of these issues separately, more and more groups are aligning around Placemaking as a strategy that not only addresses these disparate agendas, but also shines a light on the critical ways in which they intersect. Quickly catching on to this trend, organizations are beginning to fund multiple Placemaking projects and programs.
There are myriad issues that government agencies, NGOs, and philanthropic organizations must address in their efforts to strengthen communities—economic growth, environmental degradation, affordability, social isolation, access to affordable food and services, freedom of self-expression, to name only a few. Rather than tackling each of these issues separately, more and more groups are aligning around Placemaking as a strategy that not only addresses these disparate agendas, but also shines a light on the critical ways in which they intersect.Quickly catching on to this trend, organizations are beginning to fund multiple Placemaking projects and programs.
Towson Mews, a proposed development of 35 townhouses with two-car garages on 1.2 acres in East Towson, received a chilly reception at a community input meeting Monday night.
"A crowd of about 50 people at the East Towson Carver Community Center peppered project officials with questions about the size of the project and the potential influx of new neighbors, cars and traffic."
Getting the 22 municipalities involved to agree was not easy, but the outcome is revolutionary.
"It won’t surprise anyone to hear that Copenhagen, world famous for its bicycling culture, is up to something big with bikes. What’s less well known is how Copenhagen’s latest innovation happened. It’s a remarkable story of regional cooperation, forged by one big city and 21 of its smaller suburban neighbors, who came together around a common vision for moving commuters from using their cars to riding their bicycles."
"The last half-century of urban growth has provided a cautionary tale about the seduction of sprawl—a path of least resistance that generates quick profits but unsustainable development. Our ability to manage our ecological footprint and minimize our global impact will be tied inextricably to our ability to plan and construct more dense and efficient human settlements."
The rise of Downtown Summerlin forces a local architect to rethink just what “downtown” means—and how new definitions might change the face of the Valley
"... it’s reasonable to ask whether there can even be legitimate edge cities or “second cities” in the Valley. I believe the “edge city” would be not only possible here, but valuable. It’s become fashionable to dismiss the edge as, at best, a necessary evil for a housing-hungry population—an ecologically and culturally unhealthy blemish on the city. But while we can make it a priority to better manage future growth, today’s suburbs are not going away. - See more at: http://vegasseven.com/2014/11/19/downtown-summerlin-can-the-urban-dream-work-in-the-suburbs/#sthash.3MKXRna2.dpuf
Democratically controlled community land trusts remain the best way forward in today’s context, when government is reluctant to either finance public housing or dramatically expand rent regulations.” But perhaps cities should be looking for the right mixture of inclusionary zoning and community land trusts. Community land trusts (CLTs) are locally based non-profit corporations that acquire properties in their home territory through private donation or the use of government subsidies.