There are only 100 days until the Rio 2012 Earth Summit, an event that happens but once every 10 years and which, this time around, will have a specific focus on cities. Why is no one paying attention?
“Creative placemaking” is the idea that investing heavily in the arts can help revive urban economies by making communities more vibrant. But for struggling cities, is funding arts programs really the best way to spur change?
Houston has started the 21st-century with a set of rankings and amenities 99% of the planet’s cities would kill for: a vibrant core with several hundred thousand jobs; a profitable and growing set of major industry clusters (Energy, the Texas Medical Center, the Port); the second-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the country; top-notch museums, festivals, theater, arts and cultural organizations; major league sports and stadiums; a revitalized downtown; astonishing affordability (especially housing); a culture of openness, friendliness, opportunity, and charity (reinforced by Katrina); the most diverse major city in America; a young and growing population (fastest in the country); progressiveness; entrepreneurial energy and optimism; efficient and business-friendly local government; regional unity; a smorgasbord of tasty and inexpensive international restaurants; and tremendous mobility infrastructure (including the freeway and transit networks, railroads, the port, and a set of truly world-class hub airports).
The viability of modern civilization depends on two important dimensions: 1) the continuous availability and deployment of essential resources and 2) the long-term productivity and habitability of our environment. Acquiring and deploying the necessary resources tends to be a short-term goal. We may have stockpiles of ready food, fuel and other nondurable goods, but they are not typically meant to last for years.
Our long-term goal ought to be maintaining the productivity and habitability of our environment. It is, after all, the only environment we have. But, of course, in the interest of maintaining an ever increasing availability of resources (economic growth), we have injured the long-term productivity of our farm fields, fisheries and forests and put ourselves at the mercy of unforeseen declines in the rate of extraction of energy and other key finite resources from the Earth. And, we threaten the planet's habitability for humans and many other creatures by causing rapid climate change through the burning of fossil fuels, changes in land use and the release of other potent greenhouses gases such a nitrous oxide and methane into the atmosphere.
The Parks and Recreation Department operates without a public master plan.
This is ironic given that DC is one of the nation’s first planned cities, with public use spaces included first in the L’Enfant Plan and then updated as part of the McMillan Commission Plan in the early 1900s
This amazing video takes only 38 seconds to tell a powerful story. This is how NASA’s website sets it up: “Las Vegas has undergone a massive growth spurt. This video shows the outward expansion of Las Vegas as a...
June Williamson, co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia, and landscape architect Anne Vaterlaus have designed a very appealing conceptual demonstration project in the LA suburb of Pico Rivera, on the edge of the San Gabriel Valley. The community is...
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