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Should the internet be a public utility?

About two months ago, I received a letter from my internet service provider, Optimum Online, stating that my monthly bill was about to increase again, to nearly $60 per month. This price has been rising steadily from $30 about two years ago. Optimum’s service hadn’t improved, increased in speed, nor had the number of internet […]

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Counting the Carbon Foot Prints and Changing Our Behavior!

In a recent discussion with a planner the question of over-consumption came up and how it impacts the health of our planet.  It is understood that we consume more raw materials than a sustainable eco-system can provide for.  In 2007 our (global) Ecological Foot Print was  1.5 planet earth, i.e. we consumed earth’s resources 1.5 times faster than the earth […]

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What if Steve Jobs was a housing developer?

A recent Urban Land Institute (ULI) conference posited a question to a panel of developers: “What if Steve Jobs had been a residential developer?” This question attempts to get to the root of disruptive technologies which could be applied to the housing industry, a business sector which has remained relatively unchanged since the mid-20th century […]

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Designer-for-hire: can free-trade agreements make cities better?

“Services generate about 70% of rich-world GDP” says a recent Economist article, which highlighted the drafting of a new regional trade agreement between Canada and Europe. While this trade treaty, called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), includes many of your boring, old-school tariff and farming talk, it more importantly looks to liberalize the […]

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The ‘Smart City’ Movement

The introduction of new technologies into City Planning has allowed for better, faster, and more efficient public service delivery. This technology has so-changed how we manage and plan cities, we may be entering a new phase of urbanism: the Smart City Movement.   Two private companies leading the expansion of smart tech into our urban […]

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Sim City through the eyes of a city planner

Ever since the first iteration of the computer game, Sim City has been associated with urban planning, or more precisely, city building. The series’ wide reach make it one of the most successful simulation games of all time. And you know that a city building game has firmly placed itself in popular culture when even Stephen Colbert jokes about […]

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Google’s Public Data Directory

Want to lose a couple of hours of your life playing with data visualizations? Then continue reading. I was recently snooping around for US Highway Statistics (yup, that’s what I do for fun) and came across the Federal Highway Administration’s statistics series web page. Falling deeper through the internet rabbit-hole, I found their Public Data […]

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When Planners Take Vacation Pictures

On a recent trip to Germany, I took exactly ONE picture, and it wasn’t of the Brandenburg Gate or the picturesque Rhine Valley but – of an electric car charging station. Mind you, this picture was not taken in any of the major cities but in a mid-sized town of about 250,000 people, in a […]

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Science On The Go: the Think Tank

New Yorkers love their mobile food carts. The ability to grab gourmet food on the street on the run is kind of a cool thing. But the next big mobile retail outlet isn’t gourmand fig and duck on a stick, rather it’s science. SCIENCE! Enter the Think Tank: a mobile cognitive science lab and education […]

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Wrapup Friday – May 31st

This one goes out to all my nerdz… Unless you have been living in mud shelter in southern California with George and Oscar Bluth (a Season 4 reference for non-Netflix users), then you must have heard about the latest Google Street View-related game GeoGuesser.  GeoGuesser drops you into the middle of nowhere (or somewhere) and you […]

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