Tag Archives: design

Filling the Void

From the Independent Subway to the Freedom Tower, Americans rightly love their independence and freedom. But our affinity for liberty can be bad for urban planning, because it can hinder collaboration, coordination, and compromise. State’s rights and municipal police powers combine to make regional planning particular difficult in the United States. In the New York region, three states (governed […]

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Keep New York On Track, Off the Tracks

. New York City’s subway network was designed for speed. It was purposefully built near the surface, along major transportation corridors, not only in order to lower costs, but in order to ease congestion on the street, and allow for quick access to stations. Unlike newer sections of the subway, dug deep underground in order […]

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Grow Up, Boston

Boston is facing an identity crisis, and it needs to grow up – literally. Is it a global city, with ample night life opportunities, or a New England town, shutting down with the MBTA before midnight? In many respects, Boston’s identity is based upon its backbone – its outdated, stressed transportation infrastructure. Relatively unique to […]

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Connect

It’s winter again in Boston. Anyone who was there last year during February and March knows what that means. The ability to move about the city could come to a screeching halt in the blink of an eye. . The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, or the “T”) completely shut down last winter after repeated large winter storms, […]

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Bridge the Gap

. New York City, arguably the world’s premier global city, is the largest in the richest country in the world. The metropolitan region hosts 23+ million people, more than the population of Australia, and New York’s population continues to rise. The MTA network spans 5,000 miles, with more than 2,000 miles of track—enough to stretch from New […]

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A Riel (Estate) Plan for NYC

Riel, 2015 Born and bred in Brooklyn, I firmly believe that the New York region remains the cultural capital of the world. With more people in the metropolitan area than in the entire continent of Australia, New York continues to harbor diverse and creative opportunities due to its inherent dynamism and density, catalyzed by the […]

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International Urban Development and Transportation

T.O.D. should not only be about transit-oriented development, but about transit-owned development. When I was a child, I was the first in my classroom to notice that the World Trade Center (Tower 1) had been struck, and I later helped to close our windows, watching as it collapsed. The World Trade Center was a transit-owned, transit-oriented development, […]

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Extensions & Expansions

As local lore has it, when a relative asked Charles Tufts what he would do with his land, and more specifically with “that bleak hill over in Medford,” Tufts replied, “I will put a light on it.” The Universalist Church founded Tufts University in the 1840s with a gift of 20 acres of land from Boston […]

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Engaging the Community by Giving EVERYONE A Voice

People too often feel unworthy and powerless in the process of neighborhood change. Why? Because planners leave the community outreach until the end, after the plans have already been agreed upon. Traditional community workshops leave the community on their heels; it’s a reactionary process that often leads to disagreement and NIMBY (Not In My Back […]

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Art and Healing

I recently spent a week at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to be with my brother who was having a surgery. I was restless and had plenty of time at hand to walk the many corridors connecting the hospitals’ wings. Luckily, the Mayo Clinic has an amazing collection of artwork, thoughtfully curated and displayed […]

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