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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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Phoenix: A Downtown Desert

In daily life, the concept of “livability” is becoming very important to where we choose to put down our roots. This isn’t a new concept. For a long while, those with the privilege to make a distinct choice about where they want to live have made pros and cons lists for plenty of urban and […]

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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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Feeding the Sun Corridor: Exploring Arizona’s Zero Sum Game

Perceptions of Sustainability Sustainability is the paradigm of our age.i Architects, urban planners, real estate developers, technology companies, college campuses, food distributors, nearly everyone is doing it. Regrettably, conversation surrounding sustainability is commonly directed at one, shallow resolve: proclaiming whether something is or is not sustainable.  Use these biodegradable sponges, they’re sustainable! Don’t buy a […]

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Transit in the Desert: What Drives Ridership in Sprawling Phoenix?

Neither on-the-ground observation nor a basic data-driven analysis of high-transit use neighborhoods conclusively identify the factors driving transit use in Phoenix.  Sprawl is so dominant as a residential pattern, however, that planners must focus not only on building transit-friendly neighborhoods but also on providing alternative transportation options in the decidedly transit-“unfriendly” subdivisions that make up Arizona’s […]

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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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Enabling Communities to Build Their Own Plazas

  All over the country more and more cities are catching on to the idea that public space can be created quickly and cheaply; expensive master plans are becoming a thing of the past. Typically a community partner—a business improvement district or non-profit community organization—can apply through the municipality to transform an excessive roadway into […]

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Ameraissance of Transportation Finance

  “New York never stops. From morning-rush commuters to late-night club-goers, from school children on subways to seniors on buses, millions of people rely on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to get them through their daily lives. Without a robust and well-maintained network of railroads, subways, bus routes, bridges, and tunnels, New York as we […]

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JERUSALEM: Sanctity of Jerusalem in Christianity

This is the second installment of the history of Jerusalem, the first part; Sanctity of Jerusalem in Judaism was posted earlier. The story of Jerusalem is closely tied to the history of the three western religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Originally Jerusalem was a small Canaanite settlement brought out of obscurity to the world stage […]

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