Tag Archives: urban


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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19th Ave, lined with condos on both sides

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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New York City Seal

Ten Arcane Facts About New York City

1,     Beavers on New York City Seal:   New York City seal has two beavers between the arms of a windmill denoting that the city was founded by Dutch fur traders. The date on the city seal had been 1664 when Dutch surrendered the city to British. In 1974 the City Council decided to change the […]

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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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European Editor Ron Woudstra

Introducing Ron Woudstra, New European Editor of PlanYourCity

PlanYourCity is happy to announce Ron Woudstra as our European Editor.  Ron will be reporting on current planning issues and topics in Europe, as well as helping to grow our presence in Europe and coordinate the efforts of our European contributors. Ron is a city planner from The Netherlands whose interests intersect at transportation planning, urban design, and […]

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The central market square, or Grote Markt, in Bruges at dusk on a summer night.

A Love Letter To Flemish Cities

I’ve recently become enamored with the historic cities of Flandres, the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. Whilst I used to only pass through Flandres in the past, often on my way to France, I first discovered Flemish cities on a study trip to the region in 2007. Wandering through places like Bruges or Ghent with a […]

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A love letter to urban scents

Dear urban olfactory overexposers, You’re not quite like the unpopulated wet forest, smelling of mud, decay and heavy timber; nor like my tiny oceanside hometown filling the air with brine and sundried seaweed. Rather you have a grand variety of lowpoints and highs; a combination of heady delicacies and nauseating wafts… The mysterious night bakery […]

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Under the M train before Sea Town

Elevated Trains

I am coming to the end of my cell phone contract and have been going through the data stored on my phone. In the course of this rather banal task it became apparent that I have taken a large number of photos of two things: my dog and elevated train stations (or views from them). […]

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Are we closer to utopia?

Last century, architects and urban planners had to deal with the fact that vehicles were rapidly increasing their presence in cities. To solve the relationship between cars and pedestrians, some proposed to separate them. A relevant example of these urban planners was Clarence Perry, who developed a concept in the early 1900’s called the “Neighborhood Unit” […]

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Taksim Square Proposal

Taksim Square: Istanbul Residents vs Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

  This is our second post about Taksim Square. For city planners and architects looking in from the outside there are two issues; 1) what are the merits of the development proposals for Taksim Square; and 2) did Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality consult civic groups and organizations representing business owners and residents of the area before commencing construction?  The  answer to both questions is a […]

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