This category contains 8 posts

Looking Beyond the “Western World”

We in the so-called Western World, and the U.S. especially, have a tendency to think of the (so-called) modern world as originating with the Roman Empire. After all, democracy was created within the great Greco-Roman society of old and their cities were modern wonders, still influencing the architecture we have today (you can check your … Continue reading

Four Lessons from the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference

  Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference here in Portland, Oregon. This year’s theme was, “reshaping suburbia into healthy communities”, a rather hot topic these days and one which has finally become a focus for more places than I had previously expected. Many cities have up … Continue reading

Urbanism is Weird

From economics to urbanism, I believe every contemporary topic can be looked at through the lens of human history (which is why I prefer to retain the “Anthropologist” part of my urban title). After all, what better way to start discussing human systems (i.e. cities) than with humans? While anthropology is the study of man, … Continue reading

Urban Green Space: Past, Present, and Future

Turkey’s ongoing developments in Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul could not be more pertinent to my personal research, but also have important ramifications for all of us and the future of urban design. Two years after the Arab Spring events we are witnessing another similar uprising in a large urban plaza filled with … Continue reading

Carless Urban Design

Along with the recent discussions on developments without parking spaces, it was news this week that Los Angeles has approved a plan for a district without any mandatory parking requirements (you can read the full Streetsblog.org report here). Other auto-related news has surfaced recently regarding the heart of the matter – not only the space … Continue reading

The Politics of Cities

[Originally written by Jason King] An interesting OpEd in the October 9 issue of the NY Times, with the somewhat blunt and provocative title – “Republicans To Cities: Drop Dead” by Kevin Baker – showcases the focus of the campaign, particularly those on the right, towards suburban and rural issues, even with a specifically anti-urban … Continue reading

Square Pegs & Round Holes

[Originally written by Allison Duncan] A conversation that permeates any discipline involved in the social sciences is how to evaluate the rigor of research as ‘science’.  There’s a ton of baggage related to this, particularly when compared to ‘hard’ sciences and the traditional  theory > hypothesis > testing  mode of  deductive reasoning.     A recent … Continue reading

Historic Biking in Portland

A map we loved when working on the GOOD Ideas for Cities project (read more about it here) was the swanky ‘Cyclists’ Road Map of Portland District’ from 1896, which shows a network of routes, along with radiating concentric circles to show route distance.   I remember you could buy this map at the Oregon … Continue reading



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