Whenever people talk about smart cities, they invariably speak about implementing technology from the top down. It’s all about asking the question, “How can governments provide better services?” Usually, the answer involves a connected network of sensors that help reduce waste. But there’s another way of looking at smart cities. In most developed countries, people carry … [Read more…]
I have to say, at the beginning, I was skeptical of the Internet of Things. Yes, I concede many smart devices are useful—even indispensable! Smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, even smart lights, speakers, and routers make sense to me. But I draw the line at smart forks, smart plates, and smart fridges. These tools won’t catch … [Read more…]
It’s a great time to be a greater Washingtonian: Unlike many regions, local officials are taking smart growth seriously. The Silver Line is better connecting DC to its far-flung suburbs, and transit options are becoming more diverse. In much of the region, development is focusing on dense housing and mixed-use commercial space. Fairfax County has a … [Read more…]
Police ended another day of tense conflict with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. National political figures aren’t paying attention. There are at least three credible reports of incorrect protocol, abuse of power, and excessive force. The presence of military equipment along with police abuse does not bode well for this city—and it could happen anywhere.
As most of you should know, I only started blogging about city planning recently, and I knew I needed a primer to get me started in the right direction. Last week,* I finished Walkable City, an insightful book detailing the pitfalls associated with America’s urban design. The author, Jeff Speck, owns a city planning practice based … [Read more…]
The chief question of urban planning is, “How does our built environment affect our lives?” In some ways, however, the way we choose to structure our communities contributes to untimely death. Environmental Health Researcher Richard Joseph Jackson, MD, MPH famously presents his audiences this provocative question, “In what kind of community are you most likely to end up … [Read more…]