This week, we have two reasons to yet again bring back an "oldie but goodie:" 1) Much-needed levity after a dizzying week and 2) We're hard at work preparing our application for Phase II funding from the Small Business Innovation Research program from the NSF! We've got some SUPER cool stuff planned. Get it touch to find out what we've got up our sleeves. In the meantime, without further ado, please enjoy one of the most embarrassing tidbits I've ever shared about my pre-PhD urban mobility naiveté (or, you could argue, the precursor to my post-PhD absent-mindedness) - my very first bus ride...and of course, how urban data and analytics can help others avoid my nails-on-the-chalkboard-level-of-humiliation story.Read More
What were the most pressing challenges and concerns for you awesome, relentless warrior place-makers in 2016? And how can we help you (if you would honor us with the privilege) help you crush them in 2017? Today's blog reveals the top four challenges faced by cities and developers who are creating walkable, livable places based on our discussions with over 100 of you so far! In preparation for the official launch of our newly updated software that helps cities create and justify better places, we want to know if these challenges resonate with you and learn more about your placemaking pains. But most importantly, we want to explore how State of Place can help you identify the kinds of changes that would maximize both quality of life and economic development as well as arm you with the data you need to justify the need to invest in these projects and convince all the naysayers. In other words, we want to help save you time, money, agony - and give you back a little bit of your peace of mind - in 2017...
This is the first of our COO Michelle Drouse Woodhouse's Suburban Mom series about placemaking - and the State of (Suburban) Place(s). In the first installment in this series, Michelle reflects back on her very urban, spontaneous life sans-kids and how both the introduction of her two daughters and her move to the suburbs of Detroit have influenced her understanding of place and the importance of mobility, inclusivity, and choice.Read More
After hearing the news of Fidel’s death, I immediately logged onto CNN to watch live video coverage. I knew it was only a matter of time before Cubans spilled over into the streets of Miami - banging pots and pans next to, of course Versailles and also, La Carreta, in my very own “Weh-che-steh.” Despite the lack of true public space, Cubans, as they oft - and are known to - do, persevered and took matters into their own hands. They crafted their own space of expression, even though they lacked a physical place in which to do so...But despite the beautiful freedom of expression on display in Miami on Saturday, the lack of public space - true public space - was never more glaring, and disappointing, to me. We - as planners and urban designers - we know better. We failed them. We failed to provide true public space - a cornerstone of our democracy. We failed to do our part in shaping our free Republic.Read More
While Walk Score has clearly laid out their methodology and its limits, as both a preeminent and easily accessible walkability proxy, it’s tempting to try to use what is essentially a measure of the density of destinations as a proxy for walkability, livability, quality of place, and more. But should Walk Score be used to apportion government spending and/or approve development proposals or plans? My colleagues, Julia Koschinsky, Emily Talen, Sungduck Lee, and I recently conducted a study to truly understand when it was and was not appropriate to use Walk Score as a proxy for walkability tied to policy, funding, and/or project approvals.Read More