Ah the new year! A time when we reflect on all that we've accomplished (hopefully!) in the past year, as well as make (sometimes lofty) plans and resolutions for "the new me." But making successful resolutions that stick is hard work...because it involves making changes, which is no easy feat (especially for cities, since that usually means getting others on board too)! Dropping 15 pounds, quitting smoking, organizing your closet, or creating better places (our wheelhouse!) can be difficult without the right tools and support. Although we can't help organize your closet, we can provide cities with an invaluable tool to achieve their place quality resolutions - to help make your neighborhoods and communities more walkable, livable, irresistible. Here's how...
Happiest of holidays from the State of Place Team! We hope you've been enjoying time with family and friends and got everything your heart desired this holiday season. But, just in case(s), here’s our special (re)gift to you - our most popular posts of 2018. And yes, regifting is now totally ok, so we good! ;)
Two years ago, I wrote about comedy of errors type trip to the Houston Galleria - at the start of the holiday season. We thought it was appropriate to reprise this (slightly updated) story and once again take you along this not quite seamless journey - not merely because we are now T-5 days till Christmas but also because there are still countless malls across the U.S., struggling to reinvent themselves in light of the increased demand for more walkable, authentic places AND of course the dominance of online shopping, especially giants like Amazon. TLDR - State of Place can help mall owners, developers, and retailers identify the best properties primed for redevelopment, prioritize changes that are most likely to make the existing mall more walkable - and desirable, AND forecast how these changes will actually boost commercial (and residential) rents and revenues - and of course up ROI - so you can get the biggest bang for the buck AND truly make holiday shopping (and all other trips) jolly! Schedule a demo or sign up for your free trial to learn more!
With only 12 (shopping) days left till Christmas, we’ve released our third annual holiday gift guide, chock full of unique, awesome gifts, perfect for all the urban planners, data geeks and city-lovers - budding, amateur, or pro-level - in your life! Check out our team members’ top picks for the holiday season - beware though, you may end up picking up something for yourself too! :) Treat ‘yo self!
Yesterday, on Innovate Durham Demo Day, Devin Nieusma, our Customer Development Intern, presented the results of our pilot project to help the City of Durham use data to quickly, affordably, and effectively “Get to Zero” (pedestrian, bicyclists, and motorist deaths. Dig deep into our results, which shows how urban design, as measured by State of Place, impacts the odds and probabilities of collisions. TLDR; Design matters - quite simply, intersections in which people have lost their lives are just not designed to keep pedestrians, cyclists, and even motorists, safe - period.
This giving Tuesday, as you’re deciding which organization to donate to or pondering the effectiveness of encharging your hard earned dollars to non-profits to begin with, we thought it to would be timely to discuss the role of not for profit advocacy groups and philanthropic agencies in citymaking, and urge you to consider donating to one of these worthy organizations given their increasingly pivotal role in citymaking.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! This is our third annual installment of our gratitude post - one of our favorite posts of the year where all of our team members say thanks for place, places, and other things they cherish in their lives. We just want to take this time to thank YOU all for your support, enthusiasm, and openness to a slightly different way of creating awesome places people love! We hope to help many more of you in 2019 and spotlight you here!
What are the top five things I can do to boost walkability? I get asked a version of this question a LOT. Like, ALL. THE. TIME. I get it. It's the Twitter era (nope, not going there...). 140 characters or bust. People want easy answers, simple solutions, soundbite fixes - even when the problems are complex...especially when they're complex. Nuance? Details? Qualifiers? That's for academics (yeah, no kidding!). This is why articles like "4 ways to make a city more walkable" and "7 simple ways to make every city friendlier for pedestrians" are such effective click-bait and why there are so many "walkability checklists." But can you really create a formula for walkability, livability, great places?
Happy Election Day, America!! Now that you've done your civic duty (yup, that's a blatant attempt at shaming you if you haven't!), it's your chance to weigh in on how cities can use urban design to eliminate traffic collisions and create safer streets for all! Yeah, if you didn't hear yet, we made the Semi-Finals in Ford's City of Tomorrow Challenge and next step is to hear what YOU think about it! Click here to learn more and provide your feedback to help us win the challenge - but more importantly save lives!
In light of our partnership with Innovate Durham and making the semifinals of the Pittsburgh City of Tomorrow challenge, we’re bringing back our guide to all things Vision Zero in the US. We analyzed each of the 35 cities (so far!) that have committed to eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries to see what’s being done - and not done - to get to zero. Check out our handy dandy Cliff-notes version (um, are we dating ourselves?) to see how these cities are stacking up as they valiantly work to make streets safer.
Update: Exciting news! As of October 19th, 4 days after this blog was initially posted — our application is a semifinalist in this challenge!
Thank you for your support our City of Tomorrow Pittsburgh Challenge application to create a Safety Module that predicts best urban design street improvements that will eliminate road deaths! Please check out the app if you haven’t already! Please also check out our video overview!