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How We're Turning the City into a Public Laboratory

Anyone who lives in a city can feel, at least at times, like they’re part of a grand experiment. As we move through public space, the volume of...

Anyone who lives in a city can feel, at least at times, like they’re part of a grand experiment. As we move through public space, the volume of people, traffic, noise and visual stimuli is energizing, and overwhelming. Faced with an abundance of visual data, we make split-second observations and decisions that shape how we see the world around us. But how well are we really seeing the world, and the people in it?

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Why True Neighborhood Building Requires the Dedication of a Few 'Zealous Nuts'

We all have our own families, friends, and professional networks, and our own interests and hobbies that determine with whom we interact. Each...

We all have our own families, friends, and professional networks, and our own interests and hobbies that determine with whom we interact. Each of us is a member of many different communities that can extend over vast geographical areas. We might play on a team with people from across our city, have dear friends across the continent, and colleagues all over the world.

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Occupied Ground: Parklets in Former Street Parking Coming to Los Angeles

The parklet movement is really starting to catch on with a pilot program in auto obsessed LA next.

The parklet movement is growing and Los Angeles is finally getting into the game. Not to be outdone by its neighbor to the north, the Southern California metropolis will soon join San Francisco as host to these pint-sized public spaces in an effort to cultivate a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape.

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Better Block: Bottom-Up Urban Reboot In a Single Weekend

In September, The Better Block is taking on Detroit for two days, activating a block's vacant space into a public hub filled with pop-up shops.

It's remarkable what some people can accomplish in a single weekend. While others spend those days catching up on lost sleep or exploring their city with friends, Texas-based nonprofit The Better Block uses that time to rally communities to rethink their neighborhoods. Since its inception in 2010, the project has built temporary dog parks, pop-up shops, urban forests, cafes, and bike lanes. They've left their mark in more than 35 cities including Philadelphia, Wichita, Cleveland, Houston, and Oklahoma City.

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Can Manhattan's High Line Be Replicated? Several Cities Are Trying

Every week, it seems, a different city is pitching its old steel rails as the “next” High Line.


Atlanta's Belt Line park

It’s the stuff of urban legends: Two guys with no community organizing or fundraising experience, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, save a 1.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway from demolition, and transform it into urban marvel known far beyond its home of Manhattan. Two stories above ground level and slicing through a forest of tall buildings on New York’s West Side, the High Line, as it’s called, isn't just a breathtaking “park in the sky.” It's spurred unprecedented economic growth in its surrounding neighborhood—in excess of $2 billion in new investment, according to city estimates.

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