Envisioning an Active City: Lessons from Montréal

Oh, Canada. The United States’ neighbor to the North seems to have public services down to a science. On a recent trip to Montréal, Quebec, my suspicions of superior public amenities were confirmed as seen in the city’s compact urban design and nearly flawless transportation infrastructure. Montréal and other Canadian cities embrace the principles of smart growth with dense urban centers and transit-oriented development, and this … Continue reading Envisioning an Active City: Lessons from Montréal

A New Perspective on Resilience: The Importance of Context in Durban, South Africa

As planners, many of us are familiar with Scott Campbell’s sustainable development triangle, which calls for a balance between ‘Social Justice,’ ‘Economic Growth,’ and’ Environmental Protection’.1 During the planning process, should we focus on bus services that are cheaper and accessible to lower income citizens? Or train lines that produce fewer carbon emissions? Are new developments that revitalize a neighborhood’s economy worth the risk of displacement … Continue reading A New Perspective on Resilience: The Importance of Context in Durban, South Africa

Latin American Gentrification: The Case of Santiago

Gentrification: a word we hear every day in discussions concerning planning in the United States, particularly around central city revitalization, real estate development, housing, economic development, and the list goes on. It generally involves two elements: The movement of high-income groups into urban areas where they have greater resources to pay for land and housing when compared to existing residents. An increase in land values, … Continue reading Latin American Gentrification: The Case of Santiago

Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (4/4)

Part 4: Defining Ravalejar, Redefining El Raval Public art and monuments function to institutionalize the memories of a city. It has been argued that certain monuments in Barcelona seek to maintain  social order by imposing a historical logic over space: one that is imperialist, masculine, and fixed. However, the public art project and branding campaign known as “Ravalejar”, which took place in the neighborhood of … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (4/4)

Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (3/4)

Part 3: Balancing Neighborhood Character and Tourism Part 1 of this series (“The Barcelona Model”) was published on this site on September 30, 2015. Part 2  (“Constructing the Mythology of Barrio Chino”) was published  on October 17, 2015. In 2002, several public and private entities in Barcelona came together to form a new community organization called Tot Raval (“all of El Raval”). The formation of Tot Ravel … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (3/4)

Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (2/4)

Part 2: Constructing the Mythology of Barrio Xino Part 1 of this series (“The Barcelona Model”) was published on this site on September 30, 2015. The neighborhood of El Raval  emerged during the Middle Ages due to outward expansion beyond Barcelona’s medieval walls. Tucked next to Barcelona’s port, it first functioned to house transient populations and travellers and was an early site of criminal activity … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (2/4)

Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (1/4)

Part 1: The Barcelona Model Barcelona. To many, the name of this cultural capital conjures up images of beaches, ornate architecture, tapas, and wine. It is a city whose reputation precedes it. While its reputation can be, in part, attributed to the city’s world famous soccer team and representations in popular media1, Barcelona’s ascent to global city status is also the result of innovative urban … Continue reading Ravelejar: The Art of Neighborhood Branding (1/4)