A Prescription for Planning

Drive through any town in the United States and you will likely notice that landscapes change from stately brick houses and white picket fences to depressed shotgun houses and chain link fences.   What you won’t notice?   As you drive toward the city center and home values decrease, a skyrocketing increase in heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure is taking place. In fact, … Continue reading A Prescription for Planning

Blast from the Past: Telling the Planning Diversity Story

The UNC Department of City and Regional Planning student body is committed to engaging and encouraging diversity in the profession. At a Plan for All Community Conversation last fall, students and faculty set a goal to have student demographics in our program mirror the demographics of the state. We have a long way to go to make this a reality and it will not happen … Continue reading Blast from the Past: Telling the Planning Diversity Story

Plan for All —Making Planning More Inclusive

As planners, we are supposed to represent the public interest. But ensuring that this representation truly reflects a diverse public with uneven access to power can be challenging. Addressing this challenge is the mission of Plan for All, a subcommittee of the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) student governing body, Planners Forum. We aim to bring greater awareness of social justice issues like … Continue reading Plan for All —Making Planning More Inclusive

Rap and the American City

At its genesis, Hip-Hop was a perverse art form breaking away from cultural norms and mainstream sounds. It’s vibrancy attracted people, it encompassed rapping, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti. The Godfather of Hip-Hop, Afrika Bambaataa, started this community through block parties in the Bronx as a way to unite young people through the medium of music. Furthermore, Lisa Alexander described hip-hop as a way for the … Continue reading Rap and the American City

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)

“A Comeback Short of the Mark:” An Income-Based Approach to Understanding the “Great Recession”

“Unless the discussion of the labor market recovery is connected to the larger matters of income and living standards, it tells an incomplete story.” Unemployment rates are a limited measure, but they are the focus of most economic recovery stories in North Carolina. Through the lens of the changing unemployment rate, one might conclude that North Carolina has experienced a comeback since the “Great Recession,” … Continue reading “A Comeback Short of the Mark:” An Income-Based Approach to Understanding the “Great Recession”

Sustainability Lessons from a German Neighborhood

Rather than working in opposition to natural forces, new American developments could follow Vauban’s example and plan with them. Vauban is an ecologically-and socially-minded neighborhood of 5,000 in Freiburg, Germany. In many ways, Vauban is a successful case study in sustainable urbanism. There is academic agreement that the design at Vauban is outstanding. Nevertheless, as long as this style of living and outstanding design is … Continue reading Sustainability Lessons from a German Neighborhood