Building with Big Cats in Mind

Most of us like animals. Maybe not spiders or rats (those poor guys get a bad rap), but adorable bobcats or soaring eagles? Something in these creatures captivates us in an often-unconscious way. This intrigue comes from our biophilia, or ‘love of life,’ which refers to the innate tendency of humans to be drawn to other life forms. Not only do we feel an affinity … Continue reading Building with Big Cats in Mind

Land Use Planning and the Contest for the Meaning of Nature

At the heart of land use planning, an unspoken battle has been being waged over the very meaning of nature. And for most of its history, land use planners have unwittingly taken sides and acquiesced around a particular anthropocentric conception of nature that has determined the ways that land gets used. The continued consequences of climate change and ecological erosion, as well as economic inequality … Continue reading Land Use Planning and the Contest for the Meaning of Nature

From Brownfields to Goldfields

“Potential site contamination. Remediation required.”   This phrase strikes fear into the hearts of investors and developers looking to finance their next project. An already strenuous process of site evaluation, plan development, and investment soliciting grinds to a halt as developers question whether clean-up efforts and future liabilities are worth further investment of time and resources. It is usually at this point where developers opt … Continue reading From Brownfields to Goldfields

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

Seven Things Planners Need to Know About Airports

Planners who aren’t familiar with their local airport can easily overlook the facility. Here is what you should know: Our aviation system is expansive: At any given time, there are around 7,000 aircraft in the air over the U.S. which are being served by airports of varying sizes and roles. Only 12 percent of the public airports that receive federal funding are primary commercial service … Continue reading Seven Things Planners Need to Know About Airports