Can You Get There from Here?

Long-haul travel between small communities One of the rarely talked-about benefits of living in a major city is that transport between that city and other major metropolitan areas is relatively easy. Not always cheap, but usually easy. Take traveling between Washington, D.C. and New York City: an online search reveals multiple bus companies such as Megabus and Greyhound, both the Amtrak Northeast Regional and Acela … Continue reading Can You Get There from Here?

Kay Blada Recycling: Tackling Infrastructure Problems in Haiti One Bottle at a Time

Living in the U.S., we don’t often imagine recycling to be a privilege. After meeting Johnson Desauguste, a Haitian immigrant living in the U.S., I’ve begun to see it that way. As a junior environmental science major at UNC, I’ve been involved in many environmental organizations, and had some exposure to urban planning. Somehow, meeting Johnson (or “Blada,” as his Haitian family calls him) has … Continue reading Kay Blada Recycling: Tackling Infrastructure Problems in Haiti One Bottle at a Time

Photo Essay: Bicycling Infrastructure in the Netherlands

This summer, James Farrell and Alyson West, UNC City and Regional Planning master’s students, traveled to the Netherlands for a two-week study abroad program. Over these two weeks, they saw some of the world’s best bicycle infrastructure, some of which has been captured in the following photos from their trip. Most major cities in the Netherlands are part of the Randstad, a ring including Amsterdam, … Continue reading Photo Essay: Bicycling Infrastructure in the Netherlands

Michigan Border-to-Border Trail Initiative pushes for 70+ mile trail network

In Michigan’s Washtenaw County, the County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Border-to-Border Trail Initiative is attempting to develop a network of non-motorized vehicle pathways. Currently, over 24 miles of pathways have been paved with more to come. When complete, the B2B will span 70 miles. The Border-to-Border Trail Initiative operates collaboratively with many unique organizations, including the Washtenaw County Parks and the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative … Continue reading Michigan Border-to-Border Trail Initiative pushes for 70+ mile trail network

Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

The Planner’s toolbox is being modified constantly by laws passed and policies enacted at every level of government. Being aware of existing laws, as well as proposed legislation, is important for planners, communities, and advocates working throughout the state. Here’s a sample of the planning-related bills currently under consideration at the state level in the North Carolina General Assembly: House Bill 3 / Senate Bill 34: … Continue reading Current Planning-Related Legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly

America: The Aging, Diverging, and Urbanizing

The Reality and Challenges of Demographic Shifts in America In her 1961 book “The Life and Death of Great American Cities,” Jane Jacobs prophesied that ignoring the importance of sidewalk life and perpetuating automobile dependency in urban planning would have dire social consequences. We have all heard the argument: without eyes on the street, the streets will inevitably become deserted, crime-ridden barrens. Of course, the … Continue reading America: The Aging, Diverging, and Urbanizing

Viewpoints: Will Washington, D.C. Achieve Vision Zero?

Is a city with no serious accidents or fatalities from traffic collisions an achievable vision? In February 2015, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser launched the city’s Vision Zero Initiative. Its stated objective: “By the year 2024, Washington, DC will reach zero fatalities and serious injuries to travelers of our transportation system, through more effective use of data, education, enforcement, and engineering.” Having both lived and … Continue reading Viewpoints: Will Washington, D.C. Achieve Vision Zero?

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