Seeing the Weird in a Rapidly Changing Austin

Seeing the Weird in a Rapidly Changing Austin This winter break, I crossed another city/state off my bucket list by visiting Austin, Texas. Known for its unique flair (“Keep Austin Weird” is the city’s marketing slogan), music, barbeque, and other fried foods, the city’s rapid change in population over the last couple of decades has transformed its physical landscape. The US Census estimates that from … Continue reading Seeing the Weird in a Rapidly Changing Austin

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?

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

Kisses Beyond the Gate: Putting up Walls in a Country that Values Intimacy

This post was originally published by Agora, the Urban Planning and Design Journal at the University of Michigan. It is reproduced here with permission.  Davor was the first one who kissed me. Let me explain. I recently spent the first month of my summer in Santiago, Chile, where I worked for an NGO called Ciudad Emergente. The organization does interventions and research surrounding public spaces … Continue reading Kisses Beyond the Gate: Putting up Walls in a Country that Values Intimacy

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

When Nature Calls: The Right to the Restroom

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared sanitation a basic human right, but even urban centers like New York City lack adequate public restrooms to serve the millions of residents and tourists. New York restaurants that contain 19 or fewer seats are not legally required to contain restrooms, but police can still charge citizens with a misdemeanor offense for urinating in public when they … Continue reading When Nature Calls: The Right to the Restroom