crowdsourcing flooding data

A recent article from The Verge talks about how Twitter may be more accurate than NOAA in terms of identifying flooded areas. MIT Media Lab also came up with an app that allowed crowdsourcing storm and flooding data. But that required downloading and installing the


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urban planning software

I’ve been trying to follow several companies now that marry urban planning, data science, and software engineering. What I find super interesting about them is that I believe these new companies are also part of a new trend. There really haven’t been too much like


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multi-use green infrastructure

A recent article outlines how Toronto is building a new flood risk management infrastructure project that will also act as green, open space. This “green infrastructure” is something I have spent a great deal of time working on. Instead of building so called “hard infrastructure”


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infrastructure of the internet

One of my favorite books is Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum. We like to think of the Internet as this ethereal, intangible thing. But the reality is the Internet is very much tangible. Cell towers, fiber optic lines,


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redesigning bus systems in la

Wired article This article has a lot going on. Especially things I have a great interest in.  First and foremost is bus network redesign. It seems it is a popular new strategy among cities, particularly Houston. Bus routes haven’t been reassessed in decades and urban forms


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book review: palaces for the people

What counts as social infrastructure? I define it capaciously. Public institutions such as libraries, schools, playgrounds, parks, athletic fields, and swimming pools are vital parts of the social infrastructure. So too are sidewalks, courtyards, community gardens, and other green spaces that invite people into the


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a race to the bottom

An opinion piece on MarketWatch talks about how Big Box development essentially leads to American municipalities becoming insolvent. In essence, the tax breaks meant to entice development away from other municipalities leads to a race to the bottom and eventually to ratables the returns of


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the aerial symphony of old beijing

https://youtu.be/3i5xtadHPRAOne of the things that deeply interests me is how to make our cities more beuatiful, more delightful. The city should bring a smile. I don’t mean this in a trite, sentimental way. I believe this is an unquantifiable aspect of placemaking that is all


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the city of angels

This past weekend my best friends and I took a trip to Los Angeles. I find that maintaining friendships – especially ones where we all live in different cities – requires at least a few trips together each year. We originally wanted to go to


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general orders no. 9

General Orders No. 9 is a fascinating art film that I find to be a stirring lamentation for a forgotten relationship of man and land in the State of Georgia. While the title (the order from General Lee to his soldiers to surrender) suggests an


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mall-um delendum est

when i was younger and my cousins visited suburban central jersey, the only thing to do was go to the mall. it still is. while my local mall has managed to survive – including by building a miniature “downtown” style shopping area adjacent to the


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down with the lampposts

this is a quick post. but I think it’s really interesting. the Atlantic has a piece on “Why Hong Kongers Are Toppling Lampposts“. This is an instance of the negatives of smart cities. The poles perhaps have technology to monitor traffic and whatnot (it’s not


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what the hell is regional science?

We have urban planning. We have urban economics. We have urban geography. We now have urban science and informatics. But what is regional science?Let’s look at some history. The Regional Science Association was founded in 1954, though the field began earlier. While in the beginning,


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what the hell is an urbanist?

I declare that I research and practice urban policy, urban planning, and urban science. In other words, I am an urban policy analyst, an urban planner, and an urban scientist. This is rather clear: I look at the policy making of city governments, I facilitate


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understanding air travel infrastructure

I love flying and airports. one of my most favorites things is walking through a terminal, looking at each gate, and seeing all the different destinations. it’s exciting, seeing all those possibilities. airports are such a great example of the the built environment of infrastructure


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symbolism of trains

seanandrewchen Trains as symbolsI love trains. Not just as a wonderful technology, but also what they represent and how they are represented in our culture and minds. In one sense, I see trains as a technology that connects us. But in another sense, that connection


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voting & decision theory

There has been a lot of talk about critical reforms in Washington. The Democratic caucus wants to tackle issues of corruption including campaign finance. But I personally think there are even more fundamental things within our democratic system, and that is how we actually vote.


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