Tag: infrastructure

Detroit and DETROPIA

The words come at you harshly and powerfully. Decay. Ruin. Emptiness. America’s Pompeii. These words accompany images of Detroit from photographers Andrew Moore and Camilo Jose Vergara. The photos have been part of two exhibitions at the National Building Museum in Washington, Detroit Disassembled and Detroit Is No Dry Bones. Using a large-format presentation, Moore

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The Changing Face of Japanese Decision Making

Japan has a reputation for being both hierarchical and patriarchal. One’s position in the hierarchy and the roles defined by gender continue to be reinforced by families, schools and employers. Further, Japanese customs and societal norms create structures that foster order and discipline, define relationships and sublimate the self for the benefit of the collective.

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Board Appointments for Public Safety Communications Network Signals Good News for Cities

The Department of Commerce took the first major step in the planning and construction of a public safety communications network Monday morning when Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank appointed 12 members of the board of directors for the First Responder Network Authority, which—thankfully—is simply being referred to as “FirstNet.” FirstNet is responsible for overseeing

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It’s Getting Hot in Here!

As a kid going on family camping trips I still remember the exaggerated inhale of ‘fresh mountain air’ upon arriving at our destination, purging our lungs of that stale ‘city air’ and remarking on how crisp and clean it felt in comparison. During the past few weeks, as D.C. and cities across the country faced

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A Way Forward for Local Infrastructure Investment

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is raising the bar on implementing solutions to his city’s infrastructure needs.  During a wide-ranging discussion in Washington, D.C. today, Mayor Emanuel ticked off the challenges he and other local leaders face in cities and towns across America – congested highways, obsolete water and sewer systems, low capacity telecommunications networks and

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A Focus on What Divides Us

Democracy is messy. Big surprise! There are no philosopher kings with boundless wisdom available to make decisions for us. We are on our own and each citizen must decide for him or herself what is truth and falsehood and what is reasonable or what is unacceptable. Battles between neighborhood residents and real estate developers are

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What can demonstration projects teach us about sustainability?

Large- scale demonstration projects—ones that are focused on combining and testing various physical systems within a confined geography– are increasingly gaining popularity with cities interested in pushing the sustainability envelope.   As someone who readily transitioned from architecture to urban planning (eager to address some of the larger-scale systems questions that a section drawing didn’t quite

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NLC’s Delegation to Europe: Day 4 [Hamburg, Germany]

The delgation’s second day in Hamburg began with a boat tour of the Port of Hamburg, one of the most productive ports in the world.  Delegates were able to converse with representatives of the Hamburg Port Authority and witness several of the innovative practices happening at the Port, including technologies for shorepower connections and automated

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Thinking Big on Main Street

As we consider how cities can thrive, we try to look at the big picture.  We often begin at the city level and think beyond it—creating economic linkages with foreign markets, addressing the global issues of energy use and climate change, and focusing on cities’ roles within their regional, national, and international context. But last

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“The Next American Economy”

According to an article from the New York Times, the city of Chicago is preparing to partner with the private sector to invest $7 billion in transit, schools and parks.  In the article, Mayor Emanuel hints that this is the kind of drastic investment that will be required for “building a new Chicago.”  In fact,

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