For years I've looked at the vibrant, maybe too vibrant, default color ramps in ArcMap and thought of Easter. This year I decided to use them for something.
A special map for Halloween that maps, not taxable parcels, but the land occupied by the dead in north Asheville.
Have you heard about that town in NC that rejected solar power because it would soak up too much sun and might give people health problems? Well...It turns out they're surrounded by industrial hog farms. Kind of makes the whole "speculative health impacts of solar power" a little bit of a moot point.
This gallery is designed to compare the footprints of different American cities at the same scale using satellite imagery. Slide through the thumbnails at the bottom of each image to choose up to four to compare. You can also view each city as a gallery and explore land cover data in greater detail.
One of the most interesting sessions at CNU23 asked what the role is for conservatives in New Urbanism. Does good design, like good data, transcend political factionalism? Is urbanism perceived as undesirable or unfriendly to conservatives, even when it aligns with their values? Inspired by this discussion, I decided to share my own take, borrowing from the wisdom of both American founding fathers and a long-march communist.
In preparing for his talk at the 2015 GeoDesign Summit Joe reread Design With Nature by Ian McHarg. In doing so he found new inspiration from McHarg's insights. To Joe's excitement over Design With Nature I can personally attest given his daily emails sharing a new quote. In this post he shares some of McHarg's most striking observations and points out how he was either a man before his time, or how we in the present are still stuggling to catch up.
NC has an abundance of transplants from upstate NY. They tell stories about the awful winters up north but I suspect they are secretly homesick. A rare snow-day in NC seemed like a good excuse to revisit my fascination with the City of Buffalo. Join me as I delve into topics such as snow-envy, transit, demographics, and breakfast cereal.
In this case study from Chattanooga, TN we took the lessons of compact development and looked at how design can impact economics at the development site scale. When a vibrant neighborhood balked at the planned design of a typical grocery supermarket we took the opportunity to investigate alternative designs and measure their fiscal performance.
Taking a break from enlightening planning commentary I decided to share some odd and interesting sites from aerial imagery. It's easy to take for granted that at our fingertips is a perspective of the world totally unimaginable to humans for thousands of years of history. These sites reveal the startling scale to which we alter our landscape.
As 2014 closes and 2015 begins I reflect back on my projects of the year. One memorable experience was the activity and vibrancy on the streets of Buffalo. Even six stories up in a hotel with a barely operable window I felt like part of an improvised drama. I think this experience is a powerful lesson about urban design, human scale, and living neighborhoods.
When Robert De Niro gets into a fight with the labyrinthine New York State property tax system its a great chance to learn how cities misunderstand their opportunities and what really pays their bills. This is a story about a fight too expensive to be worth fighting and what we can learn when we do the math.