Category Archives: urban planning

Inside the Rise of “Risky” Playground Design

Educators in Britain are embracing the idea that purposeful risky play promotes resilience and builds more self-reliant young people. As a result, public playspaces there are being redesigned or newly built to actively present that risk. What that looks like—playgrounds with access to saws, knives, loose bricks and two-by-fours, and fire—is something that might sound alarms for some parents here in the litigious U.S.

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/risky-play-design

The Invention of ‘Jaywalking’

In the 1920s, the public hated cars. So the auto industry fought back — with language.

If you travelled in time back to a big American city in, say, 1905 — just before the boom in car ownership — you’d see roadways utterly teeming with people. Vendors would stand in the street, selling food or goods. Couples would stroll along, and everywhere would be groups of children racing around, playing games. If a pedestrian were heading to a destination across town, they’d cross a street wherever and whenever they felt like it.

https://marker.medium.com/the-invention-of-jaywalking-afd48f994c05

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=jaywalking&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cjaywalking%3B%2Cc0

Elon Musk risks repeating history’s mistakes as he tries to reinvent transit

Through Tesla, Elon Musk has tried to transform individual vehicle ownership, while The Boring Company, his tunneling venture, is now taking aim at public transit. The company and Fort Lauderdale, Florida are close to agreeing to the first public Loop system, which will give people rides in Teslas through a new tunnel between downtown and the beach.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/23/cars/elon-musk-robert-moses/index.html

Robert Moses and the decline of the NYC subway system

New Yorkers now use a transit system in a state of emergency. The past few months have laid bare the enormity of the problems currently facing the century-old subways, from aging infrastructure to a lack of federal dollars available to help make things better.

https://ny.curbed.com/2017/7/27/15985648/nyc-subway-robert-moses-power-broker

Paris to build $145M cable car system

Scheduled to open in 2025, the “Cable 1” project will travel from the Parisian suburb of Villeneuve-Saint-Georges to the Pointe du Lac station in Creteil in the Île-de-France region within just 17 minutes, less than half the time the journey would take on a bus.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/paris-to-build-145m-cable-car-system/index.html

Cities and the Metaverse (National League of Cities)

Cities are the places where people come together, live, love, work and play. Human connection is one of the most critical components of day-to-day life. Much of the world quickly learned how to connect with one another and access services in virtual environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we lacked the ideal tools for connecting in this way. Zoom meetings, Google Chat and good old fashioned phone calls provide a poor simulation of the physical world. What if a true simulation of our physical world could be recreated in a virtual manner? What value would this bring to people’s lives, what challenges would it present, and would it ultimately prove to be a net positive for cities?

First-of-its-kind program invites remote workers to make a home at Purdue University

Work From Purdue, a first-of-its-kind program, invites and incentivizes remote workers to move to Discovery Park District at Purdue, a live/work community that unites the collaborative, invigorating energy of a campus with the flexibility of remote work. From cash stipends to $1,000 dining credit at the Atlas Family Marketplace in the newly renovated Purdue Memorial Union, Work From Purdue’s various relocation packages are designed to support new residents in making the most of their new home from day one.

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2022/Q2/first-of-its-kind-program-invites-remote-workers-to-make-a-home-at-purdue-university.html

Understanding and meeting policy intent (Gov.uk)

Service teams need to have a clear understanding of what government wants to change or achieve through its policies. You should find this information in a statement of policy intent. This will explain what outcome or set of outcomes the policy has been designed to deliver. It may also outline what outcomes should not change.

https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/design/understanding-and-meeting-policy-intent

Service teams are expected to deliver new, existing or changing policy when they are developing a service. Both policymakers and service teams face similar challenges in translating government priorities into policies and services that affect people’s lives.

Policy teams design, develop and propose solutions to help meet ministerial objectives based on research and evidence. They make sure the effective delivery of policy, evaluating its impact and adapting as necessary.

Many government departments are trying to embed user-centred design into policy making. Service teams may have the opportunity to work with policy professionals to design a range of policy options so that ministers can make more informed decisions about which one to follow. Your role may involve highlighting unintended consequences and risks and showing how a particular policy might not work.