Category: Urbanism and Planning

New U-M Course in Sustainability and Social Change

In the Winter 2016 term, I’ll be offering a new course at Michigan titled “How To Change the World: Sustainability and Social Change.” After developing a shared theoretical perspective about social structure, the course considers and critiques several popular change paradigms including the adoption of disruptive innovations, social entrepreneurship, and tactical urbanism. The aim of the course […]

Read more

New Journal Article: ‘Sketching and Learning: A Planning Support System Field Study’

An article containing findings from my research on social learning and GIS-based planning tools has been published by the journal Environment and Planning B, the leading journal for research on IT and analytical methods applied to urban problems. The article is titled “Sketching and learning: a planning support system field study,” and the abstract is […]

Read more

On Studying Planning in the Detroit Region

The building of cities is one of man’s greatest achievements. The form of his city always has been and always will be a pitiless indicator of the state of his civilization. — Edmund Bacon, Design of Cities (p. 13) This quotation, by the famous Philadelphia architect and planner Edmund Bacon, has always been one of […]

Read more

Present Your Urban Tech Research in Boston in 2015

In 2013 I had the pleasure of attending the 13th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM), held at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands. Although the conference tends to fly under the radar, the event was a true pleasure. The attendees included many scholars whose work I knew from the literature, and featured […]

Read more

Urban Democracy, One Click at a Time?

The Economist magazine dedicated a special section of their March 1st issue to democracy. That essay observed that two decades after the triumphant 1990s, the political ideology is facing challenges. China’s rise has shown the economic efficiency of centralized power, and Russia, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Argentina are “perpetuating a simulacrum of democracy” rather than doing […]

Read more

Review: Ehrenhalt’s The Great Inversion

In the acknowledgements section at the end of his book, The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City, author Alan Ehrenhalt demurred he is “no Jane Jacobs” but says he followed her advice for researching cities, namely to study them through close personal observation using a minimum of preconceptions. The results of this […]

Read more