Who knew that competition was so fierce and cutthroat in the world of architectural boat tours in Chicago? According to our guide, who was a docent volunteer on the official Chicago Architectural Foundation tour, CAF has turned their river meanderings into one of the top visitor draws in the city, which, of course, has spawned a lot of copycats. Damn tour counterfeiters.Continue Reading My What a Quaint Bridge Tender House You Have Chicago
Last time (part 2), we visited a Chicago rooftop during the summer of 2007, where buckwheat sways in the breeze, collard greens with leaves as broad as a chair seat flourish, and tomatoes and peppers ripen, all in view of a passing elevated train. This time, we visit a state-of-the-art Chicago high school where the windows of a special needs classroom once looked out onto a barren, uninspiring landscape.
Last time (part 1), we were introduced to Urban Habitat Chicago, took off our shoes, and stretched our feet on an edible lawn. This time, we visit a Chicago rooftop during the summer of 2007, where buckwheat sways in the breeze, collard greens with leaves as broad as a chair seat flourish, and tomatoes and peppers ripen, all in view of a passing elevated train.
In the fall of 1862, crops were disappearing, mysteriously, from the fields around the tranquil Shaker community at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.
A watch was ordered over several nights to see what was happening when the incident was brought to the attention of the governing Elders and Eldresses. The Battle of Perryville, Kentucky on October 8, 1862, brought the Civil War within seventeen miles of the close-knit, pacifist community’s doorstep. Soldiers from both Union and Confederate armies, it was revealed, were stealing the crops from the fields at night.Continue Reading Urban Habitat Chicago Redux: 10 years of productive urban landscapes (part 1 of 3)
City parks are more than pretty outdoor spaces — research shows they can also be critical to improving a community’s health. In fact, from the earliest days of their implementation, parks have been tools for boosting air quality, encouraging safe physical recreation, reducing disease and discouraging crime, according to the George Wright Forum.Continue Reading How City Park Design Contributes to Resident Health
The 2nd annual workshop of the Urban Sciences Research Coordination Network on June 11, 2014 in Chicago didn’t exactly set out to rival Spring Awakening – a thumpin’ electronic dance music festival occurring a few days later – but it turns out that social scientists, computer scientists, and young urban partygoers (Fig. 1) have much more in common than at first blush.Continue Reading City of Big Data: Creators and Interpreters
One of America’s most notable characteristics is the architecture that dots its landscape. Like all aesthetically appealing designs, successful American architecture works with the environment around it in a harmonious fashion. This makes it easy to distinguish the truly great architecture from the well-intentioned executions that didn’t quite succeed. Here are some of the greatest American designs and what makes them noteworthy.Continue Reading America’s Greatest Designs
Do you like to travel and explore different cities? I definitely do! While I travel mostly for pleasure (rather than business), the planner in me cannot help but observe, study, and evaluate the places I visit. Continue Reading Exploring and Observing: Fun City Tours
Have you watched Man of Steel, the latest Superman movie? If you did, please read on. If not, here is my spoiler alert: continue reading only if you don’t mind learning some of the details of the film. Like my previous article on the Iron Man trilogy, I would like to share a few thoughts and observations about Man of Steel from an urban planning perspective.Continue Reading Man of Steel and Urban Planning
Have you ever heard of or watched the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)? It is a classic comedy which stars Steve Martin and John Candy as business travelers who share three days of misadventures as they try to get from New York City to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving. This movie came to mind when I Continue Reading Amtraking: Traveling by Train