City design: Redesigning failed municipal golf courses

failed municipal golf course

More golf courses have closed than opened since 2006, according to Bloomberg. Many a failed municipal golf course opened during the stock market bubble of the 1990s and the housing market bubble of the 2000s, only to suffer during the Great Recession. In 2013, 14 new courses opened in the U.S. while 157 courses closed.

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Marketing approaches to reducing gun violence

Police in riot gear at Ferguson protests

Ferguson. Staten Island. Pasco. Baltimore. Police mistrust and gun violence are currently dominating the headlines. Crime, health and safety, institutional transparency, accountability–all these public sector issues are in question in these and other communities. Could there be a marketing approach to addressing these?

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Solving urban expansion: Design that includes families

Because we’re social animals, we like to live together. Increasingly, this means living in cities. In his TED talk, Alejandro Aravena notes that by 2030, we will have 5 billion people on Earth living in cities.That’s a lot of togetherness.

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Democratic transportation: Buses in Bogota

Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Columbia, sees transportation as a matter of equity. “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars,” says Penalosa, “but rather one where even the rich use public transportation.” (Or bicycles.)

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Public design: Phoenix reconsiders sprawl

Phoenix drawing

My personal vision of Hell is working as a roofer in Phoenix.

It’s not just the manual labor in the desert heat, for which I’m wholly unsuited. Phoenix is a sprawling metro area, 16,500 square miles of concrete and car culture smeared across the Sonora desert. No thank you.

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Redesign city services to tackle urban blight

Planting an urban park

In 2011, the city of Memphis, Tennessee faced a backlog of 25,000 code enforcement cases and 40,000 complaints about overgrown lots. Like many cities recently, Memphis has a budget stretched thin by shrinking tax revenues due to the Great Recession and declining property tax revenues. How could the city ever catch up?

Two words: process redesign.

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City services: treating the homeless like abandoned cars

William Donald Schaefer

The other day, as I was walking to BART at the end of a workweek, I saw a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk. He looked abandoned, as if someone simply left him there and walked away. Seeing that abandoned man made me think about William Donald Schaefer, mayor of Baltimore for most of the 1970s and 1980s.

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