20 January 2018

Municipal Planning Board meetings

All of the students in my Environmental Planning class will be attending a Municipal Planning Board meeting.

The first step is to find a date and place that works for you. One way to do this is to visit the official web site for a city/township/borough in New Jersey and find the official schedule for the planning board meetings.



A few others will simply post a notice that they meet one some repeating pattern, like the 3rd Tuesday of every month. Whichever you choose, I encourage you to call before you go, simply to be sure the meeting isn't postponed or cancelled.

19 January 2018

Great job opportunity

The 3-d geospatial startup of Envelope is looking for help. They are located in the amazing Woolworth building in NYC. If you don't know them, you should:
Envelope is a software company, spun out of a longtime collaboration between award-winning SHoP Architects, and the Director of MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab. Our 3D urban mapping platform integrates proprietary geospatial datasets, sophisticated algorithms, and iterative scenario analysis. We enable real estate professionals to visualize opportunity and make faster, smarter, and more discreet investment decisions. 
 They are looking for a zoning specialist, 3d engineer and a Senior Product Designer.

Saving the coast, 25,000 acres at a time

Unwilling to leave the land for development, a couple in California donated $165 million to The Nature Conservancy to ensure that a critically important piece of the coastline is preserved. National Geographic has a couple photos and reports that:
The land was once the Bixby Ranch, then later became the Cojo Jalama Ranches, a privately owned piece of coastal property that the LA Times once called "the last perfect place."
 James Fallows offers a lengthy piece in The Atlantic. Knowing the the donors, he got a personal sense of what this meant to them:
Much as the Rockefellers’ example is remembered now—or Carnegie’s with his libraries, or the Mellons’ and Fricks’ with their museums—the Dangermonds hope that in their smaller-scale way they can set an example others can refer to. “We would love to have 100 Dangermond Reserves,” he said. “But I’m not Carnegie. We’re not in the oil business. We can’t do this by ourselves. We’re telling the story to set an example of what others could do.”

18 January 2018

Traffic fatalities

Curbed reports on a study that found that the US has unusually high rates of traffic fatalities compared to peer nations.

“The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, yet we have a very poor record of road safety,” says Welle. “The U.S. has nearly triple the fatalities of countries like Sweden or the Netherlands.”

The article points out that some states have already taken steps towards these International standards. By contrast, others seem to promote danger:

“If you go on city streets, especially in the U.S. suburbs, these roads are what people call dangerous by design,” she says. “And often, the level of forgiveness of speeding here, of allowing people to go 10 miles over the limit, can mean the difference between survival and death.”
Remember, these are not accidents, they are fatalities. It is a matter of health and safety, not just convenience.

17 January 2018

"Widespread" everywhere

The CDC has weekly updates on the spread of the H3N2 flu. Just like dessert, they save the maps for last so flip down to them.

By itself, this maps is intimidating. But if you go back and see past years, you'll realize how terrifying this really is.



21 December 2017

Foto Favorites

In lieu of real blog posts, I offer this. I took a lot of photos this year, these are a few favorites. Not the best, just personal favorites.






21 November 2017

Permable pavers

The Dutch are trying out these beautiful new permeable pavers. Do you think that the American concern about liability would keep these from getting used in public spaces here? Have we move past worrying about a person using crutches or a cane, a woman with heels, or a toddler with small feet?