Writings

Here are gathered some writings from my role as Founder/Editor of SocieCity, and Arts & Events Editor for The Nature of Cities, as well as contributions to other journals, magazines, and blogs. These writings are both extensions of my own work, and (sometimes more often) a way to bring to light the work of others. Please enjoy this collection of articles, essays, blogs, and other word-based works.

Writings

Nature of Cities: Drought and Flood in a Silicon Valley Museum

The floods that ravaged Silicon Valley this winter may have dried up, but there is still plenty of water flowing through the San Jose Museum of Art. This is a review of a trio of water-related exhibitions on view, “Liquid City,” The Darkened Mirror,” and “Fragile Waters.”

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Writings

Nature of Cities: Drought and Flood in a Silicon Valley Museum

The floods that ravaged Silicon Valley this winter may have dried up, but there is still plenty of water flowing through the San Jose Museum of Art. This is a review of a trio of water-related exhibitions on view, “Liquid City,” The Darkened Mirror,” and “Fragile Waters.”

/ No comments
Writings

Mercury News Op-Ed | Ghost Ship raises broad questions about art and culture

Patrick Lydon, an artist and former San Jose arts commissioner driven out of the Bay Area by of high rents reflects on how the Ghost Ship calamity reflects on not only cities’ attitudes toward artists but on our broader culture.

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Writings

Mercury News Op-Ed | Ghost Ship raises broad questions about art and culture

Patrick Lydon, an artist and former San Jose arts commissioner driven out of the Bay Area by of high rents reflects on how the Ghost Ship calamity reflects on not only cities’ attitudes toward artists but on our broader culture.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Building an Ecology of One

Around the world, individuals are building social, economic, and ecological well being into their communities, they are becoming partners again with the earth in all that they do. Each of us, too, has the power to make a socially and ecologically just economic system a reality for ourselves and those around us.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Building an Ecology of One

Around the world, individuals are building social, economic, and ecological well being into their communities, they are becoming partners again with the earth in all that they do. Each of us, too, has the power to make a socially and ecologically just economic system a reality for ourselves and those around us.

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Writings

Final Straw | Life and Death in the Field

In this very moment, you and I have a choice, and that choice will effect whether or not our children and grand children can live happily on this earth. We should take that choice seriously.

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Writings

Final Straw | Life and Death in the Field

In this very moment, you and I have a choice, and that choice will effect whether or not our children and grand children can live happily on this earth. We should take that choice seriously.

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Writings

Final Straw | The Seeds Inside of Us

…the issue is not that we are “not extraordinary enough” but rather that, although each of us has an extraordinary seed inside of us, the habits of our contemporary urban lives — from the food we eat to the jobs we work to the television we watch — do not nourish this seed.

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Writings

Final Straw | The Seeds Inside of Us

…the issue is not that we are “not extraordinary enough” but rather that, although each of us has an extraordinary seed inside of us, the habits of our contemporary urban lives — from the food we eat to the jobs we work to the television we watch — do not nourish this seed.

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Writings

Final Straw | The Earth Flag

A flag, while at once a symbol of pride, oneness, and triumph, can also become a tool of artificial supremacy, of separation from our kin, and of unnecessary strife and conflict within this Earth. We often like to call this the “reality” of our times, but this begs us to ask whether or not we are defining reality in a realistic way.

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Writings

Final Straw | The Earth Flag

A flag, while at once a symbol of pride, oneness, and triumph, can also become a tool of artificial supremacy, of separation from our kin, and of unnecessary strife and conflict within this Earth. We often like to call this the “reality” of our times, but this begs us to ask whether or not we are defining reality in a realistic way.

/ No comments
Writings

Compassion, Syria, and Paris

Imagine, standing outside a bar in Paris, and your neighborhood has just been annihilated by a foreign air strike…

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Writings

Compassion, Syria, and Paris

Imagine, standing outside a bar in Paris, and your neighborhood has just been annihilated by a foreign air strike…

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Writings

Nature of Cities | A Restaurant and Garden Serving up Connections to Urban Nature

We opened a slightly audacious restaurant and garden in a working-class suburb of Osaka, Japan with the intent of connecting people more deeply with food and nature in their neighborhood. Can an urban garden help us remember what it means to be human?

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Writings

Nature of Cities | A Restaurant and Garden Serving up Connections to Urban Nature

We opened a slightly audacious restaurant and garden in a working-class suburb of Osaka, Japan with the intent of connecting people more deeply with food and nature in their neighborhood. Can an urban garden help us remember what it means to be human?

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Writings

SocieCity | Rice Fields, Rice Balls, and Relationships

From a tiny rice field to one of the world’s largest cities, follow us on a journey with a chef as she builds a pint-sized restaurant focused on nourishing relationships…

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Writings

SocieCity | Rice Fields, Rice Balls, and Relationships

From a tiny rice field to one of the world’s largest cities, follow us on a journey with a chef as she builds a pint-sized restaurant focused on nourishing relationships…

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Trees of Life and Fruitful Relationships

A review written for The Nature of Cities on Arboreal Architecture: A Visual History of Trees, an exhibition on view at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. The show’s curator, George Philip LeBourdais, has shoehorned a global collection of artworks from the Cantor Center’s collection into an exhibition that offers a deep and powerful display of cultural relationships to trees over a great timespan…

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Trees of Life and Fruitful Relationships

A review written for The Nature of Cities on Arboreal Architecture: A Visual History of Trees, an exhibition on view at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University. The show’s curator, George Philip LeBourdais, has shoehorned a global collection of artworks from the Cantor Center’s collection into an exhibition that offers a deep and powerful display of cultural relationships to trees over a great timespan…

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Artists, Vagabonds, and an Accidental Nature Reserve in San Francisco Bay

A review written for The Nature of Cities of Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture, an exhibition curated by Robin Lasser, Danielle Siembieda, and Barbara Boissevain at SOMArts, San Francisco, USA.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Artists, Vagabonds, and an Accidental Nature Reserve in San Francisco Bay

A review written for The Nature of Cities of Refuge in Refuse: Homesteading Art and Culture, an exhibition curated by Robin Lasser, Danielle Siembieda, and Barbara Boissevain at SOMArts, San Francisco, USA.

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Writings

Resilience | What if We all Grew Food?

What would our food situation look like if all of the suburban backyards and urban alleyways were producing some kind of food? Is this a silly agrarian dream? Would we still need GMOs?

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Writings

Resilience | What if We all Grew Food?

What would our food situation look like if all of the suburban backyards and urban alleyways were producing some kind of food? Is this a silly agrarian dream? Would we still need GMOs?

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Writings

Resilience | Fixing Soil Loss Requires a Mindset Change

The UN claims we have less than 60 years of farming left if we continue our modern chemical-industrial based farming processes… thankfully, around the world, small scale farmers have been putting into practice the kinds of regenerative farming that can both reverse ecological destruction, and feed the world.

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Writings

Resilience | Fixing Soil Loss Requires a Mindset Change

The UN claims we have less than 60 years of farming left if we continue our modern chemical-industrial based farming processes… thankfully, around the world, small scale farmers have been putting into practice the kinds of regenerative farming that can both reverse ecological destruction, and feed the world.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Garden City Culture: How a Cultural Connection with Nature Can Build a Truly Sustainable Future

If urban sustainability issues are to become deeply entrenched in culture, it follows that successful urban nature design—indeed, successful sustainable cities in general—can only be achieved in concert with a deep and sustained cultural awareness of the importance of nature.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Garden City Culture: How a Cultural Connection with Nature Can Build a Truly Sustainable Future

If urban sustainability issues are to become deeply entrenched in culture, it follows that successful urban nature design—indeed, successful sustainable cities in general—can only be achieved in concert with a deep and sustained cultural awareness of the importance of nature.

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Writings

Resilience | Solving Crime and Inequality, with a Seed

Is it possible for a humble seed and a patch of soil to be the catalysts for stronger, healthier, more equal urban communities?

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Writings

Resilience | Solving Crime and Inequality, with a Seed

Is it possible for a humble seed and a patch of soil to be the catalysts for stronger, healthier, more equal urban communities?

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Writings

SocieCity | No Money Farming? Yes, It’s Possible.

In an economy which pushes and fights its way towards new, profitable solutions, one Japanese man wields a refreshingly simple way of problem solving, finding balance for himself and his family in a way that most would find counter-intuitive.

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Writings

SocieCity | No Money Farming? Yes, It’s Possible.

In an economy which pushes and fights its way towards new, profitable solutions, one Japanese man wields a refreshingly simple way of problem solving, finding balance for himself and his family in a way that most would find counter-intuitive.

/ No comments
Writings

Nature of Cities | Art and Urban Green Spaces

I took part in this global panel discussion on how can art (in all its forms), exhibits, installations and provocations be a better catalyst to raise awareness, support and momentum for urban nature and green spaces.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Art and Urban Green Spaces

I took part in this global panel discussion on how can art (in all its forms), exhibits, installations and provocations be a better catalyst to raise awareness, support and momentum for urban nature and green spaces.

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Writings

SocieCity | Shanghai’s Silent Motorcycles

There are silent scooters running about the streets of Shanghai… what does it mean for one of the global capitals of air pollution?

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Writings

SocieCity | Shanghai’s Silent Motorcycles

There are silent scooters running about the streets of Shanghai… what does it mean for one of the global capitals of air pollution?

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Global Roundtable on the Role of ‘Sacred’ in Urban Spaces

Few of us walk around hugging urban trees, saying hello to weeds, and gently touching stone buildings… But if we claim to take urban nature seriously, why don’t we?

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Global Roundtable on the Role of ‘Sacred’ in Urban Spaces

Few of us walk around hugging urban trees, saying hello to weeds, and gently touching stone buildings… But if we claim to take urban nature seriously, why don’t we?

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Writings

Nature of Cities | What Can the Loss of Culture Teach Us About Urban Nature?

We have an endless stream of good knowledge, theory, and practice for building sustainable, nature-inclusive cities, what’s missing is a deeper consciousness of our relationship to the environment.

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Writings

Nature of Cities | What Can the Loss of Culture Teach Us About Urban Nature?

We have an endless stream of good knowledge, theory, and practice for building sustainable, nature-inclusive cities, what’s missing is a deeper consciousness of our relationship to the environment.

/ No comments
Writings

Nature of Cities | Global Roundtable on the Monetary Value of Ecosystem Services

Many believe that better information on the monetary value of ecosystem services is critical … what are the key knowledge gaps for convincing cities to invest in ecosystems services?

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Writings

Nature of Cities | Global Roundtable on the Monetary Value of Ecosystem Services

Many believe that better information on the monetary value of ecosystem services is critical … what are the key knowledge gaps for convincing cities to invest in ecosystems services?

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Writings

Negotiating with Mother Earth

This whole Natural Capital initiative (whereby the industry puts price tags on the natural environment) is on the losing side of an argument which — by the very physical principals that guide this earth — will always be decided by nature,

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Writings

Negotiating with Mother Earth

This whole Natural Capital initiative (whereby the industry puts price tags on the natural environment) is on the losing side of an argument which — by the very physical principals that guide this earth — will always be decided by nature,

/ No comments
Writings

Dear Industry: It’s Not You, It’s Me

For the sake of that little bit of sanity, let’s assume it’s not too late to turn back the tables on environmental disaster. That it’s not too late for us to re-capture truth in the way we live life and the

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Writings

Dear Industry: It’s Not You, It’s Me

For the sake of that little bit of sanity, let’s assume it’s not too late to turn back the tables on environmental disaster. That it’s not too late for us to re-capture truth in the way we live life and the

/ No comments
Writings

Medium.com | Our Cities Don’t Need More Good Designs

Our cities are turning into a series of island of prisons for old people, built by their very own generation. So why won’t good design and good ideas won’t save our cities or the people in them?

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Writings

Medium.com | Our Cities Don’t Need More Good Designs

Our cities are turning into a series of island of prisons for old people, built by their very own generation. So why won’t good design and good ideas won’t save our cities or the people in them?

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Writings

A 12-Step Program to Cure Environmental Destruction

I propose a 12-step program for consumers. This program, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, is aimed at understanding our addiction to destroying nature, and re-connecting with nature in order to help ourselves mend this addiction.

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Writings

A 12-Step Program to Cure Environmental Destruction

I propose a 12-step program for consumers. This program, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, is aimed at understanding our addiction to destroying nature, and re-connecting with nature in order to help ourselves mend this addiction.

/ No comments
Writings

Sustainable Cities | Local Food: Can We Ditch the Supermarket?

This article is the first in a Sociecity exclusive series on Local Food, where consider some viable alternatives to standard supermarket food shopping, taking an in-depth look at what it really means to be a ‘locavore.’

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Writings

Sustainable Cities | Local Food: Can We Ditch the Supermarket?

This article is the first in a Sociecity exclusive series on Local Food, where consider some viable alternatives to standard supermarket food shopping, taking an in-depth look at what it really means to be a ‘locavore.’

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Writings

Resilience.org | San Francisco’s Natural Farm Restaurant

From Chez Panisse to Namu Gaji, This iconic city, set on a hilly peninsula on California’s central coast is a small but powerful leader in the local agriculture movement.

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Writings

Resilience.org | San Francisco’s Natural Farm Restaurant

From Chez Panisse to Namu Gaji, This iconic city, set on a hilly peninsula on California’s central coast is a small but powerful leader in the local agriculture movement.

/ No comments
Writings

Sustainable Cities | The Beauty in Blood, Sweat, and Dirt

We prefer to experience the world as a pretty picture and to believe that the importance of our hard work in the office is a proper surrogate for interacting with and understanding the world around us. But is there beauty in Blood, Sweat, and Dirt?

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Writings

Sustainable Cities | The Beauty in Blood, Sweat, and Dirt

We prefer to experience the world as a pretty picture and to believe that the importance of our hard work in the office is a proper surrogate for interacting with and understanding the world around us. But is there beauty in Blood, Sweat, and Dirt?

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feature, Re: Think, Writings

Medium.com | It Takes a Village

How Superstardom Discourages the Cultivation of New Creative Talent. We are both amazingly fortunate, and woefully unfortunate to live this day, in a world where superstardom exists.

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feature, Re: Think, Writings

Medium.com | It Takes a Village

How Superstardom Discourages the Cultivation of New Creative Talent. We are both amazingly fortunate, and woefully unfortunate to live this day, in a world where superstardom exists.

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action, economics, economy, finance, judiciary, law, legal, monetary, product, Re: Think, society, Writings

SocieCity | Freedom and Economics

What exactly is ‘freedom’ in modern society? From the MacBook to Plato, we examine how the ‘special reality’ of the modern economic system dictates our freedoms, and how the legal system then fights to keep it all running smoothly.

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action, economics, economy, finance, judiciary, law, legal, monetary, product, Re: Think, society, Writings

SocieCity | Freedom and Economics

What exactly is ‘freedom’ in modern society? From the MacBook to Plato, we examine how the ‘special reality’ of the modern economic system dictates our freedoms, and how the legal system then fights to keep it all running smoothly.

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Writings

SocieCity | Mighty Cheeseburger Meets Lowly Cabbage

The mighty, juicy, cheeseburger meets the lowly leafy green… or is it the other way around? Having a curiosity about the energy required to produce different foods, Vero Alanis and I put the Cheeseburger to the energy-efficiency test, pitting it against the cabbage.

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Writings

SocieCity | Mighty Cheeseburger Meets Lowly Cabbage

The mighty, juicy, cheeseburger meets the lowly leafy green… or is it the other way around? Having a curiosity about the energy required to produce different foods, Vero Alanis and I put the Cheeseburger to the energy-efficiency test, pitting it against the cabbage.

/ Comments Off on SocieCity | Mighty Cheeseburger Meets Lowly Cabbage
Writings

Mercury News Op-Ed | Graffiti Problems Misunderstood by Society and DA

A joint op-ed with educator and former graffiti artist, Patrick Milillo which asks: is it better to spend money jailing nonviolent painters or to invest in our communities, our schools, and in building legitimate venues for youth to have their voices heard?

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Writings

Mercury News Op-Ed | Graffiti Problems Misunderstood by Society and DA

A joint op-ed with educator and former graffiti artist, Patrick Milillo which asks: is it better to spend money jailing nonviolent painters or to invest in our communities, our schools, and in building legitimate venues for youth to have their voices heard?

/ No comments
control, global warming, human, life, nature, ownership, philosophy, simple, simplicity, survival, urban, Writings

SocieCity | Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

We are born to the world as a part of nature — well, except for test tube babies — and will also leave the world as a part of nature — okay, plus maybe some formaldehyde, antibiotics and whatnot. It’s just this whole ‘living’ part between being born and death where we seem to have things a little screwed up.

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control, global warming, human, life, nature, ownership, philosophy, simple, simplicity, survival, urban, Writings

SocieCity | Is Global Warming Really the Problem?

We are born to the world as a part of nature — well, except for test tube babies — and will also leave the world as a part of nature — okay, plus maybe some formaldehyde, antibiotics and whatnot. It’s just this whole ‘living’ part between being born and death where we seem to have things a little screwed up.

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Writings

SocieCity | The Art, the Individual, the City

Certainly one of the few tasks of importance which must only be entrusted to the command of a single person, is that of art. Yet art it is not primarily mechanical or utilitarian in nature.

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Writings

SocieCity | The Art, the Individual, the City

Certainly one of the few tasks of importance which must only be entrusted to the command of a single person, is that of art. Yet art it is not primarily mechanical or utilitarian in nature.

/ No comments
Carter, Ecuador, global, industrial, industrialized nations, Ivonne A-Baki, resources, Rio+20, Schumacher, sustainability, UN, United Nations, Writings

SocieCity | Dear United Nations: A Call for Moderation and Respect

Industrialized nations know very well that their lifestyle is both a social and ecological impossibility for a majority of the world, so for them it’s either war, exploitation, or…

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Carter, Ecuador, global, industrial, industrialized nations, Ivonne A-Baki, resources, Rio+20, Schumacher, sustainability, UN, United Nations, Writings

SocieCity | Dear United Nations: A Call for Moderation and Respect

Industrialized nations know very well that their lifestyle is both a social and ecological impossibility for a majority of the world, so for them it’s either war, exploitation, or…

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bicycle, city, city planning, Europe, featu, Hans Larsen, Japan, light rail, san jose, station, suburbs, train, transit, transportation, urban village, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 3)

With a sea of parking lots currently surrounding San Jose’s transit hubs, the city is looking at opportunities to build new “urban villages” connected by a robust mass transit and bicycle system.

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bicycle, city, city planning, Europe, featu, Hans Larsen, Japan, light rail, san jose, station, suburbs, train, transit, transportation, urban village, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 3)

With a sea of parking lots currently surrounding San Jose’s transit hubs, the city is looking at opportunities to build new “urban villages” connected by a robust mass transit and bicycle system.

/ Comments Off on Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 3)
bicycle, city planning, Hans Larsen, Re: Think, san jose, suburbs, transit, transportation, urban, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 2)

The new generation doesn’t want to drive a 50 mile commute, to be wedded to a car, they’d rather spend their time doing other things, living close to where they work, being able to walk, bike, and/or have an easy transit trip.

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bicycle, city planning, Hans Larsen, Re: Think, san jose, suburbs, transit, transportation, urban, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 2)

The new generation doesn’t want to drive a 50 mile commute, to be wedded to a car, they’d rather spend their time doing other things, living close to where they work, being able to walk, bike, and/or have an easy transit trip.

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bicycle, Eco, economics, Hans Larsen, Re: Think, san jose, transportation, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 1)

Silicon Valley’s City Center is in the middle of one of the great innovation capitals of the modern world to be sure, but when it comes to sustainable development, the city has traditionally been a perfect example of what not to do. How does San Jose go from suburbia to eco-utopia?

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bicycle, Eco, economics, Hans Larsen, Re: Think, san jose, transportation, Writings

Sustainable Cities | Suburbia into Eco-Utopia (part 1)

Silicon Valley’s City Center is in the middle of one of the great innovation capitals of the modern world to be sure, but when it comes to sustainable development, the city has traditionally been a perfect example of what not to do. How does San Jose go from suburbia to eco-utopia?

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Writings

Sustainable Cities | Copenhagen Economics say Cars a Net Loss, Bikes a Benefit

A study commissioned in 2010 by Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, Mayor of Copenhagen found that driving cars offers up a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven, whereas bicycles offer a significant net benefit to the economy.

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Writings

Sustainable Cities | Copenhagen Economics say Cars a Net Loss, Bikes a Benefit

A study commissioned in 2010 by Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, Mayor of Copenhagen found that driving cars offers up a $0.20 net loss for each mile driven, whereas bicycles offer a significant net benefit to the economy.

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city, Eco, feature, health, Japan, light rail, Re: Think, san jose, urban, Writings

Death and Life of the Silicon Valley Streetcar

At one point, Silicon Valley had an extensive privately owned and operated streetcar system. Where did it go, and is there still hope for re-building transit oriented developments in a smart, forward-thinking way?

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city, Eco, feature, health, Japan, light rail, Re: Think, san jose, urban, Writings

Death and Life of the Silicon Valley Streetcar

At one point, Silicon Valley had an extensive privately owned and operated streetcar system. Where did it go, and is there still hope for re-building transit oriented developments in a smart, forward-thinking way?

/ Comments Off on Death and Life of the Silicon Valley Streetcar