Urban Planning

Building a Dialogue around Race to Change Political Institutions, the City of Seattle Starts the Race and Social Justice Initiative

As candidate Greg Nickels visited different communities during his campaign for mayor of Seattle, news reports erupted over the death of Aaron Roberts, an African American male. According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

“During the traffic stop, police said, Roberts grabbed a [police] officer's arm, stepped on the gas and dragged him. The officer's partner scrambled to the passenger side of the car and fired a round that killed Roberts.”

The Case of the South Park Bridge: Infrastructure Concerns and Community Resilience in Seattle

On a Tuesday evening in April 2010, South Park residents and local business owners gathered at the local Machinists Union Hall to hear King County representatives make a surprising and disheartening announcement: the South Park Bridge would close. The bridge was the main link between the largely low-income and industrial neighborhood of South Park and downtown Seattle, and supported traffic flow onto the main retail corridor in South Park. This traffic provided much of the customer base on which the small businesses depended almost entirely.

NAIROBI: FIGHTING BLACKOUTS IN A GROWING URBAN CENTER

The case discusses the acceptance and implementation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Transmission Ring (NMR) as one solution to address Kenya’s electricity supply issues. The NMR project required the balancing of multiple influencing parties to satisfy national development criteria, highlighted by Kenya’s Vision 2030, with multilateral financing prerequisites. While the case focuses on decisions made at a national level for development within one city, it addresses public and private concerns, individual and national economics, income inequality, environmental externalities, and rural vs.

En Route To Cleaner Air: Urban air pollution management in Santiago, Chile

Santiago suffers from a serious air pollution problem. With six million people, a third of the country’s population, in a bowl surrounded by the Andes, air quality is among the worst in the world. Two major sources of airborne particulates were exhaust from cars and buses.

The Urban Forest in Washington D.C.: On Target or Missing the Mark?

The Sustainable DC plan launched in 2012, aims to transform Washington D.C. into the greenest, healthiest, most livable city in the US. Part of this plan included expanding the city’s urban tree canopy to 40% by 2032. This is described as a keystone target that it is linked to the attainment of other goals in the plan.

Defining Sustainability in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy

Chief Minister Taib has set in place a massive sustainable dam project (SCORE) to increase energy production throughout Malaysia and develop Sarawak’s economy by bringing foreign industrial investment to the area. The SCORE project dams have been qualified as sustainable by the International Hydropower Association’s (IHA) Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Forum, and construction on the Murum Dam, the third of a potential 12 dams, was completed in 2013.

Kigali, Rwanda: Urban Agriculture for Food Security?

This case evaluates the premade decision of the Kigali City Council (KCC) to incorporate urban agriculture into the city’s long-term development agenda, as the key tool to address the problem of food security. A land-scarce country characterized by a predominantly rural population, Rwanda has a history of unsustainable approaches to food security, exacerbated by the collapse of the coffee industry in the 1980s and the genocide in the 1990s. After the genocide, international donors swept in to rebuild the war-torn country, which included projects designed to combat food insecurity.

Cities in Flux: Urban Redensification in Detroit and Guangzhou

A shrinking Detroit and an expanding Guangzhou shape this case, which aims to introduce readers to the nuances of population density and the importance of redensification in sustainable urban planning. Redensification policies in these cities offer a novel way of thinking about how to distribute populations and jobs to optimize public services and a city’s quality of life.

Leaning into the Wind: Building Sustainable Wind Power in China

In China’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), the central government outlines ambitious targets for expanding domestic wind power generation. These targets are part of the government’s greater effort to reduce reliance upon thermal plants, which have produced unprecedented levels of pollution in recent years. As the world’s largest wind power collective, which is expected to reach 40 GW in capacity by 2020, the Jiuquan Wind Power Base serves as a paragon of China’s unbridled expansion into renewables.

Maboneng: Place of Light. A Case Study in Urban Regeneration in Johannesburg, South Africa

Until the 1970s, Johannesburg’s Central Business District (CBD) was the economic center of South Africa and, arguably, of the entire African continent. In the 1980s, however, a series of events and an epidemic of violence led to a mass exodus from the CBD to Johannesburg’s safer northern suburbs. The CBD became a virtual ‘no-go’ zone and quickly lost its significance as the center of Johannesburg. The city shifted to a decentralized sprawl and the CBD fell into a state of abandoned disrepair.