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Cities are host to a variety of cultural assets, from local music to theatre, community arts and nightclubs. But not all of them prioritize these assets or their infrastructure?—?the spaces where creatives work, live and perform. In the quest to attract the “creative class”, these cities can neglect the very culture creators who made them attractiv…
 
The night has the power to invoke a myriad of emotions?—?from fear to romance, melancholy to excitement. Whatever your feelings, the fact remains that the nighttime consists of half of our time on this earth, and that means half of our time in our cities as well. What can we do to ensure that our cities are truly taking advantage of their 24-hour n…
 
African Americans make up about 12 percent of the population in the U.S. but only about two percent of registered architects, with African American women consisting of .02 percent of architects overall. If the practice is meant to reflect the people being designed for, it will need to find ways to promote diversity within the field and in education…
 
We are so delighted to have been invited to this year’s annual NACTO Designing Cities conference! In this very special live recording we talk with Skye Duncan, Director of the Global Designing Cities Initiative, about their upcoming initiative on children and caretakers. A huge thank you to Corinne Kisner and the entire team at NACTO for inviting u…
 
Airbnb can be a contentious issue?—?it can give you a more affordable place to stay, a more authentic experience in a city, and allow you to meet new people from the places you’re visiting. On the other hand, it can “black out” entire blocks of tourists, drive up prices, and take valuable rental units off the market that could otherwise potentially…
 
It’s been a busy month for us between trips abroad, conferences, and new jobs, so we thought it would be a good time to sit down for a catch-up chat. Tune in as we discuss blog baby anniversaries, feminist planning in Stockholm, and Placemaking Week in Amsterdam. And stay tuned for some special announcements from the two of us, including a live rec…
 
Our cities are complex, and it will take more than one lens to tackle the issues we’re facing. But what does it mean to be interdisciplinary in urbanism? Deland Chan and Kevin Hsu, cofounders of the Human Cities Initiative at Stanford, are tackling this from the academic side?—?creating a program based on international collaboration and cross-cultu…
 
Nearly two months after the violent and hateful events in Charlottesville, Virginia, we sit down with Elgin Cleckley?—?assistant professor of architecture and design thinking at the University of Virginia?—?to talk about his experience as a black designer in the city. We discuss his recent Next City article, I’m a Black Designer in Charlottesville.…
 
A focus on walking can be the common denominator in making our cities more livable. In this episode we talk with Kate Kraft, Executive Director of America Walks, about celebrating 20 years of walking advocacy and what we can do to make our cities more equitable. Tune in for our discussion on what brought Kate to the world of walkability, the Nation…
 
In case you haven’t heard (somehow) Amazon is searching for its second headquarters and the cities of America?—?and Canada?—?are dressing to impress in a mad scramble to reply to the RFP. Which city will it be? How will Amazon choose the lucky winner? And what kind of impact do these veritable PR stunts have on the existing communities once the dus…
 
Philadelphia is about to undergo an unheard-of overhaul into its parks, rec centers, and libraries through the Rebuild program?—?a much needed revival for many underserved communities who rely on these assets as veritable town centers. In this episode, as a part of our partnership with Next City, we talk to contributor Jen Kinney about her article …
 
This week we have a special episode on the incredible storm surging through Houston this weekend, Hurricane Harvey. With our guest, Tanvi Misra, author of the CityLab article The Vulnerable Communities in Harvey’s Path, Mapped, we discuss the issues that disadvantaged populations face not only in times of environmental crisis but every day in our c…
 
The recent discussions, protests, and removal of confederate monuments following the events in Charlottesville have helped revive the conversation around who we are as a country, who we were, and who we want to be?—?as memorialized in our public space. Mariah’s recent story in Next City discusses a hopeful shift in the installation of a new statue?…
 
This past weekend, the Third Wave Urbanism ladies, Kristen and Katrina, met for the second time to celebrate a birthday and record an episode?—?and promptly had technical difficulties (again). However, we re-recorded this important conversation about so-called “gender neutrality” in cities, and lighting in particular, based on The Establishment art…
 
Historically, “jaywalking” wasn’t an issue. Until the dominance of vehicles (and auto companies assisted by police forces) people and vehicles of all kinds mixed on American streets. Today people walking in cities face the risk of prosecution?—?or worse?—?when crossing the street where no marking exists. But what does this mean for a human-centered…
 
Mandatory parking minimums are an important part of how our cities are shaped (we swear!) and we are happy to see the subject explained in a more digestible way in a recent video by Vox and Mobility Lab. In our first video-inspired episode, we discuss what exactly these wonky requirements are, and unpack the nuance surrounding how to go about disin…
 
It’s no secret that the justice system in the United States needs reform. A proposal in New York City aims to address one specific link in the chain: city jails. What if jails were community hubs? How does treating people with dignity improve recidivism rates? And can the design of a space make us behave better? This week’s episode is based on the …
 
You know it when you walk by a spruced up front stoop, or walk through a park with plentiful benches?—?the little design elements make a big difference in our day to day urban lives. Now, thanks to the Center for Active Design, science has shown just how much of an impact these “extras” have on not only how welcome we feel in a place, but also impo…
 
Gentrification has almost been labeled a veritable dirty word in many urbanist circles, oversimplified by some to encompass “societal ills” that should probably be called out for what they are. But whether alluding to racism and displacement, rising rent prices or new development, it’s not an easy subject to cover (which probably explains why it to…
 
How can we reimagine our streets and turn them into dignified, safe, and healthy places for people? Oslo is on its way to transforming its downtown into a completely car-free district, in an ambitious plan to make the city even healthier through walking, cycling, and public transportation. But even in Oslo they can encounter the usual problems when…
 
A few years ago Pittsburgh made some bold claims - to be more livable, equitable, and to create a tech hub that promotes diversity. But how is it doing? This week's episode is about one man's experience raising a son in a world that still harasses and under represents huge swaths of the potential workforce. What does a smart city really look like i…
 
Redfin has released Walk Score’s 10 Most Walkable Cities of America and New York City is on top once again. Katrina + Kristen are pleased to see their respective cities at the top, though some ranks have shifted this year… Do the top 10 cities surprise you? Does your own neighborhood’s score seem higher or lower than it should? Join us as we virtua…
 
This week’s episode gets to the heart of the matter?—?being a woman in a city and what that means for the otherwise patriarchal planning processes that have formed cities up until now. It can’t be avoided, and we argue that it shouldn’t, if we’re to improve cities for everyone. Stick around to the end for a very special teaser of Katrina’s upcoming…
 
The one, the only, Jane Jacobs. This week's episode needs very little introduction. Kristen and Katrina talk about the latest documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, and the implications of privilege in protest, women in urbanism, historic preservation, and the "bad guys" (and planning paradigm) that she fought against. We are also excited t…
 
What happens when young boys take the streets? In Philadelphia a recent informal “critical mass” event sparked outrage from a local news anchor who even went so far as to criticize their “manliness” due to riding a bike. Personally, we love these guys (so long as their staying out of serious trouble). In this episode we touch on teens using streets…
 
Tactical urbanism is a bottom-up and top-down urban intervention typically aimed towards improving cities for everyone. From Park(ing) Day to Better Block, tactical urbanism has turned streets into safe cycle tracks and unused asphalt into pedestrian plazas worldwide. But what if it's done for the purposes of preventing people from using a space? W…
 
Richard Florida - love him or hate him there's no denying he is a mainstay of urban theory. After his bestselling book "The Rise of the Creative Class" drove a new era of innovation and commercial redevelopment - some say to a fault - we find ourselves in cities that are suddenly pricing out entire segments of their population as the gap between lo…
 
Following the election in the US, we were faced with a different set of realities - personally, politically, even spiritually. Now that we're in a more productive space (finally), we're moving forward to make a difference where we can, while exploring ways to impact city space for our most vulnerable citizens. In this episode we talk about a recent…
 
This episode explores the future of driving, or more specifically the predicted future of autonomous/driverless/self-driving vehicles. No matter what you call it, it has a lot of both ethical and human-centered issues, and as we continue testing this technology both in simulations and the real world, we're coming to realize that "smarter" may not n…
 
When we think about New Orleans we conjure up an image of mystique, music, but also history, and even despair. Kristen made a visit recently in what is the first of our City Spotlight series, focusing on three amazing women helping to make their city a better place for everyone. Listen in on their conversation to hear more about what challenges sti…
 
Bikes have become in many ways a loaded term you're either for or against. They incite aggression when bike lanes replace car parking, and bring up questions of gentrification and equity when dispersing bike share corrals or protected lanes. So what is it about bikes - a fun youthful activity - that turns them into a contested form of transportatio…
 
The world of good urban advocacy is still often dominated by a white male voice. One of our goals for Third Wave Urbanism is to bring to the forefront the many varied voices that aren't necessarily highlighted in conferences and panels, the news, and publications. One of those voices over the years in New York City has been Helen Ho, a longtime act…
 
The subject of shopping may sound one-dimensional at first, but there's a lot to be said about urban form and how we access centers of commerce that are available to us. In this episode we think back on our experiences growing up in and around main streets and shopping malls, and what we think the future of commerce looks like - and how it can fost…
 
Riding public transportation while female is an experience in and of itself, and often presents challenges that are not considered in transportation planning. Around the world, our experiences may differ depending on the level of acceptance of being a woman in a public space - but the bottom line is that comfort for everyone needs to be the priorit…
 
What does it mean to rank cities on livability or quality of life? In this episode we look at the recently released Monocle Quality of Life Survey for 2016 and discuss how it, and other ranked city lists (not listicles!), can impact the way cities progress and compete. Whether looking at overall metrics of a city like housing, affordability, safety…
 
In this episode of Third Wave Urbanism, we talk about the Olympics in Rio and the urban design surrounding it and other Olympic events. The Olympics are great for their globalization efforts, raising awareness of diverse women in sports, and generally providing a platform for friendly competition. But with all of the failures in city infrastructure…
 
In this pilot episode of Third Wave Urbanism, Kristen and Katrina discuss the Pokémon Go phenomenon and how it relates to public spaces in cities. As millennials, we grew up with the early introduction of technology in the household, but also the intersection between digital and reality as we spent time in semi-public arcades and simultaneously pla…
 
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