Playing Games with the Budget: ideas for emphasizing the legislative elements of budget-making through an online multiplayer toy

Submitted by Ezra Glenn on Thu, 11/01/2012 - 11:24am

Since the late 1980s, planners and researchers have explored---and generally touted---the use of participatory budget processes to educate and engage stakeholders; participatory budgeting has been celebrated for its potential to improve participation and the legitimacy of government decisions, and may even hold promise to deliver the "collective intelligence" benefits of "crowdsourcing." In a related vein, recent public, media, and educational projects have built on an established tradition of planning and policy games and "serious play"---including role-playing games, scenario planning exe

NYT: OP-ED Illogical Housing Aid

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 4:02pm

OP-ED CONTRIBUTORS: Illogical Housing Aid

By Yonah Freemark and Lawrence J. Vale 

Published: October 30, 2012

Cambridge, MASS

The tax deduction for mortgage interest may not quite be the “third rail” of politics that Social Security is, but politicians on both sides have long been afraid to touch it. So when Mitt Romney recently floated the idea of capping this deduction, Democrats pounced.

Affordable housing and upward mobility : bridging the divide at The Community Builders, Inc.

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 2:14pm

Daniel Yadegar's (MCP '12) this explored an increasing austerity at all levels of government has propelled a heightened focus on more efficient models of housing delivery, human service delivery and community development. One area of increased attention, with minimal empirical research, remains the integration of these three arenas. While the integration of such fields has been proposed conceptually for at least twenty years, there is little record of the challenges faced through integration or the proven benefits of such a model.

Designing an integrated waterfront : responsive redevelopment at the Philadelphia Navy Yard

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 2:05pm

Elizabeth Woods' (MCP '12) thesis explored that over the past half-century, the physical form and primary purpose of the American urban waterfront has profoundly changed. Due to the combined forces of de-industrialization, globalization, and military restructuring, urban waterfronts have transformed from industrial and manufacturing employment centers to tourist destinations, passive recreation areas, and luxury residential and corporate office districts.

Design against nature : flooding, water supply, and public space in Los Angeles

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 1:59pm

Max Thelander's (MCP '12) thesis found that starting in the late 19th century, Southern California saw the first of several waves of explosive population growth that have resulted in today's mega-region. While many early settlers were attracted by the city's famous sunshine, the surging population exceeded locally-available water supplies early on. Los Angeles responded by building a vast system of aqueducts to appropriate waters from across the West.

Cycling infrastructure as a first mile solution for mass transit access in Singapore : a study of MRT ridership in Singapore towns

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 1:53pm

Hengky Tay's (MS '120 thesis focuses on the first and last mile problem of public transport is an area of growing research interest as cities confront challenges to improve public transport alternatives to support urban activities. First and last mile solutions such as cycling are becoming increasingly popular in many cities around the world as a cheap and environmentally friendly solution. Investments in bicycling infrastructure provide cyclists and potential cyclists a safer environment to cycle to work and to public transit nodes.

A new life for plazas : reimagining privately owned public spaces in New York Cityhttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/73829

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 1:28pm

Richard Suarez's (MCP '12) thesis found that since 1961 the City of New York has allowed buildings to receive added floor area in exchange for privately owned public spaces. These spaces, typically in the form of small outdoor plazas, are spatially clustered in the densest areas of Manhattan and serve as a valuable public amenity for the residents and employees in these areas.

The image has the power : fighting blight in Philadelphia

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 1:13pm

Jonah Stern's (MCP '12) thesis argued that blight has plagued Philadelphia for the better part of a century, though the understanding of blight has changed dramatically over time. Originally used to describe neighborhood overcrowding, the term retained its currency even as once-overcrowded neighborhoods emptied out in the decades after World War II. The agenda of eradicating blight in its various forms has driven successive waves of redevelopment policy since the 1940s, and yet the problem persists to an astonishing degree in neighborhoods throughout the City.

Successful streets : performance measures, community engagement, and urban street design

Submitted by Sandra Elliott on Fri, 10/26/2012 - 12:52pm

Jeremy Steinemann's (MCP '12) thesis explored that over the past decade, local transportation agencies have increasingly re-designed urban arterials, their cities' major surface streets, to better accommodate a wide range of users. At the same time, a growing number of agencies are using performance measurement, the tracking and reporting of specific transportation-related variables, to evaluate and document their impacts. This report attempts to understand the role that performance measurement plays in design decision-making for urban arterial streets.

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