Can Aruba, the most beautiful and happy island have a sustainable development?

Is the clichéd saying, ‘Aruba is a perfect getaway’ lacking a vital spark?  Aruba is a beautiful Caribbean island about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It is just 20 miles long and six miles wide. The population is around 100,000, with 33,000 residing in the capital city, Oranjestad. The Arawak tribes first inhabited …

Are street fairs having nothing to do with neighborhoods anymore? What has to be done to make it more interesting to manifest the unique features of the communities?

Urban street fairs and festivals are public indication of the character and uniqueness of the community. They are important commercial activity and  most ardent way of enticing people to use the public space. Street fairs, which once created lively gathering spaces, now offer less heterogeneous collections and are not favorable for local vendors to participate. In …

Is the American dream of large lot single-family homes crumbled forever? Is there any hope for revival?

For over 60 years Americans have always dreamed about the suburban living. The General Motors presented the “Highways and Horizons” in the New York World’s Fair in 1940 where it envisioned how American cities and towns would look like in 1960s. It was anticipated back then that Americans in 1960s would live in large lot …

Will the concept of “Walk Score” be entirely successful? Will the homebuyers give importance to the walk score even in this tumbling economy?

Walkable neighborhood is the widespread concept in planning that provides benefit to people, environment and the community. Walk Score is an online rating tool for neighborhoods. “Walk Score measures the number of typical consumer destinations within walking distance of a house, with scores ranging from 0 (car dependent) to 100 (most walkable). By the Walk …

Center Plaza in Baltimore – Sense of Space, Strengths and Limitations.

The 1960s style Center Plaza, is a $7.5 million renovation project. Mayor Thomas D’Alessandro, JR was the first to undertake the Charles Center project in 1958. Olivia Klose in her article, “Urban Renewal Renewed: A Makeover for Baltimore’s Center Plaza Baltimore, Maryland” explicates that, in 2002, the local architecture of Brown and Craig redesigned the Center Plaza. …

Is National Harbor a truly successful and effective development?

Features and Benefits of the Development National Harbor, a 300 – acre waterfront development with its $2.1 billion mixed-use community was opened to public in 2008. The Peterson Companies built it and the area includes marinas, variety of restaurants, hotels, commercial and residential spaces. The Harbor is situated in the Prince George’s County, Maryland on …

Shrinking/Growing City: Baltimore’s Future?

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) in partnership with the Maryland Chapter of American Planning Association (APA) did a wonderful presentation on changing urban areas on October 12, 2011 at South Bond Street, Baltimore, Maryland. Tom Murphy, a senior resident fellow at Urban Land Institute; former mayor of Pittsburgh and a crucial member in the …

Does MICA’s Gateway building contribute to the revitalization of the Baltimore City?

The Gateway is a modern mixed-use student residence facility designed specifically to meet the needs of artists. The Gateway’s unique design includes a drum-shaped, multi-colored glass, concrete and steel residence wing and a translucent glass studio and residential tower. It is the first major architectural landmark visible when entering Baltimore from the north on Interstate 83. The …

Funding for Sustainable Communities in Peril!

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities are one of the targets of the FY 2012 federal budget. The House bill wiped out the sustainability grant programs- Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) at Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Sustainable Communities Initiative at Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In 2009, the three federal agencies Transportation, Housing …

Areas that lack facilities and deficient of activities in Inner Harbor, Baltimore

Tourism is an important phenomenon that boosts the economy of United States. Urban waterfronts have now become prime catalysts for generating tourism revenue and contributing to local economies. Inner Harbor, Baltimore is a well-known waterfront development that has transformed from a redundant space to the currently existing tourism space. Though Inner Harbor is a successful …