About Mike:

Profile: NY>SD>LA>NY>OZ>LA>BK>PDX>BC>? I like movies.

Contact: mike@planningpool.com

Posts by Mike:

Call for contributions!

Hi there,

For the past couple of years, we’ve been running Planning Pool with the intention of creating grounds for sharing and discussing community development. While we’ve received a great number of contributions from a variety of different folks, we’d really like for the site to be a stronger exchange for community development ideas and collaboration. We can’t do this without you. As ever, we aim to provide as many avenues as possible to share planning-related thoughts, whether through writing, photos, audio, video, or other media. Additionally, we also do our best to secure press passes for our contributors to cover events, which can be a great way to gain entrance to otherwise expensive seminars. If you have an idea that you’d like to share or an event you’d like to cover, let us know how we can make it happen. … Continue Reading

20-Minute Community on Portland’s inner fringe

Portland is trying to be North America’s most walkable city by employing a vision for 20-minute communities in much of its current planning. There’s a lot of power in this idea, and if done right, it can be influential beyond the Rose City. The key though, as I see it, is not to embellish Portland’s thriving boutique districts, but instead to strengthen the places that are lacking structural riches. If the city can do this, it will have accomplished something that can inform planning everywhere. read more

Weekly Video(s): Optical Illusions and Home Manufacturing

…Vid 1: Scaring the hell out of drivers so they slow down. Is it a good idea? With limited use, I suppose this could be an effective way to get people to slow down. Then again, the thought of deliberately placing optical illusions on streets seems iffy. Should the approach be overused, drivers might start to assume that real pedestrians are merely eye tricks… just saying. Read more

Weekly Video: Tiny Houses

Alright, so I’m late on this one — people have apparently been excited about tiny houses for awhile now. Regardless, I’m joining their ranks. As cities of greater urban density make attempts at infill development, such as Vancouver’s laneway housing, these diminutive domiciles might look a little out of place in some areas…

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Read more…

Weekly Vid: Levi’s lends a hand up in PA

The following video from VBS details some of the features of the community center and illustrates how Braddock is dealing with the tough realities of decay. Very interesting and certainly inspiring.

Weekly Video: Flying Cars

That’s right — the ever-illusive flying car is back, only this time it’s ready for full deployment in the 4th Quarter this year. Of course, flying cars aren’t a new idea, but they’re apparently gaining steam once again. I chose the following as our weekly video because I’m baffled as to what a person does with a flying car. If you’re looking for a fun and frightening exercise, try to imagine what civilization would look like if we all had our own Terrafugia Transition. Read more…

Weekly Vid: India & China Commuter Trains

…the second video is plucked from BestOfYoutube, and while it might be a long way from ever being realized, the idea of a train that never has to make intermediate station stops is pretty intriguing. Of course, it’s not hard to imagine many of the potential dangers, but the concept seems a logical solution to one of the biggest challenges in streamlining commuter rail – minimizing station time. Anyway, take a peek and share your thoughts…
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Weekly Video: Preservation on Main Street

While it might be nice if our cities and towns were built around squares as is the case in much of Europe, most places in North America developed around a main street. As such, Main Street programs have developed all across the United States, with average returns of $25 to the local economy for every $1 invested. Still, beyond its economic force, the program’s greatest strength is the sense of ownership is grants community members in celebrating their hometowns.

The following slideshow covers the Maryland Main Street Program, which is but one of many… Read more

Weekly Video: Planning Solved?

Forgive me for posting this — it’s admittedly over-the-top, but when Daniella shared this video over the weekend, I was floored….
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WIN WEEK – Planning Hero

Understanding past-mistakes is essential to avoiding them in the future, however, hindsight is 20/20 and we here at Planning Pool are cognizant of this truth. With that in mind and with eyes toward sunnier days, we’ve decided to respond to last month’s Fail Week feature with some of the more hopeful developments in the world of planning: Win Week…

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