In deciding where to live, most parents typically consider the quality and proximity of amenities like schools and parks in the neighborhood. But what about hospitals – how important is it to have a good hospital near one’s home? In their book The City Parent Handbook , authors Kathy Bishop and Julia Whitehead explain why hospitals with pediatric emergency departments are absolutely critical and tell parents that they must know where the closest ones are. [Read more…] about A Hospital Near You?
I love LEGOs. I suspect that I am not the only one, especially among current and future urban planners. I have fond memories of playing with the minifigures and blocks when I was young, and I still get excited at the sight of a LEGO store to this day. I would even say that my love for LEGOs and the fun I had building with those colorful blocks contributed to my decision to become a planner. LEGO, which comes from the Danish phrase “leg godt” [Read more…] about LEGOs and Urban Planning
Do people actually walk in Los Angeles? I certainly do, but obviously, I cannot speak for all Angelenos. As a Downtown (DTLA) resident and someone who enjoys walking daily, I was glad to learn that DTLA was recently named the “most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles.” With a Walk Score of 92, DTLA is considered a “walker’s paradise.” The next most walking-friendly neighborhoods are Koreatown and Mid-City. (Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.) [Read more…] about Walking in Los Angeles
While visiting New York City for the first time last year, I could not help but notice how well used its parks were. I was particularly impressed with Madison Square Park which is home to Shake Shack, a well-known restaurant chain serving hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, milkshakes and similar foods. [Read more…] about Partnerships for Parks
Have you ever wondered what light pollution is and/or whether it is a big deal? According to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), light pollution is “any adverse effect of artificial light including sky glow, glare, light trespass, light clutter, decreased visibility at night, and energy waste.” Wanting to learn more about this issue, I recently watched the documentary The City Dark. [Read more…] about The City Dark and Light Pollution
When some people learned that I grew up in Hong Kong, they expressed that my decision to become an urban planner was not surprising. After all, Hong Kong, a former British colony, is a modern city well known for its skyscrapers, high density, creative use of limited land resources, and efficient public transportation system. They were partly right. [Read more…] about A Few Thoughts on Planning in Hong Kong and California
According to the American Planning Association (APA), successful planners should have a variety of skills, one of which is “the ability to solve problems using a balance of technical competence, creativity, and hardheaded pragmatism.” While technical competence and pragmatism are often discussed by planning scholars and practitioners alike, creativity seems to be missing from the conversation. [Read more…] about Creativity in Planning
As a park planner, I am interested in just about any discussion and presentation on parks and open space. Last week, I attended an event hosted by APA LA called “Public and Open Space in Los Angeles” which featured Sam Gennawey and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. Gennawey, a planner and theme park and attractions industry expert, is the author of the recently released book Walt and the Promise of Progress City. Loukaitou-Sideris is Associate Dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs and a professor of urban planning. Her research focuses on the public environment of the city, its physical representation, aesthetics, social meaning and impact on urban residents. [Read more…] about Public and Private Open Space in Los Angeles