Why design?

In order to preface our upcoming registration deadline (May 2, 2016) for the Urban Arboreta Student Design Competition, I thought we should emphasize the importance of design. No small task, especially for someone who wouldn’t consider himself a “designer,” for right or wrong. I go to a Design school. As an undergrad, I was a Read more about Why design?[…]

Urban Arboreta Sites: A Brief Land Use History

As a non-native of Philadelphia, I regret to say that I had largely forgotten about the city’s historical significance until moving here last fall. Sure, I associated Philadelphia with William Penn, Ben Franklin and the Liberty Bell, but much of my eighth grade American History had been lodged in the back of my mind, unstirred Read more about Urban Arboreta Sites: A Brief Land Use History[…]

Transforming Ground: Detroit Future City

This is the first in a series of posts that will examine what different individuals and organizations are doing to access and repurpose vacant land. Given the large number of vacant lots in Philadelphia, there is incredible opportunity for revitalizing this underutilized land and many have already begun to do just that in thoughtful and Read more about Transforming Ground: Detroit Future City[…]

Greening the Void

The Knight Cities Challenge asks: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful? For team member Matt Langan, the prompt was different from that posed by the 2005 Urban Voids: Grounds for Change design competition, but the answer was the same: an Urban Arboretum. Langan imagined large underutilized swaths of Philadelphia transformed into a Read more about Greening the Void[…]