Tag Archives: utilities

Street tree trimming gone berserk!


Needless to say, the cartoon below about street tree trimming in Alameda, California certainly depicts some of the worst examples that could be seen across the country. Here in the Midwest, the top-left image is more often referred to as “goal post”  or “touchdown” … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, art, cartoons, cities, civics, civility, environment, historic preservation, history, infrastructure, land use, nature, pictures, placemaking, planning, politics, pollution, satire, sustainability, transportation, urban planning, visual pollution, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Utility infrastructure does not have to be ugly


This electrical substation in suburban Chicago (Elk Grove Village) is an excellent example of how, with a little effort, utility infrastructure can be designed to be aesthetically pleasing and blend well with its surroundings. Well done!  

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Don’t punish trees for poor utility practices


In the aftermath and finger-pointing that will surely follow the Great Ice Storm of 2013, there will likely be calls by the utilities and some citizens to obliterate more trees to prevent such wholesale power outages in the future. My response to that … Continue reading

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An unreliable power grid is unacceptable!


The continuing repairs to the grid across unlucky parts of Michigan, Ontario, New York and Maine clearly shows the weaknesses in our electrical grid and how susceptible it can be to the whimsy of Mother Nature. One sort of expects a power grid to … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Alternative energy, commerce, Communications, consumerism, culture, deregulation, economic development, economics, energy, environment, geography, government, health, history, Housing, humanity, infrastructure, land use, nature, North America, planning, politics, Privatization, product design, Renewable Energy, seasons, sustainability, technology, weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pissed-off planner: upgrade the damn grid!


For the second time in six weeks large swaths of Greater Lansing have been thrust into the dark and cold by bad weather – first a wind storm and now an ice storm. And once again, much of the suffering … Continue reading

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Power pole streetscape blight


I don’t know about your community, but here in Greater Lansing there seems to be an intense love affair between public utilities and power poles. “Holy pincushions, Batman, you’d think they’d all been raised by a family of porcupine.” In … Continue reading

Posted in adaptive reuse, Advocacy, Alternative energy, architecture, cities, civics, civility, commerce, Communications, downtown, economic development, energy, geography, government, history, infrastructure, land use, landscape architecture, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, politics, pollution, product design, revitalization, skylines, spatial design, sprawl, sustainability, technology, third places, urban planning, visual pollution | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Feck the straight-line mindset!


Please excuse me for utilizing the Irish version of a well-known four-letter profanity. It was picked up while visiting that lovely island last month. The milder term “feck” seemed to be the most appropriate word for titling this post with … Continue reading

Posted in Active transportation, Advocacy, architecture, bicycling, Biking, Cars, cities, geography, government, history, infrastructure, land use, Passenger rail, planning, rail, spatial design, technology, trails, transit, transportation, urban planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Infrastructure to nowhere – sowing the seeds of sprawl


Seriously folks, one would have thought that most people (politicians, professionals, and citizens alike) would have figured out this basic tenet of Sprawl 101 by now, but apparently not. When you build a new road, widen a road, extend utilities … Continue reading

Posted in Advocacy, Cars, cities, civics, civility, commerce, density, economic development, education, environment, geography, government, history, Housing, humanity, infrastructure, land use, new urbanism, placemaking, planning, politics, pollution, spatial design, sprawl, sustainability, transportation, urban planning, zoning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments