Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lanier CEO on Why EVERYONE Should Support Commute Alternatives

Michael Robison, Chairman and CEO of Lanier Parking Solutions, spoke to a group of real estate executives about the business of parking, and what was truly amazing about the discussion was how little Michael spoke about parking. He spent most of this time talking about our efforts to promote alternative transportation solutions such as Zipcar and Streetcar.
This goes to the core of Lanier's belief that we are a transportation management firm, not just a parking management firm, and that parking is one component of a much larger transportation system that impacts our clients' properties. When these systems are managed together, the whole system works more effectively, efficiently, and profitably. It is this belief from the top down that separates Lanier Parking Solutions from the competition.
To view the video, click here, then click "Speaker Series" and then scroll down to Michael.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Than Talking Heads: Congress for the New Urbanism Promotes Healthy Cities and People

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), which I helped to plan this year, is in Atlanta next week, May 19-22. It's the 18th year of the event bringing the nation's most prestigious proponents and creators of livable, sustainable communities to the city for two days of networking, collaboration, education, tours and special programs. Anyone who would like to discuss development practices and public policies, learn from recent innovative work and advance new initiatives to transform communities, is welcome.

See an excellent video: SPRAWLANTA.

CNU is an urban design and development movement dedicated to developing community oriented principles of traditional town and city planning in contrast with the prevailing system of formless sprawl. New urbanist developments are walkable, provide a diverse range of housing options, encourage a rich mix of uses, and provide welcoming public spaces (read the CNU charter). If you are developer, architect, landscape architect, town planner, urban designer, engineer, environmental consultant, transit/transportation planner, bike and ped advocate, housing specialist, real estate broker, regulator, government official, or interested member of the public, you should check it out.

This year's conference is titled New Urbanism: Rx for Health Places and has been organized with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the strategies that the CNU promotes to make communities more livable, energy efficient and better positioned for economic success are the same ones health officials promote to make places healthier. Studies have shown that there are numerous health, social, environmental and economic benefits that come from a more connected way of living that flourishes in towns where people can walk, bike, and interact with their neighbors.

There will be a number of impressive speakers at the conference, but one particular highlight will be David Byrne, front man for Talking Heads. David will speak about how cities reveal themselves differently when traveling on a bicycle as opposed to a car. In addition to David's musical talents, he has spent the past several years writing the Bicycle Diaries, a book chronicling his use of a bicycle as his main form of transportation.

I hope to see you at the congress.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Why You Become a Different Person When You Get Behind the Wheel

I just ran across an interview with Tom Vanderbilt who writes the blog "How We Drive" and wrote the book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)," and I had to share it.
In the interview, Vanderbilt talks about the psychology of driving and the many false impressions drivers use to operate their vehicles. I have always been fascinated with the behavior of driving and how when a person gets in that enclose bubble we call a car, they become a different person. Why does that happen?
Well, Vanderbilt has spent a great deal of time researching this phenomenon and many others. This interview is a very refreshing discussion of the psychology of driving which is often overlooked in our car culture. I immediately ran out and bought the book.

Here are a couple other interviews of Tom.

InfoDesign Interview
Amazon Interview

Here are a couple Reviews of his book.

Washington Post
New York Times
USA Today