MattBerggren's blog

Adopt a CTA station (or line or bus)?

The Chicago Transit Authorty (CTA) announced yesterday that it is looking to sell the naming rights for its train stations, train lines, bus stops, and bus lines.

Capturing Sprawl

A recent article featured on's home page shows pictures taken by Christoph Gielen, a German photographer, of sprawl in America. He says that "sprawl is a really careless use of new land. I want people who look at my photos to start a reconsideration of how they live through art." These images capture just how much land we are using up for so few people.

The Future of Suburbia Lies in Retrofit

Richard Florida recently wrote an article published in the Wall Street Journal titled "How SoHo Can Save the Suburbs." His point is two-fold: that hip places attract people, and that dense, mixed-use environments is what is hip.

Farr from Sustainable: Green Buildings Are Not Enough

Last Thursday Doug Farr gave a free lecture on Sustainable Urbanism at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, WI. This event was a preview of CNU's 19th annual Congress, which is taking place from June 1-4, 2011 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center as well. In his lecture, Farr discussed the future of urbanism.

Ken Groves: A Model Planning Director

Last week Montgomory's planning director, Ken Groves, passed away. Ken Groves had been the city's planning director for nearly ten years. During that time he worked hard to revitilize Montgomory's downtown.

South Begins to Embrace New Urbanism

Waco, Texas, is among many southern cities recently embracing the tenants of new urbanism. For the last fifty plus years, Waco has been without a thriving downtown. However, Waco is now looking to reinvest in the heart of the city.

LEED-ND is for everyone (in a lot of places)!

In Kaid Benfield's latest blog entry, "Analysis proves that even small towns and rural areas have locations eligible for LEED-ND honors," he fights back against the idea that small towns and rural areas cannot receive a LEED-ND rating. According to Benfield:

The Wilderness Downtown

A few weeks ago Arcade Fire released their new album, The Suburbs. Now the band has teamed up with Google to create an HTML5 music video. But this isn't any old music video. Featuring the song "We Used To Wait," the video combines the music of Arcade Fire with Google Maps and Google Street View images to create a personal experience for every viewer.

Streetcars back in vogue

In 2001 Portland introduced a streetcar line into its Pearl District, and ever since investment in that area has skyrocketed. Businesses have developed around it. Homes have been built. What was once a shady area of the city is now one of the most attractive places to live and shop. What is most remarkable is that this transformation has taken place in less than a decade.

Do you Digg CNU?

Digg, the popular news website, has just completed a redesign that promises to change the way we get our news. In the past users would submit news articles to Digg and other users would be able to vote on those articles if they liked them.