Last month I had the pleasure of giving the keynote address at the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration World Congress and ARPA Conference. In addition to the keynote I lead a workshop/charrette on active transportation planning.
Below is the keynote presentation I gave with my associate Adam Bienenstock. Or click HERE
I am a big proponent of Asset Based Community Development as a way for communities to create there own successes. What is particularly interesting about this kind of work is the asset of creativity that people bring to the table. There are many ways that a community can make the best out of what it has, and here is one of the more unusual and successful ones (click image to read entire article).
I began building planning blogs for municipalities in 2007 when very few of us were “out there” testing these new ideas and tools. It was an exciting, and somewhat lonely, social media world for planners, urban designers, and other community builders.
Take a few evolutionary and revolutionary steps forward to today and I am happy to see a world with previously unimaginable tools, networks, and possibilities supporting a significantly larger community with compatible interests. Always seeking new perspectives on the continuing challenge of integrating my professional planning/design work with better communication techniques, I was interested in reading Stephen Mouzon's New Media for Designers & Builders. It is exceptional; in its breadth, clarity, and practicality.
The immense amount of information that confronts the reader in New Mediais by no means daunting. Stephen has taken the care to craft a book that covers incredible amounts of information while avoiding overly theoretical or technical discussions. He speaks to the needs of his audience by providing examples that are adaptable and actionable. New Media also describes the evolving shift to new ways of thinking, and provides direct links to other community builders that are walking the talk and making it a reality.
What I particularly enjoyed is that through his examples and references he has interwoven the worlds of planning, urban design, and architecture with those of other leaders in the New Media. He is not asking his readers to act like magpies flitting from one shinny object of technology to the next as if that would provide meaningful support. Instead he also takes care to illustrate how the more traditional media of speaking, publishing, and photography can be re-imagined in the New Media world as part of an interconnected strategy for designers.
In my opinion, Stephen’s most profound achievement with New Media for Designers & Buildersis its subtext. Like no other book, New Media describes a way of designing and building an interconnected approach to communication and one’s practice using all media, old and new together. Which I believe may come from his own design sensibilities as an architect; where our best work originates by learning from history and building upon that heritage to create contemporary designs that are respectful, creative, and effective.