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Ask an Urban Planner

Buildings in front of cranes in the Euratlantique district of Bordeaux, southwestern France.
Buildings in front of cranes in the Euratlantique district of Bordeaux, southwestern France.

Have you ever walked around your city or town and thought, “Wait, why did they build it like that?”

Whether it’s a new high-rise building, a renovated public park, or a busy street corner with bicycle and pedestrian traffic, urban planning impacts not only where we live, but also how we live.

For our latest installment of 1A’s “Ask A” series, we’re bringing together a group of urban planners to ask them what they do and what role they have in building the urban areas around us.

Smart urban planning is becoming increasingly important this century. More than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban centers (a number that continues to climb). At the same time, cities are facing higher risks from the impacts of climate change. That can include flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat. And ideas like the “15-minute city” have become marketing benchmarks for communities trying to attract people who want more walkable places to live.

Planners help localities decide how they will adapt and continue to grow their built environments. What factors do they take into account while planning projects? What advice do they seek from communities that they can’t get elsewhere? And what makes a well-planned city?

We put these questions to our panel this hour.

Copyright 2024 WAMU 88.5

Michael Falero, Haili Blassingame
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