Category Archives: City Planning

A Trip to Tahoe: Walking the California/Nevada Divide

When I asked the concierge for directions to cafes and shops, he told me to walk three blocks to the traffic lights, then turn right to California or left to Nevada. “You’ll see the difference,” he said. Indeed. Little did … Continue reading

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Our 2018 Art+Science Photo Contest

We’re thrilled to announce our grant from the Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council (ABCC) for a unique art + science study of two Massachusetts towns. This study uses photography, biometric tools and new findings in neuroscience to show how our unconscious behaviors govern … Continue reading

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If You Want To ‘See’ Why People Shun Boston City Hall – Eye Track it!

Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy and Boston’s City Hall Plaza are often cited as the best and worst of what architecture can be. The Italian piazza with its crenelated city hall and tightly-aligned buildings has invited public gathering and … Continue reading

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Park Benches Where No One Sits

If the goal of the bench is socialization, safety, scenery and shelter, why do these benches face busy streets, blank walls and parking lots? Continue reading

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Eye Tracking Architecture: a Pilot Study at the IHCD

In our pilot study at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), we used eye-tracking technology to understand how people respond to the built environment. Thirty-three test volunteers, aged 18 to 80, viewed more than 60 images of elevations and … Continue reading

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Drives Me Crazy

Donna called at 5pm with a last-minute request, “Can you give me a lift to Bedford? I promised to have dinner with my parents and my car’s in the shop.” “Sure” I said, not realizing that a 10-mile drive during rush … Continue reading

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Planning for People

“First life, then spaces, then buildings–the other way around never works.” Jan Gehl While Boston celebrated the start of the American Revolution on Patriot’s Day this week, the city of Somerville, two miles west, started a different kind of rebellion … Continue reading

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