Author Archives: Bill

10 Simple Steps to Keep Amazon From Ruining Your City

The Failing New York Times reported today that Amazon is going around and asking the finalists for its second headquarters “how to avoid soaring housing costs and paralyzing traffic.” Easy. Duh. Lemme walk you through it, Jeff. (Can I call … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2017: My Top 30 Songs of the Year

Even the shittiest of years can produce moments of musical transcendence. The tumult of 1968 gave us Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Sweetheart of the Rodeo and Bookends, for starters. Stephen Foster probably wrote some pretty melody or other in … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2016: My Top 30 Favorite Songs of the Year

The past year was nothing if not a “low-flying panic attack” … . Continue reading

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PHOTOS: Oakland Public Design Fair disguises engagement as play

Stakeholder engagement. Ugh. The words just sound inherently boring. So how does a city convince its overworked, overscheduled residents to contribute to the planning process? Oakland is taking a unique tack as it works on its Downtown Specific Plan. In … Continue reading

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Rankstravaganza 2015: My 25 favorite songs of the year

Ha! You thought this blog was done for. Surprise! I’m back. (Fair warning, though: There might not be another post until New Year’s Eve 2016. I am, however, staying somewhat active with posting both music- and planning-related stuff on this … Continue reading

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Fun With Georeferencing: Oakland in 1857 vs. Oakland in 2015

I’m taking a GIS class, and this week I learned how to georeference. Fun! (No, really, it’s fun.) I was just testing out my skillz and put together this little slider comparing the current map of Oakland and Alameda with … Continue reading

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This is What Booze Gentrification Looks Like

Spotted today in Berkeley: What was once a corner liquor store is now an “artisinal beverage purveyor.” Located at College and Alcatraz avenues, Cask on College opened last summer. It is just over the border from Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, which … Continue reading

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Urban Planning Links Worth Clicking: Scatalogical Edition

Of all the crappy problems cities have to deal with—traffic, climate change, hipsters—actual, literal crap often gets overlooked. Not today! Continue reading

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Go Here, Do This: Maps on display in SPUR’s “Urban Cartography” exhibit push boundaries

If you, like me, are a bit of a map geek, you should carve out a half hour in the next two weeks and set coordinates for SPUR Urban Center in San Francisco. The urban-policy nonprofit’s Mission Street headquarters is … Continue reading

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Zoning for Clifford (the Big Red Dog)

Lately, we’ve been reading a lot of Norman Birdwell’s children’s classic “Clifford the Big Red Dog” in my household. Like pretty much every night. There is one page that was confusing to me, though. Frankly, I didn’t see what the … Continue reading

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