Blocks & Lots - The Game

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Blocks & Lots is a free game

Download or play online

Welcome to Solano Heights!

Your job is to rezone the neighborhood to improve the lives of the people who live and work there.

Read about how they made the game.

The article describes our experience and what we learned from making the game. It ends with a discussion about how learning more about games and game-making can help us become better popular educators and develop the kind of eco-systems thinking that is needed to address our most daunting urban problems.

FACILITATOR’S GUIDE to Blocks & Lots Game


Voters on JAYISGAME, (a game rating site) gave Blocks & Lots a 4.4 out of 5 rating.

Planning Commission of Solano Heights needs your help wrangling the stakeholders in the city's development and finding the layout that best suits everyone's needs... if there is one.

- Jay is Game


Blocks & Lots was produced by a creative team consisting of Esperanza Community Housing CorporationRosten Woo, and Dr. Pop, with the help of super-coder Jared Sain.



Download the Game or Play Online

10 Covered Bike Storage Solutions

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More Communities are seeking solutions to covered bike storage.

Read about Bike Storage rooms in NYC

Colorful Kiosks could be the future of Urban Bike Storage

Bike Shelters on Duke University Campus

Covered Bike Storage with Repair Station

Class I Bike Storage

Some locations require Class I standards (commonly referred to as long-term bike parking). Class I parking regulations are implemented when bicycles will be parked for hours at a time. Examples of these environments are office buildings, elementary schools, libraries, etc. When implementing Class I bike racks, installers should also incorporate some form of weather protection for the racks and bikes.

Class II Bike Storage

More commonly seen in public areas are Class II bike racks. These bike racks are needed when cyclists will be leaving their bikes unattended for less than two hours. Weather protection is not as important for this class, however proximity to main attractions and public visibility should be considered to encourage usage and enhance security. Class II bike racks can be implemented near restaurants, parks, picnic areas, or other similar places.

from Wikipedia

A lot of fun stuff happens when you go out on a bike compared to when you’re in a car. You’re more in the environment. It’s enjoyable. Even when It’s raining It’s still fun.
— Stone Gossard

What are Super Blocks ?

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superblock or super-block is an area of urban land bounded by arterial roads that is the size of multiple typically-sized city blocks. Within the superblock, the local road network, if any, is designed to serve local needs only. From Wikipedia

The superblock concept has been applied retroactively in Barcelona's La Ribera and Gràcia districts, which both have a medieval street network with narrow and irregular streets, since 1993. In these two cases it resulted in an increase of journeys on foot (over 10%) and by bicycle (>15%) and in a higher level of commercial and service activity.[12] From Wikipedia

Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.

The plan is based around the idea of superilles (superblocks) – mini neighbourhoods around which traffic will flow, and in which spaces will be repurposed to “fill our city with life”, as its tagline says.
— https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/may/17/superblocks-rescue-barcelona-spain-plan-give-streets-back-residents

Skills of a successful Land Planner

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Skills of a successful planner:

(Source: American Planning Association)

  • Understands spatial relationships, physical design, and how cities work

  • Ability to research and analyze information on a wide variety of topics (population, employment, environment, transportation, stormwater, etc.)

  • Master of techniques for involving a wide range of people in making decisions

  • Understanding of local, state and federal government programs and processes

  • Ability to communicate and coordinate with engineers, architects, surveyors, realtors, and a variety of other professional consultants

  • Understanding of the social and environmental impact of planning decisions on communities

  • Ability to work with the public and articulate planning issues to a wide variety of audiences

  • Ability to function as a mediator or facilitator when conflicts occur

  • Understanding of the legal foundation for land use regulation

  • Ability to solve problems using a balance of technical competence, creativity and strategic thinking

  • Ability to envision alternative scenarios, identify and weigh advantages and disadvantages, and to develop and pursue win-win solutions when applicable.

  • Understanding of geographic information systems and office productivity software.

What is a Land Planner?

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A planner is a specially trained and experienced individual who possesses a unique combination of knowledge and analytical ability, as well as strong communication and presentation skills.

Planners research and gather data from a large variety of sources, recognize various environmental and regulatory constraints, and formulate and analyze various site design scenarios as part of helping clients make informed decisions regarding land development.

Writing and effective verbal skills are an important part of a planner’s role, as presentations are frequently needed to share information with clients, other professional consultants, business groups, neighborhood groups, staff members, advisory board members, and elected officials.  Planners can also be called upon to facilitate meetings and mediate disputes as needed.

Managing people, projects, and processes are all key parts of a planner’s role, along with supplying the disciplined strategic thinking needed to navigate complex processes with multivariable options.

What does AICP mean?

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The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the professional institute of the American Planning Association (APA).

Membership in AICP is the nationally recognized means of attesting to an individual’s professional competence and ethics in the field of planning.

Membership requirements include a combination of education and professional planning experience and a passing score on the AICP comprehensive examination.

AICP members are required to attend workshops and seminars on a regular basis in order to maintain this certification.