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Ellen Schwaller

Goodbye, Netherlands; Farewell, The GRID

by Ellen Schwaller

Completing my semester-long stint in the Netherlands also means saying goodbye to The Grid. Writing here has helped me to navigate and distill the sometimes-complicated experience of living and participating in a new s... Read article

Scaling the Randstad: Walkable, Dense, Connected Cities

by Ellen Schwaller

After living the majority of my life in the United States, specifically, in the expansive state of Texas, there are two aspect of cities that I’ve had to reconcile when considering various urban processes here in The Net... Read article

How Does Shared Space Work? Integrating Biking, Driving, Walking, and Playing

by Ellen Schwaller

The small town of Haren, located in the northern Netherlands, was recently launched into (inter)national fame when a Project X party catalyzed riots and vandalism by partygoers; however, I first knew the place for its we... Read article

Infrastructure for the Elderly: Learning from the Netherlands' Aging Population

by Ellen Schwaller

Unlike other countries, the Netherlands appears to be on track to support it’s growing elderly population financially; however, as in many places with historical infrastructure, a big question is whether or not the built... Read article

Historical GIS: Using Modern Methods to Unearth the Past

by Ellen Schwaller

The concept of Historical GIS (HISGIS), the geocoding (and often digitizing) of spatial historical data for visualization or analysis, has existed for at least a decade. One of the most simple but effective examples that... Read article

The Way the Dutch Do it: 8 Ways The Netherlands Makes Biking Easier

by Ellen Schwaller

From the urban planning viewpoint, Amsterdam is even more synonymous with urban biking than it is with legal soft drugs. The prior contributes to making the city more livable, the latter to attracting plenty of tourist... Read article

Working with the Tide: Amsterdam's Battle Against Rising Sea Levels

by Ellen Schwaller

While the Netherlands boasts some of the greenest urban environments, it is important to remember the local relationship between then landscape and its inhabitants over the past 2,000 years. For generations upon gene... Read article

The Shipping Container Life: Temporary Uses in The Netherlands

by Ellen Schwaller

Although experiencing the great need for temporary adaptive reuse projects in Phoenix, Arizona, I might say that I didn’t expect The Netherlands to require such measures to activate their urban spaces. I’ve been livin... Read article

Designing for Play: Children in the Public Realm

by Ellen Schwaller

Amsterdam is one of those places I fell in love with before I ever visited. Architect Aldo van Eyck is the primary reason behind this. WWII left the city devastated with bomb-demolished buildings on many blocks, and the ... Read article

Reducing Urban Stressors through Design: Nature in Amsterdam

by Ellen Schwaller

Moving from a low-density neighborhood afforded by a desert city to the compact built environment of Amsterdam mandates more of a mental and physical shift than I initially expected. For me, being around people is a ... Read article

Canal Oriented Development in Heritage Planning: Phoenix & Amsterdam

by Ellen Schwaller

After two years in Phoenix, Arizona I am moving to the very antithesis of the valley’s urbanity, climate, and culture: The Netherlands. Phoenix, a place known for heat and sprawl, also houses a fairly transient populatio... Read article

Community Space to Cultural Space: Latino Urbanism and the Transformation of the Built Environment

by Ellen Schwaller

As described by James Rojas, Latino Urbanism, found in many first and second-generation immigrant communities throughout the United States, can be defined by both the social and built characteristics of a neighborhood,... Read article

Insert Park [Here]: Vacant Lots for the Public in Phoenix, Arizona

by Ellen Schwaller

The city best known for sprawl is also combating another problem: downtown vacant lots. In Phoenix, Arizona conventional methods of attracting developers just aren’t cutting it with little financing to support any major ... Read article

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