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About Cyburbia

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Dan

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Welcome to Cyburbia!

What is Cyburbia?

The Cyburbia Forums is a friendly message board, built with urban planners and placemakers in mind. We also have our fair share of urbanists, suburbanists, small developers, planning and MRED students, and other folks who stumbled in and found a crowd they click with.

What's Cyburbia's backstory?

Cyburbia — a portmanteau of "cyber" (so 1990s) and "suburbia" (so 1970s) — went online in October 1994. It started as an unauthorized student project at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. In its early years, its main feature was a catalog of links to the few other planning and architecture related sites on the early Web. In March 1996, I added a primitive message board system to the site. (Many messages from the early years of Cyburbia are still online!) Eventually, it was too hard to keep up with all the changing URLs and new Web sites — an upstart search engine called Google could do it better than me — so I shut the index down. Cyburbia also had a blogging platform and image gallery for a little while.

The biggest draw to Cyburbia has always been its message board. Through the years, thousands have posted, responded, made friends, and even found romance. While the focus of discussion is planning practice and other things related to the built environment, we really talk about everything; dating, politics, music, home improvement projects, beer, our day-to-day struggles and joys, whatever.

A message board might seem kind of retro in the age of social media. However, it's also a lot less ephemeral. There's a sense of community and camaraderie here that you won't find on a large Facebook group, subreddit, anonymous chan, or Discord server.

Cyburbia celebrated its 25th birthday in October 2019. I hope you'll be a part of our next 25 years.

Who are Cyburbians, anyhow?

The majority of Cyburbians are urban planners and "planner adjacent" types. Cyburbia Forums members include women and men from a broad range of backgrounds, work and life experiences, and points on the political spectrum. We're Zoomers, Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers.

Cyburbians are a welcoming, supportive, and easygoing bunch. There's no pressure to walk on eggshells or conform to some hive mind, as long as you're not a jerk.

Who owns Cyburbia?

My name is Dan. I'm a full-time working planner for a small municipality in the northeastern United States. I'm a jack-of-all-trades generalist planner, but the focus of my work is in comprehensive planning, zoning, coding (award-winning plain English form-based and conventional regulations), and urban design (traditional neighborhood development, conventional development, and site planning).

I grew up in an dense, ethnically diverse lower-middle class urban neighborhood in the Rust Belt. (Go Bills!) I'm happily married to a wonderful woman who's out of my league, and mostly tolerant of my screen time. (No, she's not a planner.) We share our quiet life in a low-density exurban cluster subdivison (yeah, I know) with two cats. I'm a city and dog person at heart, though.

Why pays to keep Cyburbia running?

Me. I pay out-of-pocket for the software, Web hosting, and domain names; about $1,200 every year, not counting my time. Cyburbia isn't a business or 501(c)(3), but a hobby. Cyburbia has no ads, sponsors, wealthy benefactors, funding from grants or foundations, or buzz from urbanist bloggers and writers. It also has no income. (If something happens with the site during the workday, I can quickly take care of it, without it being seen as conducting a side business during work hours.)

Cyburbia also wouldn't be here if it weren't for the users and moderators that contribute their time and know-how. It's a labor of love for many, and everybody here would like to share it with you.

How can I help support Cyburbia?

Register, and become a member. (It's free, we send out very little email, and we don't give your information to third parties.) Participate. Ask a question. Answer someone else's question. Write an article. Tell others about Cyburbia. If you're a built environment blogger, give it a little love; an article, a link, or just some recognition that it exists.
 
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