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Other Discussion Sites... Besides Cyburbia

ianplanner

Member
Messages
22
Points
2
Who out there knows of any other discussion boards that focus on planning? I know Dan has mentioned some planners.alt or whatever exchange group that gets about a hundred posts a day. Although they may be a bit more cantankerous and flame-filled, I am indeed looking for something with energy and flair. There used to be this Carson guy who used to come around here about two years ago, and if memory serves, he was a polemicist to the nth degree, and Dan essentially got rid of him. Any suggestions?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,560
Points
55
Rich Carson wasn't banned. In fact, I made a new (albiet unsolicited) Cyburbia Forums membership for him when I moved to a vBulletin-based bulletin board system. Rich is busy with his own essay site, so he doesn't have the chance to post here very often.

Aside from spammers, I've banned only one regular poster, and that was from the old Discus-based board. (The IP block for his ISP is blocked from this board, so I apologize to those who might have Internet service through a particular utility in Eugene, Oregon.) That poster who regularly posted ad hominem attacks, and at one time somehow managed to turn just about every thread into a socialist rant. Nothing against socialism, mind you, but it was trolling to the nth degree. I don't ban folks for cantankery, which is a good thing IMHO. They'll get the boot for being one trick troll ponies who scare others off, as this one particular person did.

Other planning discussion areas -- check out http://www.cyburbia.org/directory/index.php?sid=659713906&t=sub_pages&cat=83 . Cyburbia really has the busiest bulletin board aimed primarily at planners and "city geeks." (It's the best kept secret in the planning profession, unfortunately.) There are several skyscraper-related bulletin boards that are quite busy, with plenty of spillover "armchair urbanist" discussions that occasionally delve into serious planning issues. The Skyscraper Page, World Skyscraper Forums and urbanphoto.org are the biggies.

The Usenet alt.planning.urban newsgroup, created ten years ago, has been dying a slow death over the past five years. E-mail address grepping by spambots have scared a lot of former Usenet fans away, and ad hominem attacks from trollers have reduced 90% of the remaining planning-related discussions there to tired arguments regarding New Urbanism, SUVs and public transit. There used to be close to a hundred posts a day there -- now it's around 20 or so. Here's what a recent alt.planning.urban poster wrote:

I used to visit this forum a while ago. I gave up because it was impossible to have a discussion. _Any_ posting on _any_ topic ended up as the same argument between the same half dozen people. It hasn't changed.

I don't come here for a dog fight but it seems to me that in the USA the idea of discussion and rational argument about a subject has all but disappeared and non-US posters are usually ignored. I know that much interesting and useful work is going on in the USA. It looks as if this is the wrong place to find out about it.


I hacked the control message that created alt.planning.urban back in 1992, so in some respect the mess over there is my fault. The Web was tiny then, and there was no such thing as an interactive Gopher-based bulletin board.

PRO-URB, a New Urbanism mailing list, is probably the most elite planning-related discussion group. (See http://www.listserv.uga.edu/archives/pro-urb.html ) I'd love to have just one of the celebrity PRO-URB regulars post just an occasional message on Cyburbia -- that and some skyscraper fans would help Cyburbia achieve critical mass. Until Cyburbia gets the occasional Kunstler, Katz, Duany or Calthorpe post, or the slew of St. Louis and Detroit boosters that inhabit the skyscraper sites start making Cyburbia a regular part of their Web surfing day, I fear it'll remain just a closely held secret. :(
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Other Discussion Boards

I like the www.urbanphoto.org discussion board. It tends to be Canada-centric (although there is a growing Bay Area, California presence), definitely more liberal than this Board (El Guapo would go into paroxyisms), and not dominated by professional planners but more by city lovers in general. Basic themes do tend to be "alternative" e.g., suburbia-bashing, very pro-gritty city, somewhat radical politics. I enjoy some of the discussions there, and there are very talented urban photographers on the site that post a lot of pictures.

I really like the forum and the site in general. Its well-moderated overall, with not too many flame wars. There have been a couple of cases where posters were not treated well. (the Catholic fundamentalist complaining about moving to central Sacramento and having skateboarders and a -gasp- gay-oriented cafe nearby was not very well received)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
I had to look it up.

I went to a state university.

par·ox·ysm Pronunciation Key (prk-szm)
n.
A sudden outburst of emotion or action: a paroxysm of laughter.

A sudden attack, recurrence, or intensification of a disease.
A spasm or fit; a convulsion.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Middle English paroxism, periodic attack of a disease, from Medieval Latin paroxysmus, from Greek paroxusmos, from paroxnein, to stimulate, irritate : para-, intensive pref.; see para-1 + oxnein, to goad, sharpen (from oxus, sharp. See ak- in Indo-European Roots).]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
parox·ysmal (-k-szml) adj.
parox·ysmal·ly adv.

I went there - BKM is correct. Except I experienced more of a Grand-Mal.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Oops

So I can't spell. My bad.


For my planning degree, I went to a public university that pretends it's an elite private school (University of Virginia)


Grand Mal?

We are not all radical commies. There are actually people that stick up for suburbs occasionally. And, there have been posters today that actually agree that it is probably not a good idea to allow people to defecate on the public sidewalk. :)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,985
Points
29
I'm going third person singular just like Bob Dole~!

El Guapo was not picking on BKM's spelling.
El Guapo was joking about the quality of a Big12 education.
El Guapo really didn't know what the word meant.
El Guapo knew it would be something involving manic fits.
El Guapo loves his fellow man and wants them all to be happy.
El Guapo doesn't like population densities over 50 people per square mile personally. But he thinks all those that enjoy the big city are welcome to it.
El Guapo has been inside many a refugee camp during his service and sees little difference between them and the downtown of most major cities.
El Guapo has never defecated on a public sidewalk intentionally.
El Guapo has peed on the Karl Marx Family Graves in Trier Germany during a drunken night celebrating capitalism and the USA's hegemony over the lesser peoples however.

P.S. There are no other Planning Boards for this sophisticated urbanite! Long live Cyburbia!
 

Richard Carson

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
The Carson Guy

Dan is right. He would never kick me off. Dan Tasman (Cyburbia), Chris Steins (Planetizen) and I (DMOZ) work very closely together and form the largest informal Internet coalitions working to educate people about urban planning. I also am the webmaster for About Planning and my own online publication Common Sense. So I don't get out much anymore.

As to your question. CNU has a listserv and so does the Oregon Chapter of the APA. The Washington has an e-group that has discussions.
 
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