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Why a fun stuff page? Because I’m a true believer that urban planning can be fun. Because a profession that is about making places better needs a big dose of creative energy and humor to be credible. Because planning should spark our imagination, make us wonder, and sometimes even make us laugh.

I hope to expand this page over time to link to websites and media which illustrate this point. I’m especially interested in the intersection of urban planning and popular culture, and the way that our field is portrayed in movies, television, social media, and music. (Ask me sometime about “Urban Sprawl – the Musical.”)

For starters, I’ve provided links to a few youtube videos and a blog I kept during a 17-day visit to China in 2007. Being a proud “planner geek,” I have also provided links to some cool maps and urban planning sites. In the next few months, I’m hoping to upload scanned images of some of the cities I designed when I was a teenager. These are quite elaborate and special and I’d like to memorialize them before they disintegrate in the basement!

And away we go...


The Dreaded Stairs

How can we create healthier cities? Here’s a novel idea from Stockholm, Sweden. With a few clever changes, the stairs become a fun alternative to the escalator.






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Woodward Avenue Light Rail Rap Video

Here’s a video that makes the case for running a new light rail line down the center median of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue instead of along the side of the road. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen rap music, lego people, and an environmental impact statement featured in a music video. This one is a must-see.







Parking Enforcement, Lithuanian-Style

Next time you find a parking ticket on your windshield, don’t fret—it could be worse. You could be in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the Mayor himself doles out the parking citations---by crushing cars in an armored tank.






Mapping the 2010 Census

This is a fantastic set of maps assembled by the New York Times to display 2010 census data. Check it out—but be prepared to lose a few hours when you do!











If you’re an urban planner, you already know about Planetizen. If you’re a wannabe planner just curious about the profession, this site is a goldmine. It features user-submitted news stories from around the world on urban planning and related fields.






Barry in China

This link will take you to a blog I created during a 17-day visit to China in 2007. We were a group of 18 city planners from Northern California visiting Hong Kong, Yangshuo, Shanghai, Suzhow, Nanjing, Xian, and Beijing. In each city, we had a planning-related program accompanied by sightseeing and adventure.








Barry J. Miller, FAICP ◊ 817 Alvarado Road, Oakland, CA 94705 ◊ 2512 Ninth Street, Suite 8 ◊ Berkeley, CA 94710 ◊ (510)647-9270 ◊ Send Barry an e-mail

Copyright © 2016 Barry J. Miller. All Rights Reserved.