Planning

Reply to Elizabeth Farrelly: Suburbia Not Kulturstadt

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Recently on Twitter I came across a post about the NSW Panning Minister's announcement banning dark roofing for detached houses in fringe housing estates to minimise the heat island effect. Scrolling down the comments, I noticed one by the Sydney Morning Herald’s anti-suburban architecture critic, Elizabeth Farrelly.  read more »

Survival of the City: The Need to Reopen the Metropolitan Frontier (Review)

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Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, by Harvard University economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler characterizes the pandemic as a serious “existential threat to the urban world, because the human proximity that enables contagion is the defining characteristic of the city”  read more »

Mag-Lev May Be Dead; TX HSR on Life Support

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A Maryland circuit court judge >ruled last week that the Baltimore-Washington Rapid Rail Company did not have the >power of eminent domain and could not stop a development on land that the maglev promoter needed to use for its proposed line.  read more »

What Exactly Is Urban?

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About a month ago I asked a simple question on Twitter, hoping to get Urbanist Twitter’s consensus opinion. I posted an aerial picture of a residential neighborhood (see above) and asked, “is this urban?” I was quite surprised by the responses.  read more »

Weird Building & Supertall Skyscraper Ban in China

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The skyscraper is an American invention. During the first 75 years of their existence, skyscrapers were concentrated in a small area south of 59th Street in Manhattan --- in 1962, only one of the world’s 10 tallest skyscrapers was outside that area (Cleveland’s Terminal Tower). It was not until 1975 that a non-US skyscraper entered the top ten (First Canadian Place in Toronto).  read more »

Teach That Man Some Geography

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Paul Krugman needs to learn some geography. Last week, he wrote, “there’s no more room for housing” in California unless they build up. After all, he notes, “San Francisco is on a peninsula, Los Angeles is ringed by mountains.”  read more »

The One Element Missing from the Discussion of Housing in CA: Tolerance

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In California we pride ourselves on being very tolerant of a diverse array of lifestyles and lifestyle choices. Dress how it suits you; love whom you love; define yourself in accordance with your own preferences. Do your own thing. Sing your own song. Dance your own dance. The Californian thing is to live and let live.  read more »

The Failure of Dallas TOD

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The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the transit agency serving Dallas and a dozen other cities, is proud of the fact that it has built the longest light-rail system in the country. It is almost as proud of the many transit-oriented developments (TODs) built near light-rail stations.  read more »

Grandpa's Basement House

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My mother-in-law was born in a small town in rural Nebraska in 1941. Her father was oversees fighting World War II for the first few years of her life, so she and her mother lived on her grandparents’ farm in a society absent of young men.  read more »

Changing Boundaries, Changing Perceptions

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What if I told you that Chicago is a midsized, dense urban hub of 800,000 people, surrounded by more than 400 suburbs anchoring a large metro area of 9.5 million? Or that Indianapolis reached its peak population of 476,000 in 1960, and has slipped below 300,000 for the first time since 1930? Or that New York City reached its population peak of 3.4 million in 1950, lost nearly a million people to fall to 2.6 million by 1980, and once again crossed the 3 million person threshold just this past decade?  read more »