Planning

A Blast from the Past in Charlotte and Columbus

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I saw a couple of recent reposts containing very interesting material from several decades ago in Charlotte and Columbus.

The first is a 25 minute TV special from the 1960s looking at a proposal to issue bonds to fund urban renewal in downtown Charlotte. A few things struck me about this.  read more »

Ending The War On Communities: 14 Suggestions To Protect Neighborhoods While Providing Meaningful Housing Solutions

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The debate on solving California’s housing affordability crisis has reached a fever pitch, and the level of noise is drowning out solutions. We are facing a push to indiscriminately force density on neighborhoods and a war on single-family housing, which some in Sacramento paint as inherently “racist” and “immoral.”  read more »

Is It Time To Rethink Density?

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With new forecasts of record population growth across Australia’s major capital cities over the next few decades and affordability remaining a challenge, is it time to reconsider the core principles and policies that guide the management of this growth?  read more »

We Need More Family Friendly Cities

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My latest piece is now online at the Institute for Family Studies. It’s a look at what it would take to make more family friendly cities. Here is an excerpt:  read more »

Millennial Neighborhoods

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My generation – us ‘free love and drugs’ Hippies – were never going to be like our suburban parents who raised us. Until the Detroit Riots of 1967, I was raised in a 1,100 sq. Ft. three-bedroom brick home on Dartmouth street in Oak Park, Michigan, with no garage. That home (middle) as well as the neighbors (my grandparents lived in the home shown on the right) have not changed since they were built almost 70 years ago. My grandfather built both our home and theirs.  read more »

In Defense of Houses

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A critical component in the rise of market-oriented democracy in the modern era has been the dispersion of property ownership among middle-income households—not just in the United States but also in countries like Holland, Canada, and Australia, where it was closely linked with greater civil and economic freedom. In its early days, this dispersion was largely rural, but after the Second World War, it took on a largely suburban emphasis in the U.S., including within the extended metro regions of traditional cities like New York and Los Angeles.  read more »

Is There A Future For Transit-Oriented Development in Orange County, CA?

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California was once a state of great builders, and its legacy of grand construction projects remains plenty visible today. Major infrastructure investments like the California Aqueduct enabled the sprawling metropolises of the Southern California desert to thrive, becoming some of the most prolific economic and cultural centers in the world. The Golden State pioneered highway construction, linking its cities with each other and the rest of the nation. And perhaps the most iconic symbol of California, the Golden Gate Bridge, was a remarkable civil engineering feat of its time.  read more »

China's Urban Crisis

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China stands as the primary exhibit of twenty-first-century urbanism. At a time when elite cities in the West barely manage to grow in population, Chinese cities have emerged out of virtually nothing, as hundreds of millions of people have moved from farm to city.  read more »

When it Comes to Road Diets, Small Businesses are the Biggest Losers

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Twenty-one businesses have closed in less than two years since the city of Los Angeles reconfigured a 0.8 stretch of Venice Boulevard in the west side’s Mar Vista neighborhood. The city replaced one of three traffic lanes in each direction with protected bike lanes, removed some street parking, and installed physical barriers. The project is called a “road diet” and it’s part of the city’s “Vision Zero” and “Complete Streets”  programs.  read more »

Closing the Gap

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China is building a magnetically levitated (maglev) train that will “fill the gap between high-speed rail and air transportation,” says CNN. This new train may have a top speed of 370 miles per hour, which “could narrow the gap between high-speed rail and air travel,” says Republic World.  read more »