Planning

This Train Won’t Leave the Station

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Governor Gavin Newsom has canceled the bulk of the state’s long-proposed high-speed line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, leaving only a tail of the once-grand project—a connection between the Central Valley’s Merced and Bakersfield, not exactly major metropolitan areas. “Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”  read more »

Pulling the Plug on HS2 (London-Birmingham High Speed Rail)?

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High speed rail may be proposed as a climate change panacea here and elsewhere, but the results on the ground are less than promising. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week that the California high speed rail project would be scaled back to the route between Bakersfield and Merced, in the San Joaquin Valley (which the state has enough money for). In his “state of the state” speech the Governor said “…let’s be real. The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”  read more »

Restoring The California Dream, Not Nailing Its Coffin

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Virtually everyone, including Gov. Gavin Newsom, is aware of the severity of California’s housing crisis. The bad news is that most proposals floating in Sacramento are likely to do very little to address our housing shortage.

Newsom has promised to have 3.5 million homes built over the next seven years to solve the problem. That is, conservatively stated, more than 2.6 million that would be built at the current rate of construction.  read more »

Beyond Beer, Bread and Bicycles: The Industrial Return To the City

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In San Francisco, the former site of the Hunters Point shipyard is now being developed with over 10,000 units of housing, 2.6 million square feet of office and R&D space, and about a half million square feet of retail. The project will also include about 75,000 square feet of maker space, or less than 1% of the total building area, most of which will probably go to artisanal firms making food, fashion and furnishing, things like beer, bread and bicycles, sold to the upscale consumers of the region.  read more »

Gentrification in Dallas

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The Dallas-Fort Worth area has experienced stunning growth, however Dallas remains one of the most economically and segregated cities in America. Through eye-opening data and pointed solutions, Cullum Clark argues that Dallas can become a national leader in reviving upward mobility in his essay, "Gentrification in Dallas".  read more »

Chicago: A Tale of Two Very Different Cities

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A new report by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Beyond Gentrification: Towards More Equitable Growth, explores how unbalanced urban growth has exacerbated class divisions, particularly in the urban centers of our largest's metropolitan areas. To read or download the full report click here.  read more »

Gentrification Is Failing in Los Angeles

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If Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti runs for president, he will no doubt point to the high-rises that have transformed downtown L.A. into something of a hipster haven. He could also point to fevered dense development, both planned and already in process, spreading across the Los Angeles basin, particularly near transit stops, as well as an increasingly notable art scene.  read more »

Low-Density Fire Buffer

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Someone in Bend must be reading this blog, or at least thinking along the same lines. In 2017, after the Wine Country fires had burned homes in Santa Rose, the Antiplanner noted that the problem was the homes were too dense and needed a buffer of low-density homes around them. I made the same point after the Camp Fire burned homes in Paradise.

Now Deschutes County is zoning a buffer between Bend and the national forest for low-density housing.  read more »

Can High-Speed Rail Make Housing Affordable?

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UCLA management professor Jerry Nickerson thinks he has found a solution to California’s housing affordability problems: high-speed rail. Based on years of data, he has concluded that some Japanese who work in Tokyo and other expensive cities make long commutes on high-speed trains to more affordable cities elsewhere in the country.  read more »

Centennial at Tejon Ranch

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I was included in an e-mail thread last week about a 19,000 unit master planned community on the far edge of Los Angeles County. There’s an on-going debate about whether this is part of California’s housing solution or part of the problem. Centennial is one of three proposed residential developments at Tejon Ranch. It hugs the border of Kern County thirty miles outside of Bakersfield and three mountain ranges from LA proper. After a couple of decades of negotiations it was finally approved by the authorities.  read more »