Planning

Inclusive 'Placemaking' Leads to Civic Renewal

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Cities across America are working to build more inclusive economies. A good way to start is by creating neighborhoods that are great places to live, work, and play, and are accessible, affordable, and welcoming to as many people as possible.  read more »

What Busch Gardens Has That The Magic Kingdom Does Not

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Pulling into the giant parking lot of Busch Gardens Williamsburg is like any other theme park experience: a large entry gate with booths to pay for overpriced parking, vast themed lots based on European countries, and a long walk to where a shiny and sleek tram picks you up and an announcer shares park details. I decided to take my son to the park as we were staying nearby and, as safety during the pandemic has greatly improved, I figured that he would enjoy the rides and fantasy.  read more »

Subjects:

From No to Yes

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One of the first lines of prose that popped into my head after my diagnosis was “so much of my life has been spent being afraid of dying. With the time I have left, I endow not to die afraid.” This thought wakes me up in the morning. It looks at me when I look in the mirror. It lives in my sleep.  read more »

Subjects:

Will Progressives Learn from the Cities?

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After a year of violence and unrest, large American cities serve as a cautionary tale for the progressives in Washington who want to move the country further to the left.  read more »

Jane Jacobs and the Mid-Rise Mania

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The next time you travel through a city, see if you can find many four-, five-, or six-story buildings. Chances are, nearly all of the buildings you see will be either low rise (three stories or less) or high-rise (seven stories or more). If you do find any mid-rise, four- to six-story buildings, chances are they were either built before 1910, after 1990, or built by the government.  read more »

Celebrating the Transit Work of Curitiba's Jamie Lerner

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Jamie Lerner, who served as mayor of Curitiba, Brazil and governor of the state of Parana passed away in late May. Lerner was about as unique as possible for an elected official --- one who, at least in urban planning --- managed not only to fashion a vision of “what could be” for his municipality’s citizenry, but also delivered it. An integral part of his success (see below) was to reject long-term megaprojects for what can be accomplished in the near term.  read more »

Even the Manhattan Institute Says Curb Your Car

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If an early April panel discussion (virtual) of the Manhattan Institute on “Planning the Post-Covid City” was surprisingly progressive, maybe it was because this talk of revolution in the streets was about reallocating little more than parking spaces. Yet that much upheaval is basic, these panelists agreed, to renewal of New York’s pre-pandemic glory.  read more »

Protect Neighborhoods by Saving Zoning

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Atlanta, your city government is trying to trick you.

Now that sentence, all by itself, may not seem to you like a “man-bites-dog” lead.  read more »

Historically Black and White Neighborhoods Share Opposition to Affordable Housing Apartment Complexes

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The Dallas Morning News editorial, A Blow to Affordable Housing, illuminates the opposition to the affordable housing apartment complex by the historically Black neighborhood, Hamilton Park. They are joined by the ethnically diverse neighborhood area of Stults Road in their opposition to this proposed apartment complex named Cypress Creek at Forest Lane.  read more »

Spend Federal Boon Wisely, and Flyover Country Can Win

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The mad dash for states, cities and other local units of government to spend the Biden-administration largess has begun. Once the floodgates are opened in a few weeks and the trillions of dollars in “Covid relief,” infrastructure “investment” and other sources of new federal bounty actually start flowing to jurisdictions across the country, America will see a government-spending spree the likes of which this nation has never experienced – not even in the midst of the Great Depression.  read more »