Planning

The Captain Hindsight Award

screen-shot-2019-03-07-at-10.03.43-am.jpg

A reader recently made a comment I took seriously:

I am certainly not here to try and refute much of what you have brought to light, only to suggest that your comments are not in the least bit constructive on the whole. That is why I have decided to pin you with the prestigious “Captain Hindsight” award.

This post is my response.  read more »

Escaping the Strait Jacket of "Place"

1200px-Seattle_4.jpg

We like to think of "place" as something positive, something that sets our patterns of living in a good way, but sometimes those patterns and forms become a strait jacket that keep our communities from evolving and growing. Sometimes you have to throw off that strait jacket, and Seattle, where 150,000 people have moved in the last 20 years, seems to be doing just that.  read more »

Economics Needed for People-Based Urban Planning: Alain Bertaud Book Review

_collid=books_covers_0&isbn=9780262038768&type=.jpg

Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities (MIT Press), is particularly timely, because of the rising concern about the challenges facing middle-income households. The broad based affluence that followed World War II brought unprecedented affluence to many millions of people, principally in the high income nations. This also raised the standard of living for people living in or near poverty.  read more »

RTD’s Death Spiral

transit_death_spiral-1-640x450.jpg

Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) has entered what is known in the transit industry as the Transit Death Spiral. Ridership has fallen 7 percent since 2015. This reduces the funds available to operate RTD buses and trains, so RTD has cut service and increased fares to be some of the highest in the nation.  read more »

A Sprinkle of Stores – Wrestling With Jacobs’s Uncertainty

46466170565_3f8fafc8e5_b.jpg

In her 1961 book, Jacobs made daring observations about how the “good city” works. A good number of passages in the book dealt with safety, such as the following:

“The basic requisite for such surveillance [of the street] is a substantial quantity of stores and other public places sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district; enterprises and public places that are used by evening and night must be among them especially. Stores, bars and restaurants, as the chief examples, work in several different and complex ways to abet sidewalk safety.”  read more »

Los Angeles Rail: Ridership Decline Estimated at 42 Percent

Los_Angeles_Gateway_Plaza_Office.jpg

The Reason Foundation has just published an important review of transit in Los Angeles County, by transportation consultant Thomas A. Rubin and University of Southern California Professor James E. Moore II. A total of four reports have been released, under the title A Critical Review of Los Angeles Metro’s 28 by 2028 Plan. Links are provided at the end of this article. More reports are to follow.  read more »

The City Of Dallas Needs A Homebuilding Boom To Ensure Economic Success

DallasFarmersMarket_©Marple_511.jpg

While the North Texas economy is booming, the core city of Dallas faces challenges bedeviling other cities: a dwindling middle class, bifurcation into neighborhoods of haves and have-nots, and an emerging home affordability problem.  read more »

California's Message: You Built That, Now Get Out!

Home_under_construction.JPG

The people who build our homes increasingly can no longer afford them. As the state elite and their academic cheering crew celebrate our progressive boom, even the most skilled, unionized construction workers, notes an upcoming study, cannot afford to live anywhere close to the state’s major job centers.  read more »

Why Suburbs Need To Be The Next Frontier For Cities Policy

Corelogic-National-Blog-1024x677.jpg

“Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centres but to suburbanise their peripheries. Thus when the United Nations projects the number of future ‘urban’ residents… these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities.”  read more »

Direction of Dallas and Urban Growth

IMG_1188-1-850x638.jpg

Should the direction of Dallas urban growth continue to grow north? Does inserting low-income housing in North Dallas create an inclusive urban growth direction for Dallas? Does the direction of Dallas and its current goal of moving low-income wage earners closer to higher wage jobs in North Dallas increase or decrease wealth for low-income families? The SMU/George W. Bush Institute Conference, Policies to Promote Inclusive Urban Growth, was a meaningful conference on the direction of Dallas and cities and gave clues to all these questions.  read more »