Policy

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 »

Getting-Off-Fossil Fuels: A Medieval Method For Reducing Unfunded Pension Liabilities

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Looking back just a few short centuries, we’ve come a long way since the horse and buggy days, before medications, doctors, cosmetics, plastics fertilizers, and transportation from jet engines, diesel trucks, and automobiles that has been the primary cause of globalization, as well as the thousands of products that we get from fossil fuels that are the basis of every infrastructure in our daily lives.  read more »

Party of the People? Or the Oligarchs?

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The Trump uprising, with a renegade capitalist serving as the tribune of the forgotten working class, appears headed toward an inevitable denouement. Trump’s intemperance, jingoism and lack of political skills have undermined the GOP’s ability to reach beyond its base in the South, the exurbs and parts of middle America.  read more »

Looking Forward: A New Agenda

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In their essay, "Looking Forward: A New Agenda," Joel Kotkin and Wendell Cox lay out five key principles for inclusive urban growth. Their piece is part of a new report by the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Beyond Gentrification: Towards More Equitable Growth, which 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 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 »

The Bifurcated City

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After drifting toward decrepitude since the 1970s, many core cities have experienced real, often bracing, turnarounds. Yet concern is growing that the revitalization of parts of these cities has unevenly benefited some residents at the expense of others. The crucial, and often ignored, question remains whether the policies that have helped spark urban revivals have improved conditions for the greatest number of residents.  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 »