Urban Issues

Reply to Elizabeth Farrelly: Suburbia Not Kulturstadt

Wilton-housing-estate.png

Recently on Twitter I came across a post about the NSW Panning Minister's announcement banning dark roofing for detached houses in fringe housing estates to minimise the heat island effect. Scrolling down the comments, I noticed one by the Sydney Morning Herald’s anti-suburban architecture critic, Elizabeth Farrelly.  read more »

Census Data Confirm Migration from Big CIties

DTSeattle.jpg

Eight of the ten American cities with more than one million people lost population in 2020, according to estimates released by the Census Bureau. Note that these are only estimates; not official 2020 census numbers.  read more »

Survival of the City: The Need to Reopen the Metropolitan Frontier (Review)

Mariachi_Plaza_Station_LACMTA.jpg

Survival of the City: Living and Thriving in an Age of Isolation, by Harvard University economists Edward Glaeser and David Cutler characterizes the pandemic as a serious “existential threat to the urban world, because the human proximity that enables contagion is the defining characteristic of the city”  read more »

Some Dreamers of the Rusty Dream

American-Rust.jpg

In the new Showtime series, American Rust, set and filmed outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and based on the 2009 novel by Philipp Meyer, we see the aftermath of an industrial collapse so devastating that the fictional town of Buell, PA, looks like it’s been bombed, strafed, and ransacked.  read more »

What Exactly Is Urban?

aerial-metro-view.jpg

About a month ago I asked a simple question on Twitter, hoping to get Urbanist Twitter’s consensus opinion. I posted an aerial picture of a residential neighborhood (see above) and asked, “is this urban?” I was quite surprised by the responses.  read more »

The Hidden Truth of Bluelining Versus Redlining a Neighborhood

bluelining_01.jpg
This Oak Cliff District 3 apartment is not even one of the 18 developer subsidized low-income apartments in District 3. The large sign in front of the apartment complex proclaiming NO to Weapons listed in three different ways and NO to Drugs and Criminal Activity advertise the problems apartment complexes attract.

Redlining and Bluelining Are Detrimental to a Neighborhood, But Bluelining Is Devastating to Low-Income Blacks and Other Groups  read more »

San Francisco Muni's Difficult Choice

crockermckesson.jpg

The city of San Francisco provides additional evidence illustrating the hollowing out of downtown areas from the pandemic and policy responses. The city did a remarkable job in keeping its death rate low, despite its density.  read more »

The Fading Family

dogs-in-stroller.jpg

For millennia the family has stood as the central institution of society—often changing, but always essential. But across the world, from China to North America, and particularly in Europe, family ties are weakening, with the potential to undermine one of the last few precious bits of privacy and intimacy.  read more »

Weird Building & Supertall Skyscraper Ban in China

skyscraper-lead.jpg

The skyscraper is an American invention. During the first 75 years of their existence, skyscrapers were concentrated in a small area south of 59th Street in Manhattan --- in 1962, only one of the world’s 10 tallest skyscrapers was outside that area (Cleveland’s Terminal Tower). It was not until 1975 that a non-US skyscraper entered the top ten (First Canadian Place in Toronto).  read more »

Teach That Man Some Geography

NorthHollywoodApts.jpg

Paul Krugman needs to learn some geography. Last week, he wrote, “there’s no more room for housing” in California unless they build up. After all, he notes, “San Francisco is on a peninsula, Los Angeles is ringed by mountains.”  read more »