Urban Issues

Missing Middle Housing — Book Review

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Missing Middle Housing – Thinking Big and Building Small to Respond to Today’s Housing Crisis” by Daniel Parolek

Book Review by Adam Mayer

California State Senate Bill 1120 (SB 1120), a bill that would’ve permitted duplexes on land zoned for single-family residences across the state, died abruptly at the 11th hour back in August  read more »

Americans Won't Live in the Pod

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“No Bourgeois, No Democracy”
Barrington Moore

Protecting and fighting for the middle class regularly dominates rhetoric on the Right and Left. Yet activists on both sides now often seek to undermine single-family home ownership, the linchpin of middle-class aspiration.  read more »

A Law and Order Platform to Unite Working-Class Voters

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Donald Trump has positioned himself as the “law and order” president, because the term provides a positive framing for the racially-tinged rhetoric he uses to divide members of the white working and middle classes from people of color.  read more »

The Pre-Pandemic Rise of Working from Home (Telework) and Beyond

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The 2019 market share data has just been released by the American Community Survey. Looking at driving alone and transit market shares, there has been virtually no change since 2010, with driving alone accounting for about three-quarters of commuting, while transit remains steady at 5%. The big news before Covid: the increase in people usually working from home (also referred to as telework or telecommuting)  read more »

Transport Policy in the Age of Coronavirus

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“The coronavirus pandemic is going to leave behind major changes in America’s transportation system, and those changes, in turn, call for changes in transportation policies today,” I stated in a paper I authored that Reason Foundation published on September 22. “While the exact numbers are uncertain, the direction of trends is fairly certain, and these trends demand changes in existing transportation policies.”  read more »

CSY Repost: The Community and Economic Development Hierarchy

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I've spent many, many years of my career working to improve the economic development prospects of communities. Wanting to make a meaningful, positive contribution to the revitalization of cities is what pushed me into this career path. More to the point, I've spent a good deal of that time working in places that were facing stiff economic headwinds working against them.  read more »

This is the Great Reshuffling

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The Interwebs are abuzz over the mass exodus from cities triggered by the coronavirus. Cue up the images of Moses parting the sea for a caravan of U-Hauls destined for the verdant cul-de-sacs of the Promised Land. This outward population migration is quantifiable and real. You’ll get no arguments at all from me. But the nuances are being lost in the chatter.  read more »

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

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The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and influence — academia, media, Wall Street, Hollywood, the big-tech oligarchs, the dominant nonprofits, and the governmental apparat — will remain deep blue for the foreseeable future.  read more »

San Jose: Largest % Migration Loss Outside New Orleans

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This article expands on the 2000 to 2019 state net domestic migration data from last week, covering the 110 metropolitan areas with more than 500,000 residents (Note). The big surprise may be that the largest proportional outflow of net domestic migrants, outside Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans was San Jose, the nation’s most affluent metropolitan area and perhaps the wealthiest in the world. In both cases, many more people left in the first 10 years than since 2010.  read more »

The Challenge of Revitalizing Urban Boulevards

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One of the toughest challenges in real estate is revitalizing urban boulevards. There are dozens of plans for remaking these, but very few of these plans have actually sparked much private investment back of the curb line, and the reason is that in most cases these streets are simply so big and busy that people don't want to live or shop along them. It's time to use a new strategy, one of building at right angles to them, and of re-attaching underused land to the surrounding neighborhoods.  read more »