Policy

The New Deal at 75: An Inspiration, Not a Blueprint

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Whatever your political perspective, Americans need to admire the New Deal for, if nothing else, its ambitious agenda. In a way unparalleled in the 20th Century, the New Deal left us a legacy of achievement – one that we can still see in big cities like San Francisco and small towns like Wishek, North Dakota.  read more »

Subjects:

It's Organic! End of Conjecture and the Science Ahead

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A long succession of urban theorists, including Jane Jacobs, have intuited, implied, or proclaimed the “organic” nature of cities. This organic concept of cities describes them as self-organizing, complex systems that might appear messy, but that disorderliness belies a deep structure governed by fundamentally rule-bound processes.  read more »

The Prisoner of Intersectionality

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When she first announced her run for the White House, Elizabeth Warren seemed a breath of fresh air — a brainy and relentless campaigner for the middle class, willing to take on tech and other oligarchs. As an old colleague who met with her told me, she seemed very much “an old-fashioned New Deal Democrat” focused primarily on addressing the massive inequalities that hurt our society and families.  read more »

CalEPA Studying Ways to Sunset the California Economy

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California is about to take one giant step toward following Germany’s failed climate goals, which should be a wake-up call for governments everywhere. Yes, you guessed it, our legislatures have authorized CalEPA in the 2019 - 2020 California State budget and Assembly Bill AB 74 to conduct studies and identify strategies to manage the decline of in-state crude oil production and decrease demand and supply of fossil fuel.  read more »

Gen Z is Up For Grabs

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The political allegiances of America’s youngest generation, Gen Z, are up for grabs these days. Younger Americans are politically disengaged, rejecting ideological extremism, and want to move beyond commonplace political platitudes.

I learned this important lesson this fall, while teaching at a college and regularly visiting dozens of other colleges and universities around the country.  read more »

Planning for an Unattainable Fantasy

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Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, and the city of Austin and Austin’s transit agency, Capital Metro, have a plan for dealing with all of the traffic that will be generated by that growth: assume that a third of the people who now drive alone to work will switch to transit, bicycling, walking, or telecommuting by 2039. That’s right up there with planning for dinner by assuming that food will magically appear on the table the same way it does in Hogwarts.  read more »

Message to California’s Newsom – Blame Fires on Uncleared Fuel, Not the Utility Company

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California fires continue to rage, yet no one wants to take responsibility for the unlimited “fuel” for the fires. Rather than addressing ways to reduce the amount of “fuel” awaiting the next spark, homeless campfire, or lightning strike, California Governor Newsom’s solution to prevent devastating wildfires is more litigation and reorganization of a utility company.  read more »

Expanding, Productive Mexico City: The Evolving Urban Form

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Much of the media has been fascinated by the growing number of megacities (built up urban areas with at least 10 million residents). Not only are megacities regularly covered but various reports have them becoming denser. They’re not, as has been demonstrated by Professor Shlomo Angel, who leads the Urban Expansion Program at New York University’s Marron Institute.  read more »

Unsustainable California

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The recent rash of fires, like the drought that preceded it, has sparked a new wave of pessimism about the state’s future. But the natural disasters have also obscured the fact the greatest challenge facing the state comes not from burning forests or lack of precipitation but from an increasingly dysfunctional society divided between a small but influential wealthy class and an ever-expanding poverty population.  read more »

Why America’s Free Market Economy Works Better in Some Places than Others

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Is America’s free market system working as advertised? Mostly yes, but it depends to a surprising degree on where you live.

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