Small Cities

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 »

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 »

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 »

Let's Stop Shaming the Suburbs

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I have been a New Yorker for over a decade now, but I have spent the past few months in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, since it’s a little easier on our family during the pandemic. Locals joke that it’s a “suburb of nowhere,” and it’s true that the region may lack some of the density and sizable cultural institutions that define the New York experience—24/7 amenities, robust public transit, and the sidewalk ballets. But the tidewater region is anything but an isolated wasteland, and spending time here has been absolutely lovely.  read more »

Why the 2020 Election Will be Decided in Suburbia

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American politics is increasingly about dueling geographies. Democrats have become the party of the nation’s cities, while the Republican Party finds its base in rural, small town and low-density exurban America  read more »

The Great American Land Rush of 2020

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The Great American Land Rush of 2020 is underway in many metro areas across the country. Large numbers of American workers are untethered from a central office. As a result many are moving to less dense areas with less expensive land (and homes) and more of both. The greater New York City and Los Angeles metros are the hardest hit. Take NYC where single-family residential land per acre is 24 times as expensive in the densest quintile of zip codes as compared to the least dense quintile ($3.06 million vs. $129,000).  read more »

Three Things Trump is Getting Right and Democrats Ignored

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Right on cue, the country’s dominant political and media voices, after wildly applauding Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, have responded to Donald Trump’s week in the spotlight with laughter, derision and anger for its supposed amateurism, lack of star power, and racism.  read more »

Cities Are Suffering

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Urbanists have been singing the virtues of the city and density over the past few decades, from the practical benefits of density — including more efficient forms of living in apartments and access to public transit — to the economic, social, and cultural opportunities found in urban areas.  read more »

The Future of Driving

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A new study from accounting firm KPMG predicts that auto travel in the United States will be 9 to 10 percent less after the pandemic than it was before. Telecommuting, says the report, will lead to a 10 to 20 percent reduction in commuting by car while on-line shopping will lead to a 10 to 30 percent reduction in shopping trips.  read more »