Blogs

Mr. Kotkin Talks About What "People Really Want"

Joel Kotkin recently wrote in the Washington Post that unspecified urban planners want "to create an ideal locate for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers" rather than focusing on the needs of "most middle-class residents of the metropolis." He claims that these people want "home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools, and 'human scale' neighborhoods" as well as "decent

Bordeaux: A Journey of Wine, Food, French and New Urbanism

I visited Bordeaux, France this past July to practice my French and learn some more about wine. I did not expect to see a classic example of New Urbanism in play. In a way I shouldn’t be too surprised for I always considered visiting the best way to learn about cities and discover their urban plans. It is just that in this case I did not foresee this aspect to be a dominating factor. New Urbanism welcomes you straightaway in Bordeaux and stays with you till the moment you leave.

What Ferguson Tells Us About Working-Class Suburbia

Recently, Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis, has received lots of attention because of a police officer's questionable decision to shoot an unarmed civilian, followed by demonstrations, followed by some even more questionable decisions by police (such as arresting journalists and tear-gassing the citizenry).   

The "Chains Are Ruining Our City" Myth

I recently read about a blog complaining that New York was "suburbanizing" due to the "disappearance of small stores and restaurants" and their alleged replacement by national chains.

The "Building Boom" Myth

One common argument against new infill development is "my city has already experienced a building boom, and rents keep going up."  But in New York City, one of the nation's most expensive cities, this claim is built on false assumptions.  A recent study by the Citizens Budget Commission shows that New York has experienced lower growth in housing supply than all but 3 of 22 cities surveyed- and 2 of the 3 (Detroit and Chicago) lost population over the past decade.

worst practices: vanishing medians

One thing that can make suburban roads less intolerable for pedestrians is a large median, so that the pedestrian can cross a huge road two or three lanes at a time, instead of having to cross an entire six- or eight-lane highway in one mad dash.  

The Toxic Results of NIMBYism

An article in today's New York Times discusses population growth patterns over the past several years, and suggests that population growth is fastest in the inland Sun Belt-places combining relatively warm weather and cheap housing.

interesting blog post on congestion pricing

At the Smart Growth for Conservatives blog, analyst Michael Brown has written a series of interesting posts about congestion pricing, most recently one on how to make congestion pricing (that is, tolling highways during peak periods to reduce congestion) sound appealing to the general public.   He also suggests that congestion pricing will increase

Fraudo-Mobility

Don't Blame the Rich for High Rents

One common explanation for the high housing costs of New York and San Francisco is that the wealthy are pricing everyone else out of the market.  According to this narrative, there are so many obscenely wealthy people in such cities that developers are only building housing for the rich, thus making it impossible for the law of supply and demand to function.