When a city recovers from the urban decline of the late 20th century, there is often a lot of media blather about the evils of gentrification. According to gentriphobes, working-class (mostly black) people lived together in peace and harmony before the onslaught of (mostly white) hipsters and yuppies drove up rents.
A common justification for downzoning is "community character' - the idea that a given place has a (usually suburban) character, and that this "character" justifies legal rules freezing the status quo in place.
I was taking a long-distance bus to my parents' house in Atlanta and we had a layover in Charlotte, NC. I noticed a couple of things that I thought were fairly impressive:
First, all of the region's bus schedules were in the Greyhound station. Since bus riders are (I suspect) pretty likely to be using public transit once they arrive in town, I thought this was a pretty good idea. (Though a regionwide bus map in the station would be still better).
The Pew Research Center just came out with a much-touted new study showing that American neighborhoods are becoming more economically segregated (or at least purporting to show this)
Yesterday, the voters of ten Atlanta counties voted "no" in a referendum on a regional sales tax to expand both roads and public transit. The new tax was favored by the region's business establishment, and opposed by groups as varied as the Sierra Club and local Tea Party groups.
I recently ran across one of the CNU 20 panels on Youtube. As useful as it was, I'm not sure how many hours I want to spend in front of a computer screen trying to keep my attention on a video presentation. I started to wonder: is there a way for people to access CNU panels without spending hours on Youtube?
At CNU, Richard Florida quipped that high-rises were "vertical suburbs". At the time, I couldn't quite figure out what he was trying to say.
I just did something I wanted to do since moving to New York: visited Levittown, a historic postwar suburb. Photos of my visit are here.
There's been a lot of hubbub about the Bloomberg Administration's proposal to make city-owned land available for 275-square-foot apartments. The city proposes to allow developers to build these "micro-units" and rent them for $2000 a unit. If you read some of the comments in the press, you might think this was somehow unprecedented.
But when I lived in Toronto, I had 140 square feet of living space (not counting the bathroom) and had enough space for everything but houseguests.