Tim Halbur's blog

The Irrefutability of Harriet Tregoning

Last month, Washington, DC Planning Director Harriet Tregoning announced that she'd be leaving her position after 6 years to become the director of HUD's Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, the position vacated by Shelley Poticha last year. This is great news for those of us engaged in reforming HUD policies, like outdated limits on retail/office in mixed-use developments.

Dingbats and "Scarchitecture"

The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design is in the throes of Kickstarting a book they're calling Dingbat 2.0. For those who don't know, the dingbat is a housing type that proliferated in the Western U.S. in the 50s and 60s, driven primarily by increased parking requirements. As you can see at right, the dingbat basically paves over the front lawn, thrusting the house or apartments up on stilts and creating a parking garage at ground level.

Is Tall All There Is?

Last week, Alissa Walker wrote a piece in Gizmodo with the headline "Tall is Good: How a Lack of Building Up is Keeping Our Cities Down." Walker argues that buildings taller than 4 stories need to be built to keep cities from pricing out its lower-income citizens, and that cities should be removing height limits and encouraging super tall - and thin - buildings.

Is Los Angeles Too Big?

That's the question Colin Marshall, host of the Notebook on Cities & Culture Podcast, lobbed my way in a live recording this weekend at the New Urbanism Film Festival. At the risk of getting too simplistic, I think the answer is yes.

Do You <3 Bus Rapid Transit?

Supporters of bus rapid transit in Chicago are taking a drubbing from anti-BRT groups - at least, in the news coverage.

Libertyville in the News

Leigh Gallagher's new book The End of the Suburbs is getting amazing media attention this week, and while Joe Scarborough or Mara Schiavocampo don't see "new urbanism" on their teleprompter, a new urbanist community appears on screen. That community is Libertyville, Illinois, developed by StreetScape Development, LLC.