Montgomery County, Maryland has a plan to encourage more walkable transit-oriented development. So the County Council is considering a new zoning code that encourages residential buildings in commercial corridors (i.e., strip malls). The idea is to build housing near transit and shopping and thus reduce car trips and help people live more efficiently, in accordance with the county’s goals.
THE ARCHITECTURE CRITIC for New York magazine recently wrote about the work of Robert A.M. Stern in an article entitled Unfashionably Fashionable. I commented:
"There are two kinds of music," Duke Ellington famously said. "Good music, and the other kind."
I just found an interesting new website full of migration data (link here). The website contains migration data for almost every county in the US.
One thing I have learned: the migration into cities is still largely driven by twentysomethings. For example, Manhattan and Washington continued to lose older residents to suburbia and to other regions, as they did in prior decades.
Some planners seek to discourage big box stores, on the theory that such stores are incipient monopolists that crush all competition. (In particular, Wal-Mart seems to strike fear in the hearts of many).
I was arguing with an acquaintance about New York's sky-high rents, and he made an interesting argument: he suggested that new luxury housing actually makes prices higher, by making the city more desirable to the wealthy and thus encouraging them to bid up housing prices. In other words, the law of supply and demand doesn't reduce housing prices: supply just increases demand rather than reducing prices.
I've already blogged on which age groups are returning to cites- but I recently read something that made me think about the issue a liittle differently. In past posts, I have noted that city population seems to be increasing among both millenials and 55-64 year olds. Although this is true, it is an after-affect of the nationwide increase in the number of aging baby boomers.
The headline in "Wired" seems to say it all: "Mapping the Alarming Decline of America's Chinatowns." The Wired story breathlessly proclaims that "gentrification" and "development" are causing Chinatowns to "go extinct"- with the apparent agenda of trying to prevent new urban housing because of concerns about gentrification.