CNU Salons

Building High to Qualify

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.

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.

Two types of architecture: good, and the other kind

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."

Great Data on Migration

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.  

Big Boxes Flock Together

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).

The Problem With The "Induced Demand" Theory of New Housing

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.  

More on Which Age Groups are Moving to Cities

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 "Decline of Chinatown" Nonstory

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.

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.