Planning

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 owners... read more »

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 plan... read more »

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 sh... read more »

How much does diversity matter?

This weekend, I visited Kansas City, Mo. to look for apartments (since I am moving there in August to teach at the University of Missouri at Kansas City Law School). I focused my search on the Brookside and Country Club Plaza neighborhoods, two areas within a 45-minute walk of the law school. ... read more »

Jungle Shmungle

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Good density and not-so-good density

After seeing another blog post about how density is bad because Los Angeles is dense, it occurred to me to suggest that just as there is good and bad cholesterol, there is good and not-so-good density. From a new urbanist perspective, good density is density that contributes to walkability: density ... read more »

Photo Blog: New Faubourg Lafitte in New Orleans

In 2012, Urban Design Associates (UDA) was awarded a Charter Award for their project The New Faubourg Lafitte in New Orleans. The project is a redevelopment and rehabilititaiton of a 27-acre superblock public housing that had been badly damaged by hurricane Katrina. CNU praised the collaboration wit... read more »

If You Don't Want An Apartment, Don't Have One

One of my favorite political slogans (more because of its catchiness than because of its wisdom)* is "If You Don't Want An Abortion, Don't Have One."  It occurs to me that this slogan would be quite appropriately adapted to an urbanist context.  In response to NIMBY attacks on compact deve... read more »

The Infrastructure Argument Against Infill

One common (if vague) argument against upzoning and infill development is that infrastructure in place X (wherever the proposed development is) will somehow be overwhelmed by more important.  When I see this argument I want to ask: 1.  What infastructure are you talking about? 2.  How... read more »

Vision Zero in America's Most Walkable City

STREETS FOR PEOPLE ARE THE WAY TO CUT FATALITIES TO ZERO—BUT NYPD COMMISSIONER BRATTON DOESN'T AGREE Originally posted on the Street Design Blog STREETS FOR PEOPLE ARE THE WAY TO CUT FATALITIES TO ZERO—BUT NYPD COMMISSIONER BRATTON DOESN'T AGREE ... read more »