Planning

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 »

Mini-Book Review: Regional Planning can be Pro-Sprawl Too

I have written about how local comprehensive plans sometimes favor sprawl over urbanism.  But a recent book by planning scholar Carlton Basmajian, Atlanta Unbound, shows that regional planning can suffer from similar defects.  ... read more »

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. ... read more »

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 l... read more »

Explaining the Koontz Decision

A few months ago, the federal Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District. ... read more »

How The Sprawl Lobby Is Totalitarian

I recently read the following comment justifying sprawl-oriented policies: "people still want the freedom of choice, privacy and flexibility a car affords."  I have often seen this sort of argument; it seems to me to endorse the following chain of logic: (1) an unspecified number of "people" (p... read more »

Cities Can't Do Much Alone

I am about halfway through the Metropolitan Revolution (by Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley) and I can't help wondering: how much good can a city do?  Of course, quite a bit- but only with a friendly (or at least non-hostile) state government.  There are many, many things a state government... read more »