Planning

Manipulating the System

The introduction of the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification program into the building and real estate market allowed environmentalists to breathe a sigh of relief. Buildings, the leading producer of GHGs, finally had a trendy and very marketable adaptation technique ... read more »

City Crime And Neighborhood Crime

Sprawl supporters occasionally argue that sprawl is less crime-ridden than walkable urbanism.  But this argument seems to be contradicted by the reality of citywide crime rates: New York, our country's most transit-friendly city, is also one of its safest.  ... read more »

Suburban Poverty: A Reality Check

I just used Amazon.com to look inside a new book on suburban poverty ("Confronting Suburban Poverty In America" by Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube).   I found the following admission: "[since 2000] poverty rates rose by equal degrees in cities and suburbs (roughly 3 percentage points) t... read more »

Restoring the Relationship Between Health and Cities

The built environment has a unique and distinct impact on the health of its inhabitants.  Former CNU plenary speaker, Dr. Richard Jackson, recently published an article in the Journal of Public Health where he reviews the rocky history between the two.    ... read more »

The Irony of Minimum Parking Requirements

As many people (including me) have written, minimum parking requirements encourage sprawl by requiring "islands of building surounded by seas of parking."  Generally, municipalities trying to end or modify these rules have started with downtowns and worked their way outward. ... read more »

Obesity,Sprawl and Poverty, Part 2

Last week, I blogged about the relationship between sprawl and poverty, using metro Atlanta as an example.  I showed that in Fulton and DeKalb Counties (the two most urban, transit-friendly counties in the region) the obesity rate was only slightly higher than the poverty rate, while in more su... read more »

Another Way To Measure the Sprawl/Obesity Relationship

One dispute in the literature about sprawl and obesity is whether the impact of sprawl is significant compared to the impact of social class.  It could be argued that obesity is primarily a function of poverty and lack of education, rather than of automobile dependency. ... read more »

Learning from Seattle, Part 2: Streets

Normally, sidewalks in residential areas are surrounded by short planting strips with grass and (sometimes) street trees. But in Seattle recently I saw something interesting: a planting strip that I would guess is twice the size of a typical one.  I thought the king-size strip was a very nice t... read more »

Proteus - New Urbanism Ideas From and For the Middle East

What could possibly have taken me to Salt Lake City (SLC) in Utah, United States? Shock put to rest: it was the 21st Congress for New Urbanism (CNU 21), which was held there from May 28th till June 1st. Dozens of experts in and even just supporters (like yours truly) of New Urbanism gathered in such... read more »

Physician Involvement in Planning

  ... read more »