Planning

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 »

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 »