Planning

Jane Jacobs on height

"I think the specific scheme of diversity zoning, or the specific combination of schemes, that an outstandingly successful city locality requires is likely to differ with the locality... A park being surrounded by intensive duplications of tall offices or apartments might well be zoned for lower bui... read more »

A New Urbanist’s Pilgrimage (Part I): Rosemary Beach.

This Memorial Day weekend I had the opportunity to go the hotbed of New Urbanism on the 30A coast in the Panhandle of Florida. Of course I was thrilled to finally see what many consider to be the foundation of New Urbanism and the development that catapulted Duany Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) into architectu... read more »

High-Rises and New Urbanists: How to Attack Both

I realize that high-rises aren't perfect.  They may consume more energy than smaller buildings, and under the wrong circumstances, high-rises can coexist with bad urbanism (for example, a tall building in the middle of a suburban office park, or surrounded by ten-lane roads).  Having said ... read more »

How Much Density Is Enough? It Depends

Los Angeles has over 7000 people per square mile, yet doesn't have a reputation as a particularly walkable place.  By contrast, I was pretty happy living without a car in Carbondale, IL (a small college town with 2178 people per square mile).  How come? ... read more »

Calthorpe on Chinese urbanism

Peter Calthorpe spoke this morning on Chinese urbanism- the good and the bad. From a new urbanist perspective, the good includes density and transportation: Chinese cities tend to be more compact than ours, and the government seeks to limit car use to a 20% modal share (i.e. 20 percent of all trips... read more »

Duany speech at Thurs. morning CNU plenary: Why Code?

For me, the highlight of CNU 20 so far was Andres Duany's speech at this morning's plenary session. Most of his speech was about the SmartCode, responding to libertarian objections. He said, in so many words: if we don't code, and if we don't consider aesthetics when we do, someone else will (usua... read more »

My new book

My book, "A Libertarian Smart Growth Agenda" is available at amazon.com .  If you don't want to pay for the book, you can read the article that it was based on here.  ... read more »

"Suburbs" don't have to equal "Sprawl"

Great post at http://capntransit.blogspot.com/2012/04/why-we-need-walkable-transit-oriented.html .  ... read more »

zoning budgets- one way to keep NIMBYism under control

Roderick Hills and David Schleicher, two law professors, have proposed one way to limit NIMBY-inspired downzonings: a "zoning budget."  Specifically, they propose that cities require every downzoning to be matched by an upzoning somewhere else, so that the city's "budget" was always balanced.&n... read more »

Housing costs and centralization

In my limited experience, commentators who oppose regional land use regulations like urban growth boundaries (or at least worry about the impact of such regulations on housing costs) tend to favor keeping cities constrained within their 1950 boundaries, while people who favor such regulations t... read more »