Planning

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 »

The Homeownership Myth

One common myth about American sprawl is that it is somehow related to Americans' support for homeownership.  But in fact, Americans are more likely to rent than residents of many other countries: 33 percent of us do so, as opposed to 26 percent of EU residents, 22 percent of New Zealander... read more »

The Myth of Overcrowding

Last week, I had a conversation with a faculty colleague about densification in Manhattan.  He said he visited Philadelphia, and he liked Philadelphia better because it wasn't so crowded.   But I responded that Manhattan wasn't as crowded as he thought it was.  To be sure, there are a... read more »

More Density for Bigger Cities

I recently have noticed lots of comments in blogs and listservs on ideal densities.  But the ideal density for a city or a neighborhood (if there is such a thing) depends on context. ' Why?  The smaller the city, the less density you need for walkability. ... read more »