Planning

The pros and cons of elevator suburbs

As I was looking through my Twitter feed last night, I noticed an article on Canada's "elevator suburbs"- suburban streets (often, but not always, in low-income areas) filled with mid-and high-rise apartment buildings and shops, with lower-density housing on side streets.  How do these places s... read more »

Escapades on Lebanon’s North Yungas Road

This road offers a classical example of urban planning gone wrong and a real life illustration of the intricate relationship between the evolution of road infrastructure and that of society as a whole.   ... read more »

No, We Don't Need Walk-Ups (Or At Least Not Just Walk-Ups)

In reading arguments about Washington's height limits, one anti-height argument that I occasionally see is: "We don't need height for density-  we can just build 5-6 story buildings."  These kind of "walk-up" buildings typically can't afford elevators (except maybe at the high end of this ... read more »

Good trees, bad trees

Normally, trees on a street are a good thing.  Good trees (like this row of trees in Forest Hills, Queens) provide shade for a sidewalk.  But not all trees are so-well behaved.  Where there is no sidewalk, a tree can actually endanger pedestrians by preventing them from walking on gra... read more »

Getting serious about affordable housing

When I was at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference in Kansas City, I saw a speaker argue that walkability increases property values (a proposition I'm not taking a position on, at least not in this blog post).   When someone asked about affordability, he suggested inclusionary zoni... read more »

Fresh Water: Florida's Increasingly Scarce Resource

Fresh water is something that is generally not thought about, or at the very least taken for granted, by the typical Florida resident.  But where does Florida's fresh water actually come from?  Well, the answer to this question is that most of Florida's fresh water comes from either the un... read more »

What I (Sort of) Wish I'd Said

Last Friday, I gave a speech on conservatives and smart growth at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference.  At the panel discussion after the speech I was asked "what if you want to build something nice and your neighbor wants to build a car wash?"  I gave an honest but nuanced answer... read more »