Planning

What New Urbanism Is Not

If New Urbanism is compact, mixed-use, walkable, public transportation oriented development, then what is it not?  Well the photo to the right is a good example of what New Urbanism is not.  This photo is of what is known as "urban sprawl." ... read more »

Why Your Gas Tank Matters: An Alternative View to Public Transportation

I’m sure it’s been beaten into your head by now that driving your car is bad, and that the more enlightened choice is to take public transportation. We’ve all heard the stats of pollution and we know that the built form being designed around the car has destroyed a walkable environment based ... read more »

The Legacy of Levittown

  After finishing Levittown: Two Families, One Tycoon, and the Fight for Civil Rights by David Kushner, I have spent the past week educating myself in the Levitt Brothers and their enormous contribution to housing, land use, and race relations in America. By David Kushner ... read more »

"Quality of Life"- A Term With Lots of Meanings

I am in the middle of Jeff Speck's Walkable City, and noticed his statement that walkable cities "provide a better quality of life." (p. 70).  But when I lived in car-oriented cities like Jacksonville and Atlanta, I talked to more than one ex-northerner who said they preferred the "quality of l... read more »

yet another way to look at density

Some commentators note that the Los Angeles metropolitan area has more people per square mile than other regions, and use this alleged fact as an argument why density doesn't affect a region's level of car dependency.  One region this argument is silly is that Los Angeles density is quite diffe... read more »

Against "Community Character"

In an interesting article entitled "The Case for Listening to NIMBYs", Kaid Benfield mentions "that municipal planners would benefit by being more sensitive to building types that fit well with existing neighborhood character."  He writes that pro-infill planners should encourage such infill ... read more »