In the News

Evidence That Gentrification is Overrated

A recent article in Better Cities points out that while some transit-heavy neighborhoods in Chicago became more expensive (especially those on Chicago's north side) "transit sheds" in Chicago's south and west shed actually lost value relative to the region as a whole.  In other words, rich into... read more »

What The Height Limits Debate Is Really About

It seems to me that the debate among new urbanist/smart growth types about height limits for office buildings* is really about one question: if businesses can't find enough office space in a low-rise business district, will they: 1.  move a few blocks away, thus improving a neighborhood adjacen... read more »

Suburban Poverty? So What?

Because of the release of a new book about the growth of poverty in the suburbs,  there has been all sorts of chatter on Twitter and the urbanist blogosphere about the growth of suburban poverty.  Obviously, poverty anywhere is not a good thing.  But as long as there is poverty, is it... read more »

Converting Detroit's I-375 to a boulevard

Lions, Tigers, and BoulevardsLions, Tigers and boulevards: each are reasons to be excited about Detroit. Yes even the Lions! As a native Detroiter, I dare not forget to mention the Detroit Red Wings who just hustled their way past the Ducks to begin what will be an intense series with the Blackhawks... read more »

Documenting NIMBYism

Because much of the literature on anti-density "exclusionary zoning" involves suburbs, you might think that cities tend to favor development and density.  But according to a recent paper by Vicki Been of NYU Law, this is not the case.  The study examines rezonings proposed by the New York ... read more »

Are The Poor Being Forced Into Suburbia?

I recently read a blog post explaining that smart growth and urban infill are not so smart because it forces poor people into suburbia.  The logic behind this claim is, as far as I can tell, as follows: 1) infill means rising real estate values in cities, (2) rising real estate values mean... read more »

Where Job Sprawl Happens Most

I just saw the Brookings report on job sprawl- the movement of jobs to exurbs.  Do some metros have more job sprawl than others?  If so what correlates with it? ... read more »

How Single Use Can Be Mixed Use

Howard Blackson's latest post on the Placemakers blog clarifies the concept of "mixed use." A narrow definition of mixed use limits the term to mixed-use buildings: for example, buildings partially devoted to housing and partially devoted to other uses.   But Blackson points out that a walkable... read more »

Passover and New Urbanism

A few days ago, I came to Atlanta to spend the Jewish holiday of Passover with my family, a holiday commemorating the deparature of Hebrew slaves (also known as "the Exodus") from Egypt about 3300 years ago. At one level, this liberation was about freedom- and so is new urbanism.  Just as the E... read more »