In the News

The Myth (?) That City Growth Causes Suburban Poverty

One common "story" about the evolution of American cities is that suburban poverty is growing because people are being driven out of high-priced cities into suburbs.  One possible implication of this argument is that cities need to be kept poor and stagnant so that poor people can afford them. ... read more »

The End of the Suburbs by Leigh Gallagher

The End of the Suburbs is a new book from Leigh Gallagher, assistant Managing Editor at Fortune Magazine, that bluntly assesses the future of suburbia. Gallagher says it's over; at least in the form it's taken for the last 50 years. She marshals demographic and consumer preference data in a driving ... read more »

Even if Democrats Killed Detroit, Sprawl STILL Killed Detroit

One result of Detroit's recent bankruptcy has been the usual finger-pointing about the cause of that city's probems. Commonly mentioned culprits include deindustrialization, absence of federal support, and the sprawl-induced decline of urban tax bases.  Another common argument (especially among... read more »

Confusing Suburbs With Rural Areas

A recent article discussed in the Atlantic blog suggests that suicide rates increase as density goes down, especially below 300 people per square kilometer (i.e. 777 people per square mile).   The title of the article: "The Unsettling Link Between Sprawl and Suicide."  ... read more »

Health Impact Assessments and the Law

If you've gone to conferences addressing the relationship between public health and sprawl, you may have heard of something called a "health impact assessment."  If you are a little fuzzy on how this works out in practice, you may want to read a new article coauthored by Prof. Pamela Ko and the... read more »

Tisha'b'Av and Urbanism

Monday night and Tuesday, observant Jews all over the world will be fasting for Tisha'b'Av, a day dedicated to remembering pretty much every major disaster befalling Jews over the past twenty centuries or so, or at least a few of the major ones- especially the destruction of the Jewish Temples by fo... read more »

Cities Just Can't Win With Some People

I just read an attack (or at least an expression of concern about) gentrifiation of urban neighborhoods in the New Geography blog; Cleveland blogger Richey Piiparinen complains that the people moving back to the city are mostly white, and that this is b ... read more »

The Times' Attack on Gentrification: Sloppy, Sloppy, Sloppy

In a recent article entitled "Gentrifying Into the Shelters", the New York Times blamed homelessness on middle-class New Yorkers who dare to move into the city's poorer neighborhoods. ... 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 »

Neighborhood Character vs. Diversity

The conventional zoning wisdom is that all structures in a neighborhood should have the same density, in order to preserve "neighborhood character."  So even in mixed-use urban areas, this sort of zoning leads to a kind of monoculture: high-rises attract high-rises, low-rises attract low-rises.... read more »