In the News

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 »

Hollywood's Suburban Role Model

Hazel Borys's recent post on joggable suburbs reminds me of something I had meant to blog about during Oscar time: a movie that gives us a fairly good role model of walkable suburbia: The Silver Linings Playbook. ... read more »

Kotkin and Florida, Part II

Richard Florida has responded to Joel Kotkin's attack on "creative class" centered policies.  Kotkin doesn't really deny Florida's point that places with high-skilled workers have higher wages, but says that wage gains in high-skill cities are outweighed by high housing costs. Florida agrees.&n... read more »

Mr. Kotkin and Mr. Florida

Joel Kotkin tried to take down Richard Florida today, arguing that trusting the "creative class of the skilled, educated and hip...to remake American cities" is "pernicious." Mr. Florida can speak for himself, but I do have a few thoughts about the article. 1.  Can Both Ideas Be True? ... read more »