In the News

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 »

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 »

Another example of the fragility of sprawl (maybe)

After last week's snowstorm, New York City rebounded smartly: the streets are plowed, the subways are running.  By contrast, the school where I teach (40 miles out in Suffollk County) is closed.  Why?  Because the students mostly live in suburbs near the school, and many of them are s... read more »

If They Build it They Will Come

Give us our daily discount outlet merchandise... ... read more »

Urbanism and TV Theme Songs

In Walkable City, Jeff Speck points out that 1990s sitcoms tend to be more urban and more pro-urban than those of the 1950s and 1960s (which tended to be set in small towns or rural areas) or even the 1970s (often set in depressing or depressed urban locations, with the exception of "Mary Tyler Moor... read more »

walkable regions and real estate values

Pundit Matt Yglesias has dug up some interesting Federal Reserve-compiled data on regional housing prices.  He compares today's housing prices not to those of the mid-2000s real estate boom, but to 1998 pre-boom housing prices.  The Fed's data shows that some regions have experienced ... read more »

New and Worth Reading: a Friendly Critique of Form-Based Codes

Nicole Garnett of Notre Dame Law School is publishing a sympathetic critique of form-based codes (available here, soon to be published in Brooklyn Law Review).  She supports the aims of form-based codes, but wonders whether they would be more appropriate as voluntary codes than as citywide zoni... read more »

Charlotte's Eastland Mall Property Back in the Game!

Throughout the country, abandoned retail properties become eyesores for both residential and commercial neighbors.  Charlotte's strong economy does not shield it from the problems of sprawl and leapfrog development.  The once thriving Eastland Mall in close proximity to uptown Ch... read more »

Two Middle-Class(?) Neighborhoods

A few days ago, I partially responded to Joel Kotkin's defense of Sun Belt sprawl and attack on more "urban" cities like New York and Washington, arguing that the latter group of cities seem to be more attractive to the wealthy and more able to generate wealth.  But of course, I didn't really a... read more »

Responding to a little New York-bashing

Joel Kotkin just wrote a blog post on New Geography explaining why today's Obama voters will eventually turn into Republicans - a subject not particularly relevant to urbanism.  But a few paragraphs of the essay grabbed my attention, in particular this one: ... read more »