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It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: We assume families don’t want to live downtown, we therefore don’t design for family, and, sure enough, families don’t come, or they don’t stay.

Brent Toderian, Vox

Category Archives: Blog

January 16, 2015
Has Homeownership Really Worked For the US?

Homeownership has been widely seen as a vehicle for Americans to build wealth since the mid-1900s. Because of that, the US government has devoted many of its policy measures to making it easier for everyone to have access to homeownership. But now, with skyrocketing rents and increased costs of living which have markedly outpaced income […]

January 14, 2015
How Did the US Become Suburban In the First Place?

The feds have finally–albeit quietly–admitted that America’s driving boom is over. The Federal Highway Administration’s most recent forecast of Vehicle Miles Travelled predicts that growth in driving per capita will be much flatter in the future. This a far more accurate prediction than their past claims that driving rates will once again grow rapidly in […]

January 12, 2015
The Long Road To CA High Speed Rail

The California High Speed Rail’s groundbreaking ceremony took place last Tuesday, two years after it was originally scheduled to begin construction. It’s been a long and contentious journey to get this point, and the groundbreaking marks a huge step forward for the project. Critics of the project argue that the high speed rail is a […]

January 9, 2015
How Likely Is A Federal Gas Tax Increase?

Gas prices have dropped rapidly in the past several months as the price of crude oil went down by 40%. For the first time since 2009, gas prices are below $2 in some areas, and prices around the country have plummeted overall. Consumers have been rejoicing over the cheaper gas, but what other effects will […]

January 7, 2015
A Long-Term Solution to Transportation Funding?

Federal transportation funding has been a dominant topic in transportation policy, and with the dramatic near-bankruptcy of the Highway Trust Fund last year, many are looking at Congress to come up with a long-term transportation funding solution soon. President Obama is hopeful that a bipartisan agreement can be reached in the next year, after 6 […]

January 6, 2015
Streetcars are in the News and Questioned

Transit funding is one of the most widely debated topics in urban politics today, especially across party lines. While liberals tend to espouse public transit and its many economic and social benefits, conservatives often question the viability of having the federal government fund mass transit. The Obama administration has spent half a billion dollars trying […]

December 18, 2014
How Does Transport Funding Look In the Cromnibus?

On Tuesday, President Obama signed the massive $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Spending Bill that Congress passed last week. This spending bill will fund government agencies through the end of fiscal year 2015. Many of us were concerned about what the Republican Congress would mean for transportation funding, and now we have a more concrete idea of […]

December 17, 2014
The Growing Prevalence of Bike Culture In the US

The prevalence of bike culture has grown tremendously in the past few decades, and many cities are taking initiatives to promote biking. The health consequences of living in places that aren’t walkable or bikeable have long been established, but there are economic incentives for promoting biking as well. For instance, it costs about $500 a […]

December 16, 2014
How Should We Urbanize?

Yesterday we talked about the numerous benefits of developing dense, walkable urbanism. In addition to the walkability of urban design, another topic that is widely debated is the very character of urban design. Some feel that successful urbanism is actually created with experimentation and adjustment, and that having a single developer designing a neighborhood is […]

December 15, 2014
The Benefits of Dense, Walkable Urbanism

Today we’re going to talk about the benefits of walkable urbanism. Dense, walkable urbanism is one of the mantras of modern urban planning, but is there actually evidence that it’s any better than other forms of urbanism? After all, the suburbs that most planners now decry were once considered the pinnacle of American neighborhood development. […]

December 12, 2014
Fears of Gentrification Shouldn’t Limit Affordable Housing Development

Over the past couple of days we’ve talked a lot about how persistent poverty might be just as big a problem as gentrification. Today I’d like to touch upon the topic of affordable housing, which is one of the biggest concerns that people have when they discuss gentrification. One of the major issues that people […]

December 11, 2014
More On Concentrated Poverty: How To Address It

Building on yesterday’s discussion of how persistent poverty may be an even bigger problem than the gentrification that dominates the discourse on modern urban issues, let’s get into the details of why poverty needs to be addressed more while discussing urban issues in the US. This is not a dispute over whether or not gentrification […]

December 10, 2014
Is Gentrification or Concentrated Poverty the Bigger Issue?

Many of the articles we’ve posted lately have dealt with the super heated topic of Gentrification. With gentrification being one of the most pervasive topics in urban planning discussions, getting a comprehensive understanding of the many different sides to the arguments can be quite a task.  City Commentary has done a great job rounding up […]

December 9, 2014
Thinking Federally: What’s Been Going on in DC?

The Direct Transfer Blog:  In an attempt to take some of the articles we post and create a narrative, we want to share some of the connections that we come across as we read.  I’m hoping we can pull out some of the important parts of the articles we cover and connect them in a […]


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