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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: Urban Issues

June 18, 2017
America’s Deep Urban-Rural Divide
Washington Post

America’s cultural divide runs deep. While rural and urban Americans share some economic challenges, they frequently diverge on questions of culture and values. On few issues are they more at odds than immigration.

The Cost of L.A.’s Popularity
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles remains a destination for people from around the world, many of them young, skilled and creative. They move here for culture, commerce, climate — or all three. That’s a situation many cities can only envy, but success comes at a cost.

Affordable Housing Difficult For Many Texas Urban Dwellers
Texas Tribune

A new Harvard study found that Americans — especially poorer ones — are having a harder time find a suitable place to call home. Texas lawmakers, experts and development industry leaders say there are plenty of reasons why that’s true here, too.

Could the Grenfell Tower Disaster Happen in New York?
New York Magazine

There is no such thing as an accident when a high-rise building fails. If gas leaks, wires spark, or a wall crumbles, those are not acts of fate, but the preventable consequence of people not doing their jobs.

June 15, 2017
Urban Talent Sheds Say a Lot About Cities
Aaron Renn

LinkedIn uses their data to show trends in 20 major job markets. For each market they track, they put together a map of the 10 cities that market gains the most workers from and the ten in loses the most workers too.

Buffalo Redevelopment Tax Breaks Spurred $659M in Projects
The Buffalo News

Giving tax breaks to encourage adaptive-reuse development projects that include apartments and hotels has been controversial among government critics and taxpayer advocates, but a new report by the county’s economic development agency claims it’s paying off.

Seattle’s Wealthy Responsible for Affordable Housing

Like the wage fight, a massive public housing program funded by taxing the rich won’t just happen on its own. We will have to build a huge movement to demand city action. But as Seattle continues to grow, time grows more urgent.

Why Cities Should Employ Planners’ Intellectual Property

Cities pay large sums for experts to create models or refine existing ones, often with a great deal of input from the city authority. And yet cities ultimately retain the rights to use only a small proportion of the work for which they’ve paid.

China’s Real Estate Mirage
New York Times

The impressive size and wealth of China’s propertied class belies the growing strains plaguing new home buyers. The country now has some of the least affordable housing markets in the world.

June 13, 2017
US Must Add 4.6M Housing Units to Keep Up?

The affordable housing crisis in the United States has many causes. A new study, commissioned by apartment industry groups, highlights how low inventory may be a contributing cause for this issue in cities nationwide.

Philadelphia’s Alternative to Gentrification
Yes Magazine

Stark boundaries—rich vs. poor, black and brown vs. white—begin to break down as people share parks, trails, libraries, nature centers, and other gathering places. Walljasper650px.jpg

Did Bloomberg Get Public Health Right?

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former mayor of New York, has launched a global initiative on public health. It includes USD 5 million support from Bloomberg Philanthropies as well as technical support for cities that choose to focus on one of 10 public health issues.

Is Historic Preservation Just NIMBYism?
City Observatory

There’s a growing recognition that local land use controls that preclude increased density in cities are helping contribute to the shortage of affordable housing. President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers lent considerable credence to that view, and the YIMBY movement is growing.

Can ADU’s Tamp Down Excessive Housing Prices in Denver?
Denver Post

As home prices and rental rates continue to soar with little restraint across the metro area, a decidedly unsexy topic — accessory dwelling units — is generating more heat as communities look to the small living spaces on small lots for needed relief in an overheated real estate market.

How to Build a Smart City and Put it on a Global Map

Being a mayor is still a Medieval occupation. The position today calls for urgent solutions to traffic congestion, affordable housing, security and sanitation concerns; just as it did in 12th century Europe where it originated.


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