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Quote of the Day

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

July 18, 2013
Bill Fulton Enters a San Diego in Turmoil
San Diego Union Tribune

Bill Fulton picked a hell of week to start his new job with the city. The former Ventura mayor, a big-deal planner announced last month as the director of the city’s newly reconstituted planning department, officially took over on Monday, July 7.

Turkey’s Move to Urban Planning Autocracy
The Atlantic Cities

The fires started on Friday. Beginning in the forests on the Asian side of Turkey’s Bosphorus Straits, flames reduced five hectares of woodland to ash, their plume of smoke blotting out visibility on a nearby highway filled with cars heading into Istanbul.

Curse of Nonprofit Property Tax Exemptions
Slate Moneybox

Felix Salmon rightly notes that it’s perverse that well-heeled universities receive huge implicit tax subsidies often for activities with little relationship to education while public institutions end up starved of direct appropriations.

Managing The Visionistas of Urban America
Governing Magazine

I recently spent time with a man who had changed the course of a river — and not a small river, a big one. He’s John Turner, a businessman and environmentalist, and the river he changed was the Chattahoochee

July 17, 2013
Three Keys to More Affordable Housing
Better Cities and Towns

The Sightline Institute in Seattle has published an e-book that offers three policy recommendations for affordable housing: Re-legalizing rooming or boarding houses; uncapping the number of roommates who may share a dwelling; and welcoming accessory apartments, such as in-law flats or garden cottages.

July 16, 2013
Hung Up on Gentrification? Don’t Be

In my last Rooflines post I described an approach-centering on a tax credit for families to buy substandard houses in targeted neighborhoods, fix them up, and occupy them as owner-occupants for at least five years

DC as a Suburban Agenda Dominated City
Rebuilding Place in Urban Space

In this piece from the other day, “DC makes the Wall Street Journal twice in one week,” in discussing parking policy, there was extended discussion on DC being dominated by a suburban mindset and planning paradigm.

July 15, 2013
Congress Could Get Involved in DC Walmart Fight
Roll Call

One of the summer’s hottest local stories has become the standoff between the D.C. Council and Wal-Mart over how much the big-box behemoth should have to pay its Washington workforce.

Voluntary Census is Now a Problem for Canadian Planners
Ottawa Citizen

Weaknesses in the most recent national census mean the City of Ottawa is treating the data skeptically and relying more on its own sources of information about the city’s population, says the city’s chief urban-planning statistician.

Paris Not for the Rich, Rent Laws
The Atlantic Cities

The term laissez-faire may be a French import, but you can’t accuse France’s new government of taking a hands-off approach when it comes to rent.

LA’s NIMBY Problem Causing Housing Problem
Curbed LA

NIMBYs are destroying Los Angeles, says economist Christopher Thornberg in an LA Times op-ed. Starting with the example of CasdenWestLA, the huge Expo Line-adjacent mixed-user that was scaled way back last month, he argues that the city’s housing shortage is a major economic threat, and that it’s all the fault of residents who refuse to […]

Investors Pushing Housing Prices Up in Central Valley
Stockton City Limits

In recent months, Central Valley housing prices have rapidly improved. In particular, Stockton has posted double-digit percentage increases in home prices over last year, better than the national average.

Demographically Mixed Housing Plans Draw Opposition
Vibrant Bay Area

Almost two decades ago, when I was living in a different state, I had a first-hand view of a land-use controversy at a destination resort. I wasn’t personally involved, but knew people who were.

July 14, 2013
Inequality a Predictor of Poor Economic Success in Cities
Next City

Equity, as the name of this blog suggests, plays an instrumental role in the growth of cities. This can range from tangible equity – homeownership and local business ownership for people at all economic strata – to social equity – equal access to education, opportunity and social services.


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