Author Archives: Alon Levy

Height Limits: Still a Bad Idea

In a pair of recent articles on Strong Towns, Charles Marohn, best known in the urbanist community for introducing the term stroad (street+road) for a pedestrian-hostile arterial street, argues for height limits as a positive force for urbanism. He does … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urban Design, Urbanism | 3 Comments

Toward a Tel Aviv S-Bahn

I have been thinking of alternatives to the current plan for a Tel Aviv Subway for several years now; last year I expounded on some principles for a better plan. As I mentioned last year, Tel Aviv’s subway system should … Continue reading

Posted in Israel, Regional Rail, Transportation, Urban Transit | 8 Comments

The NITBY Problem

Usually, the barrier to new development in a neighborhood is NIMBYism: connected local community members do not want the project, saying “not in my backyard.” There’s a wealth of literature about NIMBYs’ role in restrictions on development; William Fischel’s work … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Israel, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 27 Comments

Pedestrian Observations from Central Stockholm

I like Stockholm. There’s something reassuringly familiar about it, despite the language barrier, which I think comes from the fact that the Central Stockholm housing stock is of similar vintage as the residential parts of Manhattan. It even avoids New … Continue reading

Posted in Pedestrian Observations, Regional Rail, Sweden, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 35 Comments

Dispersing Expensive Centers: Edge City Version

This is somewhat of an addendum to my post before about dispersal of urban networks toward cheaper cities. I addressed the question of dispersal from rich, expensive metro areas, especially San Francisco, to cheaper ones, as a way of dealing … Continue reading

Posted in Cars, Development, New York, Politics and Society, Regional Rail, Sweden, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 35 Comments

Putting Rail Lines in Highway Medians

North Americans are in love with trains that go in highway medians. A large fraction of urban rail construction since World War Two, both light rail and full metro, has used highway medians as cheap at-grade rights-of-way to extend train … Continue reading

Posted in High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Transportation, Urban Transit | 67 Comments

Dispersal of Urban Networks is Bad

The debate over upzoning has reached Paul Krugman, who is a strong supporter of liberalization (and an opponent of rent control), on the grounds that rich cities like New York and San Francisco are hotbeds of productivity and people should … Continue reading

Posted in Politics and Society, Urbanism | 29 Comments