Category Archives: Politics and Society

Why Avoiding Stereotypes is Important (Hoisted from Comments)

In the transit-related forums I participate in, people know that the US builds subways at higher costs than all other countries, because I talk about it often. This feeds into various stereotypes Americans have of government effectiveness; Americans of many … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Politics and Society, Transportation | 49 Comments

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 | 37 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

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

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 | 30 Comments

Zoning and Market Pricing of Housing

The question of the effects of the supply restrictions in zoning on housing prices has erupted among leftist urbanist bloggers again. On the side saying that US urban housing prices are rising because of zoning, see anything by Daniel Kay … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 42 Comments

California HSR Should Not Have Been Funded This Way

Last month, California made a budget deal for the formula that would be used to distribute its cap-and-trade revenues. The state’s cap-and-trade bill does not deed the money to the general budget but to a separate account, to be distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, High-Speed Rail, Incompetence, Politics and Society, Transportation | 36 Comments