Category Archives: Development

An HSR Country is a Centralized Country

1950s’ Japan was a fairly monocentric country, in which everything was in Tokyo. When it built the Shinkansen, the expectation was that fast travel nationwide would make it easier to do business in the other cities, reducing centralization. Instead, the … Continue reading

Posted in Development, High-Speed Rail, Transportation, Urbanism | 19 Comments

Different Kinds of Centralization (Hoisted from Comments)

As an addendum to my post about transit cities and centralization, let me explain that the term centralized city really means two different things. One is diffuse centralization throughout the core, typical of pedestrian cities and bus cities and of … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 5 Comments

A Transit City is a Centralized City

In New York, a large fraction of employment clusters in a rectangle bounded roughly by 59th Street, 2nd Avenue, 42nd Street, and 9th Avenue. Although it’s a commonplace that New York employment is centralized around Manhattan, in reality most of … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Transportation, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 36 Comments

Suburbanization of Poverty: What’s New?

The current trend toward suburbanization of poverty is worth examining. It is incontrovertible that on the whole, the American poor are moving to the suburbs. Simultaneously, city centers are gentrifying, seeing large increases in income, with an influx of rich … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 26 Comments

Sunnyside Yards Redevelopment

Sunnyside Yards, lying along the LIRR Main Line immediately adjacent to the site of my proposed Sunnyside Junction, span about half a square mile (1.3 km^2) of mostly vacant land, with some big box retail with ample parking at its … Continue reading

Posted in Development, New York, Urban Design, Urbanism | 11 Comments

Boosters’ Romanticism

One would expect that boosters of unbridled growth, such as Thomas Friedman, Richard Florida, Ed Glaeser, and countless proponents of urban growth would constantly look to the future and deprecate the past. They certainly deprecate attempts to recreate the past. … Continue reading

Posted in Construction Costs, Development, Incompetence, Transportation, Urbanism | Leave a comment

Planned Cities

The back and forth between Steve and me about his proposed pedestrian-oriented city led me to think more about planned cities, as his is. Although it’s normal among urbanists (for example, Jane Jacobs) to contrast organic cities with planned cities, … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urban Design, Urbanism | 15 Comments

Sprawl is Auto-Oriented

Steve Stofka has a post detailing his ideal new city, built on principles of high density through very narrow streets, and an interconnected, pedestrian-friendly grid. Its population is given as 30,000, and its area as about 2 square miles, or … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Urban Design, Urbanism | 10 Comments

Why Density Requires Height

Among modern urbanists, the universal consensus that the postwar urban form of towers in parks is bad gives way to fractious disagreements about which urban form to replace them with. The main battle lines are drawn between libertarians and such … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Urbanism | 44 Comments

Urbanism, Gentrification, and Romanticism

Yonah is bringing up neoliberalism as one reason American cities, in his case study Detroit, are building new showcase light rail lines while at the same time neglecting bus service. Quoting a study showing the same in Chicago, he explains … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 22 Comments