Category Archives: Urbanism

Homeowner’s Bill of Rights to Preempt State and Local Zoning Laws

After weeks of fraught negotiation, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that both houses of Congress had reached agreement on passing the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (HOBOR), which uses the preemption doctrine to abolish most local planning restrictions. … Continue reading

Posted in Development, Politics and Society, Urbanism | 13 Comments

The Ultimate Authoritarian Anti-Urbanism

Cairo is a dense megacity, without the infrastructure such cities require for high living standards. The city proper, according to Wikipedia, has 10 million people, living at a density approaching 20,000 per km^2, and the metro area has 20 million. … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, Politics and Society, Urban Design, Urban Transit, Urbanism | 24 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 | 39 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 | 30 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 | 37 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