Durable Growth

Must we always avoid controversy?

Walkable neighborhood in Buffalo, New York

I’m on the periphery of an on-going public planning process with an element of controversy. I won’t identify either the particulars or the principals for fear of getting sidetracked into a discussion of the specific situation, but I’ll present enough of the story to illustrate the larger point […]

Durable Growth

Free-range kids: Part 1, Framing the discussion

Children at play in a Spokane park

In my last post, I argued that warnings to be alert to children on back-to-school day were three months too late because more children are on the street during the summer.

But in the course of making that argument, I acknowledged that, regardless of the season, there […]

Durable Growth

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of August 28

Last week, I wrote that the number of public meetings with urbanist overtones seemed to be increasing as Labor Day approached. I may have reached that conclusion too soon, with next week coming up nearly dry. But perhaps fifth weeks of months are always deficient on meetings that are scheduled on a monthly basis. And […]

Durable Growth

The shrinking role of retail in planning cities

Office over retail mixed-use in downtown Napa

In 1962, when I was a nine-year-old living in south Sacramento, Macy’s announced plans to build a store in downtown Sacramento. It was big news for the adults in my world. It was also big news for Sacramento, a point of new-found pride in a town that […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

The cost of a car-oriented world: Suspended licenses don’t mean what they once did

Today, I’ll write about suspended drivers’ licenses. It’s a topic that may seem unconnected to urbanism, but the linkages are surprisingly robust.

A few days ago, there was a major traffic accident on the freeway just north of my town. It was a chain reaction that began when the driver of a car carrier, in […]

Durable Growth

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of August 21

The number of North Bay public meetings with urbanist overtones seems to be increasing as we approach Labor Day. Hopefully this will portend a winter of paradigm shifting. It’s time to get onboard and to begin making your voice heard. Also, with issues such as municipal elections and the road diet in Petaluma looming, there […]

Durable Growth, Government

Towns can overbuild more than infrastructure

Kannapolis City Hall

In writing about the best moments from CNU 24, the annual gathering of urbanists held in Detroit earlier this year, I quoted Andres Duany on the role of public buildings, “Urbanist codes should cover residential, commercial, and office buildings, but not public buildings. It’s in public buildings where architects should be […]

Durable Growth

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of August 14

As we move into the heart of August, the near-term opportunities for urbanist involvement at public meetings remain scarce, but the September calendar remains promising. Also, with issues such as municipal elections and the road diet in Petaluma looming, there are chances for neighborhood outreach. If you want to make a difference in the world, […]

Durable Growth, Government

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of August 7

I returned yesterday from two weeks of travel, filled with enthusiasm to repopulate the event calendar below and to resume my efforts to create an ever larger cadre of urbanist advocates.

And then I checked the civic calendars for the North Bay cities near my town. I found exactly zero meetings of urbanist interest next […]

Durable Growth

Another look at my hometown: A snail would move quicker

Downtown Carmichael

I’ve previously written a couple of times about my hometown of Carmichael, near Sacramento. Once I noted its supposed turn to urbanism that, while laudable, seemed wrongly focused. Later, I bade it farewell as my mother sold the family home and moved away.

But hometowns, even those that are the antithesis of […]