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, 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, Government, Transportation

Perusing the Grand Jury report

County courthouse in Tennessee

The local newspaper recently included the final 2015-16 report from the Sonoma County Civil Grand Jury. I’m not an expert on grand jury reports, with my interest normally limited to a hope that my name isn’t somewhere in the report. However, this report seemed nicely structured and written. Concise, to […]

Durable Growth, Government, Transportation

Taking the next step – Opportunities to get involved during the week of July 10

We may not yet be in the doldrums of summer, but they seem to be getting closer. There is only a handful of interesting meetings next week and those are more about information than urbanist advocacy. But information remains power, so I hope to see familiar faces as I gather information.

Meetings this Week

Sonoma-Marin […]


Citizen Marin slate loses big – what does it mean for their coalition?

In the aftermath of elections in three Marin County supervisorial races where incumbents prevailed handsomely and West Marin’s Al Dugan notched a dismal fourth place, behind progressive third-place finisher Wendi Kallins, it is worth asking whether the coalition that birthed them still has steam.

Citizen Marin and its coalition – Community Venture Partners, MAD, Larkspur […]

Durable Growth, Government

Taking the next step – Opportunities to make a difference during the week of June 5

Residential density near Kew Gardens in London

This is my third week of providing a calendar of opportunities to become more involved in urbanist advocacy. I’m still fiddling with the content and format, but have received supportive feedback, so will be continuing with the concept.

This is also an interesting week to write about […]

Durable Growth, Government

Is it time for regional government?

Housing in Goose Hollow District of Portland

Events might be leading the Bay Area to a fundamental change in our pattern of governance. I think it’d be a good change although, as on most topics, I remain willing to consider counter-arguments.

Let me begin the discussion with a hypothetical question. Imagine a large business […]

Durable Growth, Government

Water conservation standards: Smarter, but not smart enough

A few weeks back, I opined that calls to lift California’s drought-driven water conservation standards were at best premature and at worst wrong-headed. Since then, the initial updates to the standards have begun to come forth. They could be worse. They could also be better.

Thus far, the State Water Control Board has floated a […]

Durable Growth, Government

Sometimes developers aren’t the problem

Burdell Building and nearby SMART tracks

Building upon my recent theme that land developers are sometimes pilloried unfairly, with even urbanist icon Jane Jacobs having been splattered by anti-developer sentiment, I’ll write about two proposed projects in my town of Petaluma. From my urbanist perspective, neither project would meet the long-term needs of my […]

Durable Growth, Government

Statistics confirm that your mayor likely isn’t undermining suburbia

Urban rowhouses in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

I know they’re only a vocal minority but, when combined with the host of folks who are too busy keeping up with life’s demands to speak up, the people who ascribe every perceived shortfall in local government to corrupt elected officials have a disproportionate impact. And that’s a […]