Durable Growth

An urbanist Christmas list for the North Bay

Santa Claus is about 24 hours away from his pre-flight checklist. It’s time to finalize my list of urbanist Christmas wishes for the North Bay.

New Years and the annual obligation of resolutions is still a week away, but thinking about my wish list reminds me that my first resolution should be learning more about […]

Durable Growth

A shipping container pop-up in Petaluma?

Peanut butter and strawberry preserves waffle

Pop-up retail businesses in urban settings and shipping containers for urban space are two growing trends.

Both, especially in combination, offer interesting possibilities for the North Bay.

Shipping containers are being increasingly used for retail and residential space. Atlantic Cities writes about some of the applications. In appropriate […]

Durable Growth

BART TOD: Stoops

Stoop at Pleasant Hill TOD

In my last post, I wrote of touring transit-oriented developments (TODs) along the BART system. A friend joined me in the travel. Our goal was to gather insights that might be useful during the upcoming review of the proposed Petaluma Station Area plan by the Petaluma City Council. In […]

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Downtown plazas: The Petaluma reality

Healdsburg Square

Healdsburg Plaza was recently named one of the thirteen most beautiful town squares in the U.S. Rankings like these are popularity contests. And it seems odd to name thirteen squares. Ten, twelve, or fifteen would have all been more conventional counts.

But those quibbles aside, Healdsburg Square is a lovely place. I […]

Durable Growth

From today to TOD – Impact fees

Walkable Downtown. Photo from the author.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve written about the hurdles of converting from drivable suburban to walkable urban, with particular reference to the pending Petaluma Station Area Plan. I’ve discoursed on subjects as varied as parking, adjoining properties, and transitional uses. Today, as I near conclusion, I’ll grapple […]

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From today to TOD – retail

photo from the author

photo from the author

In a pair of recent posts (here and here), I wrote about the difficulties of integrating transit-oriented development (TOD) into communities that have a drivable suburbia slant. The two previous posts addressed how providing parking for transit users can conflict with a desire for mixed-use development near a transit stop. […]

Durable Growth

From today to TOD – parking (concluded)

photo from the author

In my last post, I wrote about the difficulties of integrating new developments with existing land uses, especially when it involves a paradigm shift. Such as the shift between drivable suburban and walkable urban.

I used the unexpected need for interim parking at a proposed downtown Petaluma transit-oriented development (TOD) […]

Durable Growth

From today to TOD – parking (part 1)

Image from the author.

Urbanists have visions of the future. Visions that may be twenty years or farther into the future, but are nonetheless in perfect focus.

Where the focus is often less clear is on the intervening years. The years of awkward transition between a drivable suburban present and a walkable urban future.