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

Dealing with the spectre of “cumulative impacts”

Walkable urban setting in Petaluma

The term “cumulative impacts” had an unfortunate effect on my formative years as a water resources engineer. The psychological impacts were painful enough that I still twitch when I hear the phrase. Or even when I only feel it in the air.

Earlier this week, I twitched a lot. […]

Durable Growth, Site News

Not being seduced by the precedent of the High Line

The High Line in New York City

Perhaps because I wasn’t yet writing this blog so wasn’t yet attuned to urbanist news, or perhaps because I simply wasn’t paying attention, New York City’s High Line sneaked up on me, both figuratively and literally.

It was a sunny Saturday morning in the summer of 2010. […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

Supporting SMART by attacking the last mile with buses

Petaluma Transit bus in downtown Petaluma

In a few days, I’ll help introduce some clever and insightful ideas of others, proving one more time that it’s better to be associated with clever people than to be clever oneself.

My opportunity to bask in the reflected glow of others will come when I chair a […]

Site News, Transportation

You can’t have any more toys until you take care of the ones you already own

Alignment of the proposed Rainier Connector

Consistent with their goal of promoting stronger, more financially resilient communities, StrongTowns has launched an initiative targeted toward transportation planning. It’s a topic with which I have long familiarity.

A decade or more ago, my since-departed father noted to me that, for the first time in the better […]

Site News

Unwinding by playing at art critic

Water Street

Life has been full over the last few days. Encouraging folks in the North Bay to attend the recent Urban Community Partnership/StrongTowns/Urban3 meetings in Santa Rosa, participating in the meetings myself, and beginning the foundation for next steps, all while feeling a bit under the weather.

There’s a need to begin talking […]

Durable Growth

StrongTowns: Digging deeper into the information trove

Downtown Petaluma

Background: With the only exception being a time-out for New Year’s resolutions, my last four posts (one, two, three, and four) have been about encouraging attendance at a series of upcoming meetings on financially sustainable development in the North Bay. It’s a pitch that will continue today.

But instead of repeating the […]

Durable Growth

StrongTowns: Checking in with the source

Building detail in downtown Petaluma

In my last couple of posts (here and here), I gave a North Bay example of the StrongTowns philosophy on the long-term financial realities of infrastructure. My goal was to encourage North Bay folks, especially those in Petaluma, to attend the upcoming StrongTowns and Urban3 meetings in Santa Rosa. […]

Durable Growth, Transportation

StrongTowns: Why the transportation rationalizations fail

Caltrans project in Petaluma

To recap where I finished my last post, StrongTowns, a land-use planning advocacy group from Minnesota, will visit Santa Rosa in a couple of weeks. I was disappointed that, after banging the StrongTowns drum in the North Bay for three years, the urbanists of Petaluma weren’t included in the planning, […]

Durable Growth

StrongTowns: The message is still what matters

Downtown Petaluma

A funny thing happened on the way to the publishing button. And an extensive rewrite was required.

A couple of weeks ago, I was advised that Chuck Marohn of StrongTowns and Joe Minicozzi of Urban3 were coming to the North Bay in mid-January to talk about the StrongTowns message and urbanism in […]