Durable Growth

Intro to urbanism, part two: Definitions and synonyms

Streetlight in Greenwich Village

This post will continue my New Year’s “Intro to Urbanism”. In my last post, I wrote about my reasons for writing this series of posts, including a desire to provide a step stool for new readers trying to join the urbanist conversation and an interest in consolidating my own thoughts […]

Durable Growth, Environment

Construction’s high carbon cost shouldn’t stop smart growth

by narcoticpants, on Flickr

In the aftermath of Plan Bay Area’s passage, development skeptics from the region’s small towns, especially in Marin, have circulated a study showing that new construction gives of much higher levels of CO2 than renovating existing buildings even if that new construction is done in a very ecologically-friendly way. This, […]

Durable Growth, Environment

Freeways are polluted, but not impossibly so

by cookieevans5, on Flickr

It’s common sense that living near a freeway isn’t healthy. The pollution from the cars and grit from the roadway make for what most would term a wholly unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, the only places for infill development, not to mention quite a few BART and coming SMART stations, are near […]

Durable Growth

Time to blow up the Pruitt-Igoe comparison

from Wikimedia by USGS

It’s likely that Pruitt-Igoe, the public housing project in St. Louis, is the most famous and maligned image in architectural history. Its slab-like blocks rose from a scar in the urban fabric, the Corbusian ideal and an American dystopia. Yet at only 50 housing units per acre, this towering symbol […]

Durable Growth

Red Barn: Sometimes a compromise isn’t the right answer (part 1)

Red Barn Site

I know a land-use planner whose judgment I respect. During our years of working together, she often said that a compromise is appropriate if it equally disappoints people on both sides of a disagreement. She wasn’t the first person to say this, but she said it frequently enough that I always […]

Durable Growth

Grady Ranch is all wrong

A great place for some infill development. Photo by Skywalker Properties.

George Lucas’s great foray into affordable housing is wrong for Marin, wrong for affordable housing, and wrong for the people that would live there. The Grady Ranch development plan needs to be scrapped.

After the collapse of LucasFilm’s Grady Ranch studio proposal, then-owner […]

Durable Growth

It’s policy, not preference, that shapes cities

Baltimore. Photo by Oslo In The Summertime, on Flickr

People keep writing about the effect of our urban policies, but very few outside the urbanist blogosphere write about the policies themselves. The articles that result satisfy our curiosity about change but fail to actually inform. They’re all candy, no vegetable. Two articles published last week […]