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 […]

Transportation

Stay alert for youthful users of the street all year long

Harmar Elementary School in Harmar, Ohio

I promised a guest writer today, an expert on road diets. Unfortunately, he’s still hard at work on his post, so you’re instead stuck with me. The road diet post, or hopefully two, will run next week.

But it’s okay that today’s authorship reverted to me because I […]

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 […]

Transportation

“Twenty is Plenty” is more than a clever rhyme

The subject promised for today has been shoved aside in favor of a subject that abruptly gained urgency.

I’ve previously written about the “Twenty is Plenty” movement. Adherents promote the argument that most vehicular speeds within towns should be limited to twenty miles per hour. It’s a crusade that has gained a foothold in […]

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, […]