Durable Growth

A walkable Christmas Eve

I expect the youthful Christmas Eves of many readers were much like mine.

Sleep was usually slow in arriving. Even as a six-year-old, I thought it ridiculous for our parents to expect my sister, cousins, and me to take naps so Santa Claus could make a 7pm visit to our grandparents’ house.

And wakefulness often […]

Durable Growth

Autumnal reading

With fall upon us (and with the hopes for California rainfall increasing), we’ve reached a time of year when I rethink my reading list, setting new priorities for the knowledge I still hope to absorb before the end of the year and remotivating myself to find more time for reading.

Sitting in an office surrounded […]

Durable Growth

Can twenty be plenty?

Typical California arterial street

In my last post, I wrote about how our grandparents and great-grandparents yielded our streets to the automobile in the early 20th century, with the result that we’re no longer even allowed to hold block parties in the street.

Before the advent of the automobile, most street uses occurred at […]

Durable Growth

Thoughtful balancing better than rigid rules

Building in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York

My last three posts might have projected a curmudgeonly air. I didn’t feel curmudgeonly when writing them. But when I read back over them, I realize that I may have come across as grumpy by challenging the civic value of some parks, by suggesting that the environmental […]

Durable Growth

What do we know and when did we learn it?

As I’ve written before, much of our attachment to a drivable suburban lifestyle is the result of growing up amidst a drivable suburban lifestyle. If a particular environment is all one knows, that environment seems natural and unavoidable, no matter how much of a historical anomaly it might be.

In Walkable City, Jeff Speck makes […]

Durable Growth

BART TOD: Design matters

First block from Amtrak/BART station

In my last two posts (here and here), I wrote about a recent visit to transit-oriented developments (TODs) on the BART system. The outing, in which I was joined by a friend, was undertaken because the Petaluma City Council will soon consider the Petaluma Station Area Plan, which will […]

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 […]

Durable Growth

Urbanism gaining ground, but outcome may remain in doubt in the North Bay

Downtown Street in Chico

For the last few posts, I’ve riffed on arguments made by Jeff Speck in his book “Walkable City”. It’s been a remarkably easy way to write, because Speck offers a wealth of riff-worthy arguments.

I’ll continue on this path for today before leaving Speck for awhile. But I will return […]