Durable Growth

Stories from CNU23: Zoning, complexity, and encouragement to risk mistakes

Park sculpture in Dallas

In my last post, I began recounting moments of insight from the recent 23rd annual meeting of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Today, I’ll continue along that path. Eventually, I’ll begin digging more deeply into the some of the topics covered during CNU 23, but for now, reporting the […]

Durable Growth, Government

Fairfax’s progressive zoning under threat

Downtown Fairfax. By Ryan, on Flickr

About 16 years ago, I was excited to be a newly-minted Drake High freshman and Fairfax was excited to start on a major update to its General Plan. Three months ago I celebrated my 30th and Fairfax celebrated the passage of the final piece of its general plan […]

Durable Growth, Government

Anti-smart growth advocate defends urbanism

Zoning in San Rafael. Each color has a precise government-approved list of acceptable and unacceptable uses. Free market indeed! Image from MarinMap.

It’s not often you’ll find people arguing against smart growth while also arguing for urbanism. When it happens, one wonders if it was a mistake. That seems to be the case with […]

Durable Growth

Google buses: More voices offer more opinions

I’ve previously written that the Google bus controversy, far from proving that urbanism is a flawed strategy, is instead an indictment of our tardiness in embracing urbanism. I’ve also begun sampling some of the other voices that are commenting on the issue. The further voices may not always agree with my thinking, but most put […]

Durable Growth

Germantown and a Possible Flood of Dollars

Germantown For Sale Sign

I had a spare afternoon in Nashville two years ago. As is my preference when I have free time in an unfamiliar city, I looked around for urbanism. I stumbled into the Germantown neighborhood, a comfortable enclave of older brick homes. There was also a scattering of newer wood-sided homes […]

Durable Growth

Markets are the best path to affordable housing

Boston, with 53 units per acre of pure character and almost nothing over 4 stories. Image from Google Maps via Placemakers.

It’s no secret that the cost to buy or rent a home in the Bay Area is extremely high and rising. Thanks to a regional economic rebound and renewed interest in the kind […]

Durable Growth, Government

From today to TOD – non-conforming uses

by rosipaw, on Flickr

When I was in third grade, I posed a question to my father. “If time is the fourth dimension, then what’s the fifth dimension?” This would have been in 1962, so I wasn’t asking about the group that would record “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” later in the decade.

It may […]

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 […]