Category Archives: Urban Planning

Nobody Likes the Burbs

Don’t tell Joel Kotkin! Last week, Pew Research Center released a report about U.S. attitudes towards, well, everything. One of the widely discussed findings is that liberals would like to live in cities, while conservatives like small towns and the … Continue reading

Posted in Polling, Urban Planning | 8 Comments

Snow, Sidewalks, and Liens

Chalk this up as one thing Boston does right*. On the urban planning blogs (and others who care about such things), there’s discussion about the next to shovel sidewalks in urban areas. Writes Commandante Atrios: Not that I support it, … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Urban Planning

When the ‘Problem’ Becomes the Solution

Michael Powell, in the New York Times, observes that much of the reduction in crime should be credited to residents: “Miracle” is an appropriate word for the fact that nearly 1,800 fewer New Yorkers might be murdered this year than … Continue reading

Posted in Urban Planning | 1 Comment

The Too-Smart City (Probably) Won’t Be a Problem. The Too-Privatized City Would Be

Recently, The Boston Globe had an interesting article about the rise of the ‘smart city.’ What’s a smart city? This: Cassandras’s scheme is just one step in the march toward what futurists and urban planners call the “smart city”—a wired, … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Liberties, Urban Planning | 1 Comment

There Was a Time People Thought Interstates Through the Middle of Cities Were a Good Thing

Admittedly, that time was 1954: From Inventing the Charles River by Karl Haglund I know a lot of people think the Big Dig was a bad idea, but I see it as a ‘clawback’ for decades of intentional destruction of … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Transportation, Urban Planning

Density and Democratic Voters: A Correlation Meets a Possible Cause

I’ve never been a big fan of Richard Florida’s work on the ‘creative class’, since I think it underestimates the importance of money in the revitalization of our cities (that is, rent extraction and federal spending have shoveled lots of … Continue reading

Posted in Democrats, Transportation, Urban Planning

Republicans to Cities: Drop Dead

If conservatives who live in fire country want to underfund their fire departments, well, that’s stupid, but one of the joys of a federalist system. But could they please stop fucking with those of us who actually want stuff to … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, Economics, Transportation, Urban Planning | 3 Comments

Urban Density for Humans and the Five Story Rule

A while ago, I described how Boston manages to have high residential density without a lot of skyscrapers (boldface added): Here we see that Beacon Hill, parts of Back Bay and the South End, the North End and Bay Village … Continue reading

Posted in Boston, Housing, Urban Planning | 4 Comments

Hitting Pedestrians Wasn’t Always an ‘Accident': How Crossing the Street Became a Crime

One of the things that makes many,though not all, cities work is that they’re geared towards pedestrians. Unfortunately, our traffic laws along with our attitudes towards automobile-pedestrian collisions haven’t caught up to this reality. Actually, it’s more accurate to say … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Transportation, Urban Planning

D.C.’s Housing Crisis Isn’t Due to the Absence of Skyscrapers

Recently, a Washington Post op-ed argued that D.C. should alter the building height limitation: And while certainly many factors affect the cost of housing in the city (such as demand, crime rates, school quality and proximity to public transportation), it … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Boston, Urban Planning | 1 Comment