Category Archives: Urban Planning

When Real Estate Needs Change Faster Than Building Cycles

A while ago, some asshole with a blog observed that there is a mismatch between what is being built in D.C. and what is actually needed: But what’s really ridiculous is that, even as the need for office space is … Continue reading

Posted in DC, Housing, Urban Planning

The (Business) Rent Is Too Damn High

From New York City (boldface mine): Over the past several years, thousands of small retailers have closed, replaced by national chains. When they, too, fail, the stores lie vacant, and landlords, often institutional investors, are unwilling to drop rents. A … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Urban Planning | 1 Comment

We Also Need To Help Urban Businesses

I recently finished Jeremiah Moss’ Vanishing New York. One very important point is how local businesses, which are often not high-end, are critical to maintaining the character of local neighborhoods, and to keeping them affordable. Unfortunately, due to high and … Continue reading

Posted in DC, Urban Planning

We Can’t Understand The Urban Housing Shortage Without Recognizing The Office Surplus

This is something cities are going to have to grapple with (boldface mine): DC has around 14.1 million square feet of vacant office space, and 8.2 million square feet of it is in the downtown area. That’s equivalent to more … Continue reading

Posted in DC, Housing, Urban Planning | 1 Comment

Crime, Policing, And Density

Noah Smith has four suggestions for reducing crime: Lead abatement. Drug decriminalization. Prison education. Community policing. I agree with all four suggestions, but I want to focus on community policing, especially this part: One very simple thing cops can do … Continue reading

Posted in Crime, Urban Planning | 2 Comments

The Weird Thing About Housing ‘Markets’

They don’t really compete based on price. Here’s what I mean by that. Consider D.C.’s Shaw/U Street neighborhood, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. There are still new buildings going up in Shaw, as well as available parcels for new buildings. These … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Urban Planning

The Fiscal Unsustainability Of Sprawl

Almost a year ago, I described how Omaha, Nebraska was turning some of its paved roads back to gravel: I bear no ill will towards Omaha: I used to have relatives there, and visited often many moons ago. But much … Continue reading

Posted in Urban Planning