This post is a part of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards Blog series, which features interview summaries and insights from some of the best minds at the frontline of our Highways to Boulevards Initiative.
The Brookings Institution just came out with a national map listing property taxes by county.
In the summer of 1993 Nelson Mandela visited NYC Mayor David Dinkins at Gracie Mansion. Several big city mayors were in town for a meeting including me as Mayor of Milwaukee.
Mandela was the most impressive public figure I've encountered. He had the clear eye of one who had been unjustly imprisoned for pursuing a just cause. He greeted the 20 mayors and 30 or so other dignitaries. He seemed unhurried and when he'd finished working the line he quietly slipped into the kitchen and greeted the food service staff.
The Rand Corporation recently issued a report sketching out two possible scenarios for America's transportation future. In one scenario, entitled "No Free Lunch", energy prices keep rising, leading to less driving and more compact development. Under this scenario, government regulates greenhouse gases heavily and taxes driving heavily to support transportation. In the second scenario, entitled "Fueled and Freewheeling", energy prices are stable, and neither regulation nor taxes increase.
Chicago is quickly becoming one of the nation’s top bicycling cities. Bike commuting in the city has more than tripled since 2000, making it second only to New York in sheer numbers.
This post is part of our CITY SPOTLIGHT blog series. City Spotlight shines a light on the latest news, developments and initiatives occurring in cities and towns where CNU members live and work.
One wonderful thing about Chanukah is how easily its songs lend themselves to adaptation. For example, last week I adapted the Chanukah song "Mi Y'Malel" (Who Can Retell) here. Then I created a New York version here. Create some lyrics for your own city!
I have always wondered how many people are reading this blog. So I created a short survey asking a couple of questions about my readership (The survey is at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MD5QZ8K ).
The survey also asks a couple of questions about where readers live: both where they live (what metro area, urban vs. suburban) and also a couple of questions about crime in their region. (I was going to write a post comparing crime in some of the cities I have lived in, but thought that if enough people responded, I could get a sense of whether my experiences were unique).
Montgomery County, Maryland has a plan to encourage more walkable transit-oriented development. So the County Council is considering a new zoning code that encourages residential buildings in commercial corridors (i.e., strip malls). The idea is to build housing near transit and shopping and thus reduce car trips and help people live more efficiently, in accordance with the county’s goals.
That's the question Colin Marshall, host of the Notebook on Cities & Culture Podcast, lobbed my way in a live recording this weekend at the New Urbanism Film Festival. At the risk of getting too simplistic, I think the answer is yes.
THE ARCHITECTURE CRITIC for New York magazine recently wrote about the work of Robert A.M. Stern in an article entitled Unfashionably Fashionable. I commented:
"There are two kinds of music," Duke Ellington famously said. "Good music, and the other kind."
I just found an interesting new website full of migration data (link here). The website contains migration data for almost every county in the US.
One thing I have learned: the migration into cities is still largely driven by twentysomethings. For example, Manhattan and Washington continued to lose older residents to suburbia and to other regions, as they did in prior decades.
Some planners seek to discourage big box stores, on the theory that such stores are incipient monopolists that crush all competition. (In particular, Wal-Mart seems to strike fear in the hearts of many).
I was arguing with an acquaintance about New York's sky-high rents, and he made an interesting argument: he suggested that new luxury housing actually makes prices higher, by making the city more desirable to the wealthy and thus encouraging them to bid up housing prices. In other words, the law of supply and demand doesn't reduce housing prices: supply just increases demand rather than reducing prices.
I've already blogged on which age groups are returning to cites- but I recently read something that made me think about the issue a liittle differently. In past posts, I have noted that city population seems to be increasing among both millenials and 55-64 year olds. Although this is true, it is an after-affect of the nationwide increase in the number of aging baby boomers.
The headline in "Wired" seems to say it all: "Mapping the Alarming Decline of America's Chinatowns." The Wired story breathlessly proclaims that "gentrification" and "development" are causing Chinatowns to "go extinct"- with the apparent agenda of trying to prevent new urban housing because of concerns about gentrification.
Supporters of bus rapid transit in Chicago are taking a drubbing from anti-BRT groups - at least, in the news coverage.
New York city planning director Amanda Burden recently argued that there's not much more that the city can do to make housing more affordable, claiming that the city has given out 30,000 building permits per year, yet prices have failed to go down. But in fact, New York has built housing at a much lower rate than some other cities.