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Top 10 reasons for a new American Dream

For three generations, the American Dream was largely defined by continual suburban expansion. A new urban dream has emerged, and it is here to stay.

Fri, Apr 18th 2014 10:12am
People Habitat: 25 Ways to Think About Greener, Healthier Cities

A book by By F. Kaid Benfield, Island Press, 2014, 304 pp., $25 paperback or e-book

Wed, Apr 9th 2014 5:27pm
Smart growth and strong mayors

Inspiring stories of visionary leaders are splendid, but it is more reliable to build "champions" from the bottom up.

Thu, Mar 20th 2014 12:54pm
The thorny matter of gentrification

Surely we haven’t reached the point where making inner-city neighborhoods more attractive to more residents is a bad thing. And does anyone really have a right in the US to keep newcomers out?

Mon, Mar 17th 2014 12:35pm
Enough about the Millennials already!

Be careful about lazy research.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 6:16pm
Small town hip

Berlin, Maryland, was named the "coolest small town" in America by Budget Traveler Magazine. It's charm has been due to planning decisions in addition to historic main street.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 12:32pm
A wiser way of counting

Coming together under a big tent for synergistic growth that contributes to strong communities. This is the concluding essay in a 3-part series.

Fri, Mar 7th 2014 5:37pm
How Mesquite, New Mexico, survived 'urban renewal'

Crossing Campo Street from downtown Las Cruces into the Mesquite Historic District is like crossing between two urban worlds that are often misunderstood.

Wed, Mar 5th 2014 12:25pm
New urban math

To forge a coalition for urban places, let’s start by trumpeting an important fact: The value of cities and towns transcends simple arithmetic. Part 1 in a 3-part series.

Mon, Feb 24th 2014 11:42am
The life and death prospects of community ties

As urbanists, we know that our innate desire to feel connected is nothing trivial.

Mon, Feb 3rd 2014 10:07am
The upside of gentrification

An article discusses a topic that is seldom mentioned, how the lives of existing residents are improved by "gentrification."

Wed, Jan 22nd 2014 3:15pm
Are we creating family-friendly cities?

Are we creating child-free zones that are inhospitable to families with kids? And, if so, are we diminishing part of the cultural diversity that makes great cities?

Mon, Jan 20th 2014 12:07pm
No child left outside

A report details the mental health consequences for children of spending less time playing on their own. A mom in Texas was arrested for letting her kids play outside. The built environment is partly to blame.

Mon, Nov 11th 2013 11:05am
Populist urbanism: Beyond the creative class

A couple of recent stories on Better! Cities & Towns point to an ongoing problem: New Urbanism, smart growth, and related trends need to work on their appeal to working class and minority groups.

Wed, Nov 6th 2013 11:12pm
Walkable is good, 'sit-able' is better

Complementing the "walkable" with a more purposeful focus on places where people feel comfortable sitting would lead to a more holistic and enhanced understanding of place.

Tue, Oct 22nd 2013 4:27pm
The price of peace with the homeowners' association

I used to think homeowners’ associations had the potential to be great democratic institutions.

Mon, Sep 9th 2013 10:00am
Lessons from the woods

Thoughts on a vacation in a car-free place with free-range kids.

Thu, Aug 22nd 2013 11:49am
The case for unremarkable architecture

One of the great things starting to happen in cities of all sizes is the redevelopment of neighborhoods lot-by-lot. It’s a phenomenon indicative of a mature development market.

Thu, Aug 22nd 2013 10:10am
The inspiring story of Hamburg, NY

An Upstate New York village defied the Department of Transportation and created a human-scale Main Street, restoring community to a downtrodden downtown.

Mon, Aug 19th 2013 1:32pm
Visions of Seaside

A new book examines the principled past and visions for the future of the town that inspired New Urbanism.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 11:46am
The best neighborhood in North America

Welcome to Jacobsburg, which offers many lessons for other communities to follow.

Wed, Aug 7th 2013 10:45am
How to design our neighborhoods for happiness

Common spaces bring us together.

Mon, Jul 22nd 2013 2:06pm
Nurturing and strengthening the urban commons: some beginning principles

There is no better place to start than with our streets, our most plentiful and visible parts of the urban commons.

Thu, Jul 18th 2013 7:00am
Sustainability and the urban commons

My neighborhood has a “commons.” So does yours. The commons comprises those explicitly or, in some cases, implicitly shared resources in which the community as a whole has an interest.

Mon, Jul 15th 2013 9:24am
Seaside: The city of ideas

Following up on “Sprawlanta,” here's a video by First + Main Media that shows why Seaside, Florida, has been so influential over the last three decades. Many great ideas were incubated there.

Tue, May 28th 2013 9:34am

Research

Enough about the Millennials already!

Be careful about lazy research.

Wed, Mar 12th 2014 6:16pm
No child left outside

A report details the mental health consequences for children of spending less time playing on their own. A mom in Texas was arrested for letting her kids play outside. The built environment is partly to blame.

Mon, Nov 11th 2013 11:05am
The inspiring story of Hamburg, NY

An Upstate New York village defied the Department of Transportation and created a human-scale Main Street, restoring community to a downtrodden downtown.

Mon, Aug 19th 2013 1:32pm