Archive for 'Urban Planning'

Makin’ Places in Macon

A postcard from a random stranger. A vacant lot turned into a place to play the playground games of your youth. A public chalkboard filled with all of the things your neighbors love about their community. Small things. Things that don’t cost much. Things that can, nonetheless, plant the seeds of difference-making and place-making. That’s […]

Five Cities That Used to Have Trolleys

What does it take to undo a conspiracy? Looking back at trolley history, at the turn of the 20th century, every city with a population of 10,000 or more had streetcars, according to Daniel Parolek’s presentation to the Congress for the New Urbanism, cited in Jeff Speck’s Walkable City. Great public transit, it was reasoned, […]

How to Make Your City a Best Place to Live (Part II)

Who lives in your town? Odds are it’s not a perfectly representative demographic breakdown. Your fellow residents likely are older than other cities, or more diverse, or lower income. In short, every city has some skew in its population. In our last post we looked at the factors needed to create a best place to […]

Why Business is Key to Livability

“Urbanists put way too little thought into business climate,” Aaron Renn wrote in a recent post on his blog. He was writing about the Sriracha brand hot sauce and a recent case in California that pitted the interests of small business against residents with state regulators in between. The regulation portion of that is […]

The Livability Trope

A recent article in the Atlantic Cities discussed the “livability trap” although perhaps it would be better headlined the livability trope. The author, Jordan Fraade, says, “[livability rankings are] about a way of looking at cities that’s geared towards people who like, want and can afford cars, home-ownership, nice restaurants, and year-round warm weather. These […]

Retiring. It’s Not Just for Florida Anymore.

I know what you’re thinking. A top retirement city list with no cities in Florida or Arizona? For real? Yes. For real. Here’s why. First off, if a warm climate and 365 days of golf-friendly weather a year are your top priority, you pretty much already know where you’re going to be spending your retirement […]

Can We Build Our Way to Better Health? The Urban Land Institute Thinks We Should Try.

Real estate is a market-driven industry. Plain and simple. In the 1950s and 1960s, home-building followed a pattern of development that, it turns out, might not have been so good for our own health and happiness, or the rest of the environment. A car-driven (pardon the pun) culture is not necessarily sustainable and can be […]

Are the Suburbs Ending? A Conversation with Leigh Gallagher

“When you talk to people who grew up in the 70s or earlier, they have a different expression on their face when you ask them about growing up in the suburbs because they enjoyed it. That joy is gone now from a lot of communities. I really saw that in my research.” That was author […]