Like most people I occasionally find myself wandering the aisles of big box retailers amazed at the sheer volume of incredibly inexpensive stuff on offer. I’ll load the car with a metric ton of toilet paper and enough tube socks to completely fill the passenger seat. I won’t lie. I kinda love it. But I’m … Continue reading Shortening the Supply Chain
A reader recently asked me to comment on the proposed Port Marigny development in his home town of Mandeville, Louisiana. The master plan is a standard New Urbanist TND (Traditional Neighborhood Development) that attempts to simulate many of the qualities of historic towns – in this case drawing from nearby New Orleans. I would have enjoyed visiting … Continue reading Port Marigny, Yea or Nay?
I’ve slavishly documented the failings of our built environment and it’s starting to wear on some of my readers. People want solutions to the problems I observe. So here’s an option that could be replicated and scaled up to retrofit many of our declining communities. Reruralization. If adding infill development to suburban neighborhoods is untenable … Continue reading The Reruralization Solution
I’ve noticed a common downward trajectory of neighborhoods all across the country. It’s the same process I witnessed as a much younger person when inner cities went belly up beginning in the 1960’s. Now it’s happening in the suburbs. The economic tide is rolling out and the detritus left behind isn’t pretty. Over and over … Continue reading Morality Plays
Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of the Strong Towns movement, a supporter of Urban 3, and an admirer of the Incremental Development Alliance. These three overlapping groups describe how centuries of trial and error all over the world produced remarkably fine grained durable self sustaining communities. They also explain why … Continue reading Going Sideways
I’ve been asked by the Strong Towns folks to write about Black Friday parking. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which signals the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This general consumer feeding frenzy is responsible for the largest single chunk of many retailers’ sales and profits for the entire year. Even if … Continue reading Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Parking Past
I flew to Montana to help relatives move house from Polson to Butte. In between I spent a week exploring Missoula which is geographically between those two towns. The entire state of Montana is one long gorgeous series of post card views in every direction. Missoula is the kind of small rural college town that … Continue reading Squeezing the Balloon in Missoula