I recently published an article that explored some of the ways regulations make it difficult for small businesses to get off the ground and function. Among the examples I used from around the country was Bank Suey in Hamtramck, Michigan. My story was subsequently reposted on various other sites which the owner, Alissa Shelton, read … Continue reading Hamtramck: Scale and Institutional Frameworks
These are highly educated well paid workers at a San Francisco tech company. They’re mostly young. Some are single. Some are newly coupled. Some are married with young children. There are exceptions, but they tend to want to live in a vibrant urban neighborhood with a short commute rather than a distant suburb. Some enjoy … Continue reading Finally! Great New Affordable Bay Area Housing!
If you want to travel between San Francisco and the nearby town of Sausalito you can certainly drive. Many people do. But traffic is miserable and parking at either end is frustrating. Fortunately, it’s entirely possible to ride a bicycle over the Golden Gate Bridge. An entire ecosystem of small companies has sprung up to … Continue reading The Infrastructure Cult
Santa Rosa Junior College is installing another parking lot near campus. No big deal, right? This is a commuter school serving people from all corners of the county. Faculty and students need places to park. This parking lot is carefully designed to meet all sorts of requirements. There’s comprehensive handicap accessibility. Thoughtful landscaping will include … Continue reading Transactions of Decline
Google Google . Here’s an intersection in unincorporated Sonoma County about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. It’s not exactly urban. But it’s a little too developed to be truly rural. Yet there’s enough productive farm land that it isn’t entirely suburban either. It’s a mixed bag. . . . These vacant … Continue reading “Economic Development”
Our current national conversation pits suburbia against the urban core. Big box stores against Main Street. Cars against transit. Single family homes against apartments. This is a false choice. The way things play out over time might surprise everyone – including me. So I want to look to the past to get a vague outline of … Continue reading History Doesn’t Necessarily Repeat, But It Rhymes
This is Dubai. I include this photo of a toilet because every drop of water in the entire city comes from desalinated sea water. I thought a lot about the cost – in money and fuel – involved in mechanically creating that fresh water from the salty Persian Gulf – and how it is then … Continue reading Complexity and Vulnerability