Belle Reve

This is an old neighborhood in Denver. (“Old” by American standards goes back to about the 1890s in Colorado. It ain’t Rome.) But when I daydream about places I love these are the kinds of neighborhoods and buildings that come to mind. These are modest yet sturdy buildings that were constructed incrementally over time by … Continue reading Belle Reve

The Platypus

Here’s a spot in Santa Ana, California – although it could be just about anywhere. Every town in North America has a string of used car lots along the sides of its aging eight lane suburban arterials. In this location land values and market demand for housing are so incredibly high even the obscene regulatory … Continue reading The Platypus

Mind the Gap

I spent the last several years on an extended tangent exploring land use policy, the dynamics of a shifting economic and political landscape, and popular interpretations of how things should be. I’ve come to a peculiar set of conclusions and it’s not what I expected. We have a collection of rules, regulations, social expectations, and … Continue reading Mind the Gap

The Domino Effect

There’s what exists on paper according to the authorities, and then there’s reality on the ground. The recent fires in Sonoma and Napa counties destroyed 7,000 buildings – almost all of them single family suburban homes. Entire subdivisions were wiped out overnight. This occurred in a part of the world where the gap between what … Continue reading The Domino Effect