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
. . . I got an e-mail from an architect friend yesterday and I need to make a big decision. It’s not one I’m taking lightly. He let me know that in the wake of the recent fires that destroyed thousands of properties all across the county officials were temporarily suspending a lot of the … Continue reading Crisis. Opportunity. Ambivalence.
I’ve spent a lot of time exploring small towns and big cities from Michigan to Texas, Illinois to Kentucky, Georgia to California – often in the company of city officials, professional consultants, and sharp people trying to figure out how to make things work better. I keep refining my understanding of the forces at play … Continue reading Let’s Cut the Crap and Embrace Reality
Last year I engaged in a failed attempt to renovate and expand an old house in an 1890’s era neighborhood in Ohio. It ended badly. So I thought I’d do a follow up on what actually does work given the legal parameters and cultural context. I sold the house to a smart young local guy … Continue reading Doing What Actually Works
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”
All forms of land use regulation are explicitly “social engineering”. Full stop. Let’s acknowledge that reality as we move forward. The question is never whether we’ll be engaging in manipulating society through land use regulations, but how and why. The typical pejorative reference to “social engineering” includes things like government built subsidized low income … Continue reading Land Use Regulations and “Social Engineering”