I got a phone call a few months back from a woman in Arizona who sought my advice. Her town was receiving an influx of new residents from out of state and it was obvious the trend was accelerating. The resulting growth and economic distortions caused by an expanding population, more traffic congestion, less open … Continue reading The Californians Are Coming!
I recently participated in an affordable housing conference in Orange County. I’ll write on the specifics of the event in a future post. But as is typical I learned more outside the university environment than at the event itself. There’s always a gap between professional statistical analysis and external reality. Humans are odd creatures that … Continue reading The Airport Lounge School of Economics
Many years ago I remember a television commentator saying more Americans have outhouses than computer connections. This was in the early days of dial up modems. He seemed to suggest that household computers were little more than Japanese video games, which was actually true at the time. Well, thirty years have passed and this afternoon … Continue reading Shovel Ready
A few years back I did a video tour of Rishi Kumar’s suburban home in southern California. I was seeking examples of ordinary people living in cookie cutter landscapes who were making their households more dynamic and resilient. Rishi’s goal was to transform his family home from a center of consumption to a place of production. … Continue reading Manju Kumar and the Box People
This is the historic Main Street in Garden Grove, California. Back in 1874 land was platted in small twenty five foot wide lots and sold off with minimal infrastructure. Individuals built modest pragmatic structures with funds pulled largely from the household budget, extended family, and short term debt. This was long before the thirty year … Continue reading Garden Grove: The Other Kind of Incremental Urbanism
Somewhere along the spectrum from, “everything will be perfect forever” to The Zombie Apocalypse there are many possible futures. I’ve organized my life in a way that covers most of the in-between scenarios. I’m clear about the things I have no control over and I’ve let go of those concerns. Instead I focus on the … Continue reading How to Ride the Slide: Suburban Homesteading
I coined the portmanteau murbanism some years ago on a trip to Salt Lake. Mormon urbanism is shorthand for a theory I have about adaptation and resilience. The term connotes a place that has all the qualities that should result in long term failure, but will probably thrive because of the local culture. Murbanism doesn’t … Continue reading Murbanism (Mormon Urbanism)