Each time I visit freinds in suburbia I’m confronted with the reality that there is no public realm. All space is private – if not legally or physically then certainly culturally. I’m reminded of my transgressions when I don’t follow the rules. The space in front of each house is de facto an extension of … Continue reading Get Off My Lawn You Rotten Kids!
I was last in Reno, Nevada twenty years ago and I can’t say I had a strong opinion of the place. It was just another forgettable generic one night stop over on a long drive to somewhere else. But I found myself back there twice in the past month. First, a young friend was leaving … Continue reading My Reno Epiphany
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 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
I’ve been asked to submit a proposal for the next Congress for New Urbanism in May of 2018 by one of the organizers in Savannah, Georgia. I declined the first two times I was asked, then reluctantly agreed to offer a tentative outline the third time I was approached. I’m not convinced the committee will have much … Continue reading The Trouble With The Congress For New Urbanism
I’m fond of describing Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns as my de facto secular parish priest – my consigliere. But I find myself drifting away from the flock and feel an obligation to articulate why. Perhaps in describing my concerns I can either be persuaded to fold back in, or at least give Chuck something to chew on … Continue reading An Open Letter To Chuck Marohn
They say you can see a bubble in the economy by looking at the skyline. I was in Los Angeles in the 1980s when a tsunami of Japanese money poured over the city. Back then Library Tower (now US Bank Tower) was under construction. It topped out in 1989 just in time for the market … Continue reading Boom