In the early days of the auto industry Detroit was a dynamic machine churning out huge numbers of cars with integrated supply chains clustered tightly together around Ford’s River Rouge complex in Dearborn or General Motors’ assembly plant in Hamtramck. But over time the industry spread out across the landscape, first to nearby states, then … Continue reading Bozeman: A Blessing and a Curse
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