I took a 3-year, 30-city cross-country tour to study American cities. Here’s what I learned along the way about our nation’s demography, housing and culture.
Selling air rights above public facilities would create financial windfalls for city governments, and encourage more efficient land use.
New Yorkers’ quality-of-life suffers from the negative impacts of cars. This is partly because residents themselves won’t relinquish car ownership.
The agencies were sewers of waste and abuse. So why are state lawmakers trying to revive them?
Zoning reform is evolving from an economics issue into a social justice issue.
Texas’ “Big 4” have rivalries in food, sports and economic development. But which of them is the best place to live?
In installment #7 of the America’s Progressive Developers series, a Memphis arts non-profit turns a gargantuan former Sears warehouse into a “vertical urban village.”
Home prices are growing higher and faster in Austin than other Texas cities. The cause is regulation.
The Bay Area would likely be denser – and a lot more urbanized.
As Los Angeles shows, the cities with the most immigrants also perform best economically.
By following good accounting practices, Oklahoma City’s MAPS program built more public infrastructure at a fraction of the cost.
Hyper-local government is good in many cases. But not for housing policy.
Federal transportation money gets redistributed to rural areas – amounting to a raw deal for major metros.
Portland’s UGB limits development in the suburbs right around the city. This appears to be causing leapfrog sprawl throughout the larger metro.
Canadian lumber is integral to the U.S. housing market. Will sticking duties on it hurt U.S. homebuyers?
Unlike a lot of U.S. metros, different cities across greater Miami are building densely along the waterfront.
Cities remain interesting when they resist American-style “modernization”.
Installment #4 in the monthly cross-country series America’s Progressive Developers.
Atlanta has largely been an affordable housing success story. But its housing market is still tough for the working class, namely in the central areas.
Miami has inequality. But that is an innate feature of the local demographics – and may even be helping the city.
The city could be accused of policing too much and too little.
Priced out of L.A., the displaced are moving east to Riverside and San Bernardino.
Why concentrate all the fast food chains?
Dense development is good for the environment. So why does San Francisco’s Sierra Club discourage it?
What’s the difference between building physical walls and regulatory walls?
If spatial segregation is the cause of urban America’s problems, then zoning deregulation is the solution.
Because of San Francisco’s housing crisis, people with 6-figure salaries must settle for roommates. Others can’t live there at all.
Philadelphia has avoided the home price inflation of rival East Coast cities. But a mix of walkable neighborhoods and tight zoning could change this.
One metro is among America’s fastest-growing, while the other is effectively stagnant. What are the reasons?
As transit systems grow antiquated, cities should try nimbler options.
A fledgling pro-housing movement goes from grassroots advocacy to political operations
Installment #3 in the monthly cross-country series profiling America’s Progressive Developers.
Zoning violates federal law by having a “disparate impact” on low-income minorities.
Regulations in Toronto and Vancouver drive much of the same price inflation as in U.S. cities.
A look at the pro-market vs. pro-planning urban model.
The 3 are growing their housing stocks, and seeing their prices stabilize compared to other metros.
Clearing out blight has its benefits, but it can also erase crucial assets.
A look at the chicken-and-egg question, as it pertains to Dallas.
Many people in the conservative/libertarian vortex dislike mass transit. Then there’s the Market Urbanists.
Detroit’s core area has become walkable – and is growing more so – thanks to Dan Gilbert’s real estate ambitions.
Rapido, a program based in Texas, offers a fast and flexible solution.
The latter strategy will be useless, even counter-productive, if not mixed with the former strategy.
A Milwaukee co-working space combines work and play.
The success of Denver’s LoDo neighborhood – which mixes historic preservation and new development – is paying off for the city.
Current laws against crossing the street are so rigid as to defy common sense.
An architectural primer on how to “break up” large buildings so that they look smaller.
In installment #7 of the America’s Progressive Developers series, an REIT with a philanthropic aim uses social impact investing to build and preserve affordable housing in DC’s gentrifying areas.
The Mormon Church designed the city in a way that makes its streets a liability – and an opportunity.
Chicago’s public housing story has been one of demolition and displacement. Still today, much of the controlled land lies fallow.
While regulations are one big reason for the housing affordability problem, there are larger economic and societal factors, too.
Miami’s construction of a vertical luxury neighborhood has kept wealthy professionals out of surrounding low-income areas.
The idea that cities can’t grow because of geographical constraints has become another canard in the housing debate.
The American West still offers the best mixture of urbanization and stunning geography.
Small housing has always been crucial for providing shelter to the workforce. Why would Seattle regulate it away?
Unlike most U.S. cities, Portland has various historic retail hubs that sit right in the middle of single-family residential areas.
The housing style weaves urban life into the college campus experience.
Texas’ major cities have been leaders in the growth of private toll roads.
Two young developers have fought the regulations holding back a great American neighborhood.
Installment #2 in the “World City Profiles” series, which explores urbanization at the international level.
Installment #1 in the “World City Profiles” series, which explores urbanization at the international level.
A Boston non-profit has found a metrics-based system to determine the health outcomes of different urban development styles.
As LoDo demonstrates, building new structures can help, rather than hurt, historic preservation areas.
The notion that cities can’t grow affordable with more construction has become a toxic bit of misinformation.
Disruptive technology, rather than just killing industries, can bolster existing city business ecosystems.
…and arguably its best.
Does increasing the supply of something create demand for it? This is the premise of the “induced demand” theory.
The Arizona State University campus has achieved a critical mass of skateboarding that would be useful for bigger cities.
The Emerald City’s dense housing and transit network is starting to reflect New York, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Chicago and San Francisco.
The growth of lobbying, legalism and government has brought money into Washington – and increased the home prices.
As one of America’s largest developers, the church is a key player in the urbanist conversation.
To accomodate more people, the city builds more housing.
Post-war deindustrialization is one thing. But why has Detroit continued to decline for the last 4 decades?
The LDS church’s historical approach to cities shows a mix of urbanism and anti-urbanism.
Seattle offers a case study on whether cities can gain population without gaining traffic.
Brickell embodies a market-oriented model that has long been proposed for cities by fiscal conservatives yet seldom tried.
Debunking the truism about density and affordability.
Post-World War II federal urban renewal is today widely viewed as a failure. Yet cities are repeating the mistake with tax increment financing.
Introducing a cross-country series that profiles the forward-thinking developers shaping America’s cities.
A voucher plan would produce a buffet of options for transit riders.
Canadian transplants have been a huge economic boost in the Valley of the Sun.
The case for “pedestrianizing” well-trafficked urban spaces.
The bureaucracy favors single-family homes over condos, and for no good reason.
Indian tribes are a unique American culture, both connected to, and sovereign from, the United States
Charlottesville is nice because of how it’s been preserved. But this comes at a cost.
According to one developer, it’s over 100,000.
Flashing police cameras may improve public safety, but they can make neighborhoods feel ominous.
In the latest installment of America’s Progressive Developers, a non-profit known for demolition in Detroit also helps build it back.
Money that goes to non-services can’t be used on services.
In installment #6 of MUR’s series on “America’s Progressive Developers,” a builder offers prefab modular micro-housing as a solution to San Francisco’s homeless problem.
Housing markets in major metros are spiky, disperse…and unbiased towards cities or suburbs.
Some U.S. cities simply allowed private bikeshare, and now have full-fledged systems. Then there’s Austin.
Thanks to a less-regulated approach, Dallas has, out of nowhere, become the North American bikeshare capital.
Experts are divided on whether the bill will increase or decrease prices. But they expect the latter for hot coastal markets.
The last in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.
Part three in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.
Part two in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.
Part one in a 4-part series on what makes New Orleans different.
The area where the 1967 Detroit riots occurred was filled with people who had been relocated from the urban renewal on Hastings Street.
Improving the Detroit Charter is essential to the Motor City’s comeback.
The rise of fast casual and the outward movement of immigrants has completely changed the game.
But burdensome federal regulations are getting in the way.
Despite his Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths and encourage alternative uses, the mayor is ticketing an innovative transport solution.
Nascent small businesses sprout up in Detroit only to find that the struggling city’s rules trump all.
New Markets Tax Credits, a federal program better known for restoring cities, is actually subsidizing rural America.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has published an interactive map that shows the ins and out of American land use.
Ofo already wants to expand its services there. But the company first needs permission from the city.
In global U.S. cities with lots of transplants, Thanksgiving is often spent with friends rather than family.
The bikeshare startup is seeing rapid growth in various types of U.S. cities.
Medical institutions are supporting urban development as a way to improve health outcomes.
This is installment #5 in the monthly cross-country Market Urbanism Report series profiling America’s Progressive Developers.
On Monday, The Daily Emerald, a University of Oregon student newspaper, reported that…
In the last decade, New York City and Washington, DC, have been America’s two de facto bikeshare leaders. Now it appears that various private companies might swoop in and corner their market, leading to services that are far cheaper and more convenient.
A list of classics, old and new, that call for a more liberalized approach to cities.
But a lack of zoning laws could prevent flooding in the future.
Mother nature seems indifferent to the zoning codes in various cities.
Telling people they should move may not seem nice, but perhaps it’s practical.
The Market Urbanism Report respects your privacy, and will not…
Doing this would be a more transparent alternative to raising the gas tax.
For about a decade, there’s been a growing bipartisan consensus that America’s cities need liberalization. This consensus formed because of the problems our cities now face thanks to government control. Urban housing supply has been artificially limited by regulations, causing price inflation; publicly-run transportation systems create gridlock and delay; and other services are riddled with patronage.
Some of the strongest calls for reform have come from a small group of so-called “Market Urbanists.”