America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room – Bloomberg

Cities that were sprawling before the Great Recession have begun to sprawl again. Space-constrained cities, meanwhile, have run out of room to build. That reality has spurred developers to focus on center-city neighborhoods where high-density building is allowed—and new units command exceedingly high prices. Source: America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room – Bloomberg Advertisements

Our Precious Urban Lives – The New York Times

This is how it is playing out here in Sydney. In every direction the city center is ringed by desirable neighborhoods with exorbitant housing prices, where residents can dine, work and shop without ever traveling far from home. It is a beautiful life, and effective at reducing car travel. But there is a darker side to it. The urban village ethos has encouraged prosperous neighborhoods to turn inward and even take pride in not connecting with fellow citizens in the suburban areas beyond. The language we still hold on to about the inner city disguises the changes that have taken…

The Old Regionalism vs. the New Cosmopolitan Hyper-Localism | The American Conservative

Marketers like Claritas Prizm have divided our population into 66 tribes with colorful names like Money and Brains, God’s Country, Big Sky Families, Boomtown Singles, and other such. And America’s Zip codes are classified by which is dominant. What seems to be happening is that, say, the Money and Brains pockets of Southern California identify more with similar pockets in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Dallas than they do with Southern California as a region; and the same all over the country. The one exception to this is when sports comes on TV; for the duration of the game, all…

Mapping the Effects of Parking Minimums — Strong Towns

What makes surface parking so destructive is that it consumes a finite resource with virtually no direct financial benefit. Our pre-occupation at Urban Three is local finance. From that perspective, parking–in particular the vast kind that adorns strip malls and box stores–is dead weight. Local governments, be they in cities, towns, or counties, are all constrained by the land they can develop. What they do with that resource is thus, paramount to how well they can pay their bills. Tax revenue is but one of many resources squandered by each acre of land devoted to deactivated cars. What’s fascinating about this model…

Can Urban Planning Help Indias Cities Reduce Sexual Violence ? – NYTimes.com

Vehicular speeds in Indian cities have increased in the past decade with the construction of multiple overpasses and several major roadways that eliminated the need for traffic lights. These changes saw a parallel increase in motor-borne crimes from snatching, road rage, and assault on women in moving vehicles.“The speed of a city is very critical,” said Mr. Ravindran. “You can have fast-track lanes for public transport and cars because the city has to move. But it should have safe havens for pedestrians. That is the primary condition for a city to become safe.”In most Indian cities, the pedestrians find that…

FHWA Endorses Engineering Guide for Walkable Urban Streets | Streetsblog Capitol Hill

the Federal Highway Administration gave its stamp of approval to two new engineering guides: the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ bikeway design guide, which features street treatments like protected bike lanes, and Designing Walkable Urban Thoroughfares: A Context Sensitive Approach, designed to help cities build streets that are walkable and safe for all users. The urban thoroughfares guide, produced by the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Congress for the New Urbanism, is based on the concept of “context sensitive solutions,” which seeks to balance the movement of vehicles with other objectives, like promoting active transportation and fostering retail businesses. Both guides…

Is Suburban Sprawl on Its Way Back? – NYTimes.com

All of the land under development in Otsego was already slated for housing when the bust arrived, and the developers buying these surplus lots today are getting a better bargain because some of the work of planning and grading had already been completed. The cost difference has sweetened the deal for buyers who are willing to take on a longer commute for more house. But when it comes to breaking ground on new projects, developers are still focused on land closer to the city. Some experts say it is only a matter of time before they work their way back…