CNU Salons

Don't Trust The Natives

An otherwise reasonable Denver Post article on the relationship between density and smart growth stated: "but every now and then nearby residents who loudly protest a proposed project really do understand their long-term interests." 

Throwing The Poor Out of Suburbs

Much has been written about gentrification and about the specter of poor people being displaced from cities- despite the fact that nearly every central city still has higher poverty rates than most of its suburbs.

PDX Climate Action Plan Lacking Urban Design Focus

June 24, 2015  Testimony of Mary Vogel, PlanGreen to Portland City Council

[This blog was originally posted to my PlanGreen blog where there are already some comments posted.  I would be delighted if you would add your comments there as well!]

Maybe Urban Schools Aren't So Bad

It is conventional wisdom that big cities have problems retaining the middle class because of poor schools.  But many older cities labor under a disadvantage that their suburbs don't have- lots of students from underprivileged background.

Pope Francis' Laudato Si and New Urbanism

In case you all haven't read it already, Pope Francis' Laudato Si released this week talks very directly on many New Urbanist themes, taken almost directly from the Charter. If anyone is interested in getting together and talking about this document in more detail, please let me know.

What Robert Moses Got Right (And Kansas City Got Wrong)

Robert Moses is most famous (or perhaps infamous) for paving over large chunks of New York City with highways.  But he also built and rehabilitated thousands of acres of parks and playgrounds; and in this area his contribution to the city was more unambiguously positive.   

The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Bad Transit

One common argument against public transit is that transit doesn't pay for itself.  A recent article in Citylab points out that the best transit systems (that is, high-ridership systems like New York's) actually lose less money per rider than the minimal transit systems that are more common in the U.S.  For example, New York's transit loses less than $1 per trip, while Dallas transit loses over $4 per trip.   

The Economist: Bad urban planning is the cause of all our problems

Not literally, of course, but not far off:

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21647622-land-centre-pre-industri...

[mirror] http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=122964975&postcount=7

Basically, The Economist says that a lot of the global problems of the past 5-10 years (inequality, economic downturns, etc.) are contributed to by increasing demand for the best urban locations, both within cities and on the global scale.

Conservative cities? Yes, in the UK

In the United States, central cities lean towards left-wing parties (even in affluent areas like the Upper West Side of New York) while suburbs and exurbs lean right.  But as we learned this week in the United Kingdom, this is not true everywhere.  London's urban core is the Cities of London and Westminister district, which gave the governing Conservatives 54 percent of their vote this week, and almost as much in 2010.