Blog Posts
Let’s explore Van Vorst Park
May 10, 2017
2
Let's take a look at what makes a neighbourhood park great by exploring Van Vorst Park in Jersey City, NJ.
Subdividing Large Lots for Small Developers
April 19, 2017
0
What if cities purchased those big lots and sold them to smal-scale developers?
Cites as Platforms of Productivity
March 23, 2017
1
Cities are filled with talent, ideas, and hardworking people. We just need to provide them with the platform to be productive.
Historic Preservation Treats The Symptom Instead Of The Cause
January 30, 2017
1
Historic preservation is often used to prevent something being replaced by something worse, but are we focusing on the symptom or the cause?
Ride-Sharing and Car Ownership
January 4, 2017
0
What does ride-sharing mean for the future of our cities and car ownership?
Rethinking Parking as Infrastructure-
December 1, 2016
1
Let's rethink parking as communal infrastructure rather than private property.
Washington Street Fantasy Design
October 27, 2016
1
What would a main street look like if we designed it first and foremost for people?
The Well Tempered City
September 20, 2016
3
A review of The Well Tempered City by Jonathan F. O. Rose.
Let's Infill A Neighbourhood (And Make A Profit)
August 8, 2016
3
Let's infill a Hoboken city block with traditional urbanism.
Big Boxing The City
July 20, 2016
1
Big-box stores are often associated with suburbia, but they can trace their roots to department stores that are often anchors of retail life in a city. There is nothing inherently suburban about large scale retail.
Small Bets
June 14, 2016
0
Small bets are an affordable way to incrementally improve the places we love. Every city should be looking at the low hanging fruit that they can use to continually improve themselves.
An Antifragile Ecosystem of Cities
June 1, 2016
0
An experimental idea to build an antifragile ecosystem of cities.
Organically Grown Cities
May 25, 2016
1
If only we could find a free spot in town and build a house.
Housing Unaffordability is the Result of Artifical Scarcity
April 20, 2016
1
Housing affordability is simply a result of supply and demand. In a true free market, housing prices should be around the same as construction costs.
Car-Free Life in the City
April 11, 2016
0
It's Strong Citizens Week at Strong Towns, and I was invited to share what life is like in a major American city without a car.
Encouraging Fine-Grained Development
March 17, 2016
1
The largest threat to Hoboken's character are the monolithic block-sized buildings I see appear anywhere that there is an opportunity to redevelop.
The Case for One-Way Streets
February 11, 2016
1
Urbanists love to bash one way streets, but I think it is a red herring.
Unbiased Streets
January 20, 2016
1
For a street to be unbiased, it needs to not prefer one mode of transportation over the other.
The Case Against Traffic Projections
December 10, 2015
3
Traffic projections are only correct if you listen to them thus inducing demand and becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let's Build A Village From A Parking Lot
December 3, 2015
9
All of this empty land just sitting there is ripe for some infill.
My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me
November 23, 2015
0
I wish I could pay $30/month to rent 1,000 square feet of space. I could if I were a car.
Thoughts on Gentrification and Affordability
November 5, 2015
6
Does it make you a bad person for wanting to live in the nicest area you can afford?
Every City Believes They Have A Parking Problem
October 26, 2015
1
Complaining about parking is useless. Every single city I have lived in thinks they have a parking problem.
Granularity
October 21, 2015
2
There are many advantages of a fine-grained development pattern where ownership is diversified.
Parks
September 16, 2015
1
Parks are an excellent use of land, and we can classify them as Neighbourhood Parks and Grand Parks.
Greenspace
September 14, 2015
10
Greenspace is useless filler that spaces things apart. We are better off building real parks.
Alley Garbage Truck Math
August 30, 2015
3
Even if an alley has to be clear for 4 hours a week for garbage collecting, that still leaves 164 hours a week when you are free to set up your tables and chairs.
The Last Two Months
July 31, 2015
3
Visiting Australia and Mexico, and moving to New York City.
Following The Pack - Drive-through Banking
June 24, 2015
2
If you wanted drive-through banking - why would you drive downtown to do so, and not visit a suburban branch?
What is 'Complete'?
June 5, 2015
4
What you and I consider makes a street 'complete' is different.
Sovereign Hill
May 20, 2015
1
Let's visit a 1850's themed town in Australia.
A Minimal Amount of Thought
April 24, 2015
2
There are some things in this world that are obviously done without a whole lot of thought put into them.
Blurred Lines
March 26, 2015
1
It does not really matter to the person on foot what is private or public, or who owns or controls what, if the end result is a pleasant environment for people.
Some Thoughts on Narrow Streets
March 18, 2015
0
Nrrower streets provide exponentially more tax revenue per square foot of street supporting them.
A Matter of Priorities
February 20, 2015
0
There is nothing inherent to what we build - it is simply a matter of priorities.
The Negative Consequences of Car Dependency
January 21, 2015
0
We often talk about car dependency as being the result of the suburban Growth Ponzi scheme, and how a Strong Town should focus more on walking, biking, and transit. But do you ever wonder why?
A Look At Traffic Lights
December 18, 2014
4
Traffic lights act as synchronization barriers that cause cars to cluster together giving the illusion of congestion.
Fine Grained
December 1, 2014
0
My worst fear is that we are transition towards a polarized economy - an economy where you have a small group at the top that owns most of the capital, and a large low-skilled, low-paid working class.
A Place To Call Home
November 17, 2014
8
I feel lost and that feeling fuels me to write, it fuels me to travel, and it fuels me to find a place to call home.
Building Dense Does Not Have To Be Dense
November 4, 2014
4
Building dense is not the same as building tall. More Provincetown and less Le Corbusier.
Top Down Funding
November 3, 2014
0
Where does a small state like Arkansas go in the priority for federal money?
Do Your Transit Leaders Ride Transit?
October 27, 2014
1
It's 12pm and I can either get to my destination by 12:06pm via car or 5:19pm via transit. Who designed this madness?
Shopping Online
October 8, 2014
3
Living in suburbia is driving me to do more of my shopping online than when I lived in a city.
Neighbourhoodly
October 2, 2014
7
How is the Walmart 'Neighbourhood' Market 'neighbourly' when your front door is set back 750 feet from the street - distancing themselves as far away as possible from any 'neighbours'!
Place:Non-Place Ratio
September 29, 2014
15
Let's compare the ratio of Places and Non-Places.
The Case Against Historical Districts
September 18, 2014
10
The best way to preserve something is to keep is relevant, not put it under a glass case and keep it on life support.
Strong Towns National Gathering
September 13, 2014
4
I have spent the weekend at the Strong Towns National Gathering.
Zoning and Traffic
September 5, 2014
4
My simulation shows that single use zoning results in worse traffic.
Thoughts on Language
August 9, 2014
0
I was always taught to communicate in the most plain, simple, and unambiguous way possible.
Fame
July 28, 2014
3
My humble blog is growing popular.
A Blast To A Pre-War Past
July 16, 2014
2
What would a streetcar suburb look like today if their bones were never ripped up?
Density Without Zoning
July 16, 2014
0
Density is simply a measurement of population over area and has very little to do with zoning.
Learn To Say No
July 10, 2014
1
If what you have been doing has not worked out for you, the best thing you can do is to stop.
Craving Energy
June 23, 2014
4
Too much suburbia makes a person crazy.
Food Courts
June 23, 2014
1
Food courts are more than simply places you can walk to to eat a reasonably priced meal or snack at. Food courts are social places.
Car Dependent By Design
May 21, 2014
2
If we zone automobile-oriented uses at automobile scales do not be surprised if the result is an automobile dependent environment.
Zoning Systems
May 15, 2014
1
Zoning refers to any system where restrictions and laws vary within in the same jurisdiction based on area, or zone. There are multiple zoning systems in use, I will describe the three major types I have encountered.
A Tale of Two Cities
May 13, 2014
0
Inner Conway would be an awesome town if we could just focus on being us - and let everyone else just do their thing.
Narrow Streets
April 22, 2014
9
I love narrow streets, they are an essential part of making a city feel warm, inviting, and most importantly, human-scale.
The Problem with Sales Tax
April 16, 2014
0
The problem with relying on sales tax is that everything other than retail becomes a burden. There is no motivation for government to do or provide anything else.
Eco-llusion
April 10, 2014
3
Look at the forest and not the trees when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
Mallville
March 19, 2014
2
America's best urban planners are out there building malls, university campuses, and amusement parks instead of cities.
Pig Buildings
March 12, 2014
0
We need a name that is unique and catchy enough to remember, and hopefully insulting enough to discourage this bad form!
Laneways
February 14, 2014
4
One of my favourite things I miss from Australian cities are laneways and their connotation is different to an alley.
The Case for Investing Downtown
January 15, 2014
0
In an urban environment, not only are we concentrating our infrastructure and saving money - requiring very little to service many - but the taxes and jobs generated from it are phenomenally high.
Thoughts for 2014
January 10, 2014
3
2014 is my first year of home-ownership.
Thoughts of a Pedestrian
December 19, 2013
9
A few frustrating thoughts walking around in my new neighbourhood.
A Traditional City Primer
December 4, 2013
21
The Traditional City simply refers to the pattern of development that human civilization has built in for millenia.
Optimizing the Street Grid
November 28, 2013
4
Does block size and street width really matter?
Paving Our Streets
November 11, 2013
2
Cars are rugged machines. So why do we prioritize making cars more comfortable than people?
What About The Elderly?
October 18, 2013
5
Traversing an environment built for the automobile in anything other than an automobile, sucks. Even if you can overcome the inhospitable nature of that, there are others that can not.
Sandbox Urbanism
September 9, 2013
5
Instead of comprehensive planning, let's unleash the market to experiment.
Public Markets
August 20, 2013
3
Public markets encourage innovation, they create activity, and most of all, they lower the cost of entry to the market, which in turn, encourages jobs to locally grow.
Copy-and-Paste Towns
July 15, 2013
1
The Copy-and-Paste town, unique only by its configuration of chain stores, is a very dull and uninteresting place.
Anchors in Urban Environments
June 13, 2013
1
An anchor is a destination that people want to purposely visit and will go out of their way to get there
Explain Your Vision
May 19, 2013
1
Let's be upfront and transparent about what we are trying to build.
This or That?
May 3, 2013
2
Which do you prefer?
Why I Use So Many Pictures
April 30, 2013
0
I use a lot of pictures in my blog posts to ensure that I get my messages across in the most effective way possible.
Let's Build A Traditional City (And Make A Profit)
March 30, 2013
69
Let's transform an old airport site into a Traditional City.
Human-Scale Streets
January 31, 2013
13
Wide streets have many problems, so let's design our streets to the scale of humans.
Small-Town Exceptionalism
January 10, 2013
4
Good urban design is good urban design, regardless of the population you're catering for.
Fortifying Yourself in the Suburban Warzone
November 2, 2012
2
Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the southern United States would have noticed the abundance of large vehicles on the roads.
Culture Shock
October 20, 2012
4
Part of the experience of moving to a new country are the new experiences that come with it.
Complete Streets
October 17, 2012
0
A complete street tries to encorporate as many features as possible - sidewalks, bicycle lanes, cross walks, and traffic lights - to accommodate every potential mode of transportation that could use that street.
Places and Non-Places in Cities
October 15, 2012
4
All of the land used within a city can be classified into two categories: places and non-places. Places are for people. Everything else is a non-place.
The Future of The Automobile
October 1, 2012
3
Global warming, obesity, gasoline prices, the war for oil, urban sprawl, social isolation, small businesses shutting down, the rising cost of living - what do all of these problems have in common?
The Political Machine
September 25, 2012
5
Thoughts on the 2012 Presidential election.