Aiming for Imperfection
November 29, 2018
When we aim for perfection, imperfections will disturb us. But, when we aim for imperfection, other imperfections build character.
The Causes of Traffic and Congestion
October 4, 2018
Will this new development make traffic worse? The conventional wisdom about the relationship between development and traffic contains a number of important misconceptions.
What Makes A Place Walkable
August 7, 2018
Walkability is a word urbanists throw around, often with different ideas as to what it really means, or why we care about it. Let’s take a look at how safety, distance, convenience, and comfort affect it.
The Case for Small Commercial Spaces
July 5, 2018
When large storefronts sit empty for years, holding out for the perfect big tenant, while small businesses can’t find space to rent, we’ve got a serious problem.
A Brief History of Setbacks
March 7, 2018
If you want to understand housing affordability and transportation issues, start with setbacks.
You Don't Need Transit To Build A Walkable Place
February 14, 2018
Transit is not a prerequisite for making a decent people-oriented neighbourhood.
Surprising Approaches to Achieving Density
January 4, 2018
We can build compact, walkable cities in an adaptable and economically inclusive manner - no high-rise towers needed.
Setbacks and Land Consolidation
October 19, 2017
Setbacks require us to set aside a fixed amount of land per lot, encouraging us to consolidate towards fewer, larger lots.
Let's explore Maxwell Place Lawn
July 25, 2017
When we force private developers to provide "open space," they typically do a mediocre job of it.
Let’s explore Van Vorst Park
May 10, 2017
Let's take a look at what makes a neighbourhood park great by exploring Van Vorst Park in Jersey City, NJ.
Cites as Platforms of Productivity
March 23, 2017
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
Historic preservation is often used to prevent something being replaced by something worse, but are we focusing on the symptom or the cause?
Rethinking Parking as Infrastructure
December 1, 2016
Let's rethink parking as communal infrastructure rather than private property.
Washington Street Fantasy Design
October 27, 2016
What would a main street look like if we designed it first and foremost for people?
Let's Infill A Neighbourhood (And Make A Profit)
August 8, 2016
Let's infill a Hoboken city block with traditional urbanism.
Big Boxing The City
July 20, 2016
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.
An Antifragile Ecosystem of Cities
June 1, 2016
An experimental idea to build an antifragile ecosystem of cities.
Housing Unaffordability is the Result of Artifical Scarcity
April 20, 2016
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
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
The largest threat to Hoboken's character are the monolithic block-sized buildings I see appear anywhere that there is an opportunity to redevelop.
January 20, 2016
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
Traffic projections are only correct if you listen to them thus inducing demand and becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
My Car Pays Cheaper Rent Than Me
November 23, 2015
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
Does it make you a bad person for wanting to live in the nicest area you can afford?
October 21, 2015
There are many advantages of a fine-grained development pattern where ownership is diversified.
September 16, 2015
Parks are an excellent use of land, and we can classify them as Neighbourhood Parks and Grand Parks.
Alley Garbage Truck Math
August 30, 2015
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.
March 26, 2015
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
Narrower streets provide exponentially more tax revenue per square foot of street supporting them.
The Negative Consequences of Car Dependency
January 21, 2015
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
Traffic lights act as synchronization barriers that cause cars to cluster together giving the illusion of congestion.
A Place To Call Home
November 17, 2014
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
Building dense is not the same as building tall. More Provincetown and less Le Corbusier.
Do Your Transit Leaders Ride Transit?
October 27, 2014
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?
October 8, 2014
Living in suburbia is driving me to do more of my shopping online than when I lived in a city.
The Case Against Historical Districts
September 18, 2014
The best way to preserve something is to keep is relevant, not put it under a glass case and keep it on life support.
Zoning and Traffic
September 5, 2014
My simulation shows that single use zoning results in worse traffic.
Thoughts on Language
August 9, 2014
I was always taught to communicate in the most plain, simple, and unambiguous way possible.
A Blast To A Pre-War Past
July 16, 2014
What would a streetcar suburb look like today if their bones were never ripped up?
Density Without Zoning
July 16, 2014
Density is simply a measurement of population over area and has very little to do with zoning.
June 23, 2014
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.
May 15, 2014
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
Inner Conway would be an awesome town if we could just focus on being us - and let everyone else just do their thing.
The Problem with Sales Tax
April 16, 2014
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.
April 10, 2014
Look at the forest and not the trees when it comes to being environmentally friendly.
March 12, 2014
We need a name that is unique and catchy enough to remember, and hopefully insulting enough to discourage this bad form!
February 14, 2014
One of my favourite things I miss from Australian cities are laneways and their connotation is different to an alley.
Thoughts of a Pedestrian
December 19, 2013
A few frustrating thoughts walking around in my new neighbourhood.
Paving Our Streets
November 11, 2013
Cars are rugged machines. So why do we prioritize making cars more comfortable than people?
September 9, 2013
Instead of comprehensive planning, let's unleash the market to experiment.
August 20, 2013
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.
Anchors in Urban Environments
June 13, 2013
An anchor is a destination that people want to purposely visit and will go out of their way to get there
Why I Use So Many Pictures
April 30, 2013
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
Let's transform an old airport site into a Traditional City.
January 10, 2013
Good urban design is good urban design, regardless of the population you're catering for.
Fortifying Yourself in the Suburban Warzone
November 2, 2012
Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the southern United States would have noticed the abundance of large vehicles on the roads.
October 17, 2012
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
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.