Josh Stephens's blog

Josh Stephens is a contributing editor of the California Planning & Development Report, an independent newsletter covering land use and policy.
Josh Stephens's picture
Blogger

The Curious Anonymity of Architecture

Chicago's complaints about the signage on Donald Trump's new tower are predictable enough. What's surprising is that the people to design buildings rarely, if ever, get the slightest recognition in the public realm.

E-Commerce And The Future Of The City

Chinese cities have grown at an astounding pace over the past few decades, wholeheartedly embracing the automobile. The upcoming IPO of Alibaba and the rise of e-commerce heralds a new, possibly troubling chapter in China's urban development.

The Wisdom and the Hysteria

Opposition to NYC's bike infrastructure improvements was loud, emotional, and ultimately ineffective. But can planners like Janette Sadik-Kahn learn from seemingly unhinged opponents? Planetizen Blogger Josh Stephens decided to ask.

Billboards, Big Money, and (Political) Blight

Planners typically pay attention to the Supreme Court when a Fifth Amendment case, like Kelo v. New London, comes along. The recent McCutcheon decision is a case in which the court could have paid attention to planners.

Secure the Terminal, Secure the City

Some of the reactions to the shooting at LAX revealed troubling attitudes towards public space. Inclined as we may be to tighten security, we ought not sacrifice the richness of public life in the name of safety -- even at an airport.

The Chemistry of Safer, Denser Cities

While the middle class sought the refuge in the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s, it turns out that the crime they were fleeing had nothing to do with density, race, or even blight. Mother Jones magazine suggest that it was all because of lead.

Shared Hardship and the Souls of Cities

I can't remember the last time I left the house and gave a moment's though to whether I'd be warm enough, or whether I needed to bring an umbrella. Meanwhile, half the East Coast is underwater. Friends on Facebook have posted status updates about "hurricane envy," and the tales of destruction, disruption, heroism, and all-night parties gush in like tidal surges. 

Blessed Are The Hipsters, For They Shall Inherit The City

How much is a hipster worth to a city? Is she worth more when she's building an app, or when she's writing a blog? Is a hipster with a walrus mustache and a mean whiffle ball pitch worth more than one who wears a sarong and practices aerial yoga? How many of them can dance on the pull tab of a PBR?

APA Poll Calls for Major Shift in Planning Profession

This week the American Planning Association proudly released the results of a recent poll entitled Planning in America: Perceptions and Priorities, which it commissioned indicating that Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of community planning. Given the state of national politics, it's no wonder that Americans are reserving their passions for local issues. Boss Tweed and Mayor Quimby are looking like angels by comparison. Some of the results are beyond obvious -- such as the fact that 77% of Americans "agree that communities that plan for the future are stronger" -- while others could, if heeded, foretell profound changes for the profession.

USA Today: A Rude Wake-Up Call For Cities

LOGAN AIRPORT, Boston – I’m on my way home from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy’s Journalists Forum , an annual event, co-sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Neiman Foundation, in which journalists from around the country convene to discuss, jointly, the fate of our industry and the fate of American cities.

Pages