Blogs

As planners and most allied professionals know, the federal government lacks cohesive urban and environmental policies, and especially during the tenure of the current Bush administration, there has been a relative lack of investment in cities, public transportation systems, and alternative sources of energy. Opinion
Mar 6, 2007   By David Gest
The message from last weekend's two-day symposium at Columbia University, the Queens Museum and the Museum of the City of New York on Robert Moses: many aspects of the master builder's place in history haven't been told, despite Robert Caro's 1,162-page Pulizter Prize-winning biography; and that New York may need to rethink the paradigm for big plans and community engagement as the unique metropolis makes new investments in transit, roadways and large redevelopment projects from Ground Zero to Hudson Yards. Opinion
Mar 5, 2007   By Anthony Flint
Scrambling to grab that elusive “American Dream” of homeownership, millions plunged into the subprime mortgage market to build wealth through appreciation (if not speculation). Pundits cheered as the ownership rate crept up, lauding the pluck of aspirational minority and immigrant families.There’s a reason it is called subprime, though. Lenders offered a smorgasborg of loan “products,” but the bottom line was that they are all very costly for the borrower – often entailing adjustable-rate surprises in the 30 percent or higher range. Opinion
Mar 5, 2007   By James S. Russell
The merit of rent regulation is a recurring debate in New York City. On one side are tenant advocates arguing that rent regulation is desperately needed to help poorer households, maintain socioeconomic diversity in New York City, and prevent the City from becoming the preserve of the super rich. Real estate interests on the other hand argue that rent regulation deprives property owners of the right to market their apartments as they see fit, causes landlords to under-invest in their properties, and that in many instances the beneficiaries of rent regulation are affluent. Opinion
Mar 5, 2007   By Lance Freeman
The planned expansion of Interstate-5 in San Diego County would finally complete the Southern California metropolis. Los Angeles and Orange Counties became wall-to-wall sprawl development decades ago, erasing all traces of their rural heritage and the scenic outdoors. Northern San Diego County, with its quaint beach towns, is tenuously holding on to the last vestiges of agricultural land and breathable open space. But these areas too are rapidly developing. It is no surprise then that I-5, the only north-south route along the coast, is increasingly traffic clogged. Opinion
Mar 3, 2007   By Diana DeRubertis
For as often as the Gulf Coast and 9/11 debacles and their aftermaths have been analyzed, one discussion has been conspicuously missing: how starkly those events, natural and man-made, revealed the inability of planning today--however professionally designed, organized and regulated—to contend with the vagaries of circumstances and conditions out of its control. Opinion
Mar 3, 2007   By Roger Sherman
What is this thing we do called planning? Are we really planning or just reacting? And visioning? What’s that all about? These the questions that came to mind as I was reading yesterday’s - Ineffective Local Planning Efforts Push County To Seek Greater Control. And, also, how many articles like this are published on a daily basis?? If you were to add them all up from across the country, I’m sure the number wouldn’t be insignificant. Opinion
Mar 2, 2007   By David Renkert
The impact of the urban grocery store gap, particularly on low-income communities, has been well documented. The presence of full-service grocery store can raise the economic value of surrounding property, serve as an anchor in commercial districts, provide an important source of jobs, and lower the daily cost of living for residents. In an era of skyrocketing obesity rates, public health research shows a strong correlation between the presence of a grocery store and the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Opinion
Feb 28, 2007   By Lisa Feldstein
At Project for Public Spaces, Inc. we think successful public spaces are the key to the future of cities. By “successful spaces” we mean spaces that are used, but what we find more often than not, in the centers of cities, are some very bad spaces – meaning that they are pretty much devoid of opportunities to do anything – even though they look good. We have also found that the least successful spaces and buildings are often the newest ones. Opinion
Feb 27, 2007   By
New Orleans is experiencing a crime wave. High murder rates in the first two months of 2007 have made national attention. Anderson Cooper of CNN has been following this story. So far this year he has devoted two hour-long shows to this topic. I live in central New Orleans and my biggest complaint about the city is the high crime rate. I don’t think our city will recover if we fail to address this most serious issue. Crime makes you ask yourself – should I move to the suburbs where it’s safer and commute? Opinion
Feb 27, 2007   By John Renne