Government / Politics

November 16, 2007, 11am PST
<p>While Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has received fame for making global warming a priority, he has studiously avoided the land use connection. Not so for California's attorney general, who is tackling the issue head on, even warning of litigation.</p>
The Oakland Tribune
November 14, 2007, 12pm PST
<p>Economist Peter Gordon reflects on a recent tour of San Jose, California -- where the so-called "revitalized" downtown is dead and nearly one-third of the city is blighted.</p>
Peter Gordon's Blog
November 14, 2007, 9am PST
<p>This editorial from <em>The Oregonian</em> argues that even though Measure 49 passed, it is only a slight step backward on an irreversible path towards more property rights in Oregon.</p>
The Oregonian
November 14, 2007, 8am PST
<p>A city councilman in New York City is looking to counteract the city's pigeon problem by charging a $1,000 fine to anyone caught feeding the birds.</p>
November 14, 2007, 7am PST
<p>A dispute over two possible routes for California's high-speed rail line has elevated to members of Congress formally opposing federal funding for a route that does not include their districts.</p>
San Jose Mercury News
November 13, 2007, 5am PST
<p>Sounding eerily similar to his London counterpart, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on the federal government to adopt a national carbon tax. Bloomberg is currently pushing congestion pricing similar to London's program implemented in 2003.</p>
November 11, 2007, 1pm PST
<p>With the passage of Oregon's Measure 49, some development projects already approved under the now-overturned Measure 37 may be in limbo as the courts determine whether they can be completed.</p>
Associated Press via Worldlink
November 9, 2007, 1pm PST
<p>Some urban planning projects are so frustratingly bad you just have to sing about them ... or at least find some songs to help vent that frustration. This blog post from <em>Stuck Between Stations</em> finds those songs.</p>
Stuck Between Stations
November 9, 2007, 9am PST
<p>The mayors of more than 700 American cities have signed a pledge to reduce the carbon emissions of their cities. Following up on that pledge is turning out to be a bit difficult.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2007, 5am PST
<p>Voters in Seattle recently voted down a proposition to significantly fund roads and transit in the region. Advocates are pushing forward with efforts to keep the transportation funding issues alive and attain the money needed.</p>
The Seattle Times
November 8, 2007, 1pm PST
<p>A surprising poll shows that Bay Area residents -- who already pay the nation's highest gas prices -- would agree to a 25-cent gas tax if revenue were applied to reduce global warming. Efforts are underway to put that support to a vote.</p>
San Francisco Examiner
November 8, 2007, 10am PST
<p>The key to meeting carbon reduction goals lies in reducing transportation emissions through changing land use. But to do so requires air resources boards and the many metropolitan planning organizations to play key roles.</p>
The Contra Costa Times
November 7, 2007, 2pm PST
<p>Ambitious effort to restore the Florida Everglades faces lack of funds and political complications.</p>
The New York Times
November 7, 2007, 12pm PST
<p>Volunteer-run neighborhood councils in Los Angeles are gaining political power and showing what a new kind of politics could look like.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
November 7, 2007, 11am PST
<p>Oregon voters yesterday approved Measure 49 -- a property rights initiative that scales back the development rights landowners were granted by the state's Measure 37 in 2004.</p>
The Oregonian
November 6, 2007, 9am PST
<p>Citing the need for more public input, rebuilding Boston's Storrow Drive tunnel is going to take longer than expected. Local residents and officials raise concerns about safety risks and rising costs.</p>
The Boston Globe
November 6, 2007, 8am PST
<p>As public officials in New York tout their own work to build affordable housing, housing advocates are filing lawsuits against them arguing that they have fallen way short of the amount of units their cities need.</p>
The New York Times
November 6, 2007, 6am PST
<p>Despite the sometimes difficult task of convincing residents of its importance, the protection of the environment must be the priority of cities. That was the message more than 100 American mayors heard and stressed at a recent meeting.</p>
The New York Times
November 6, 2007, 5am PST
<p><em>FrontPage Magazine</em> features this Q&amp;A with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O'Toole about why government planning is bad for everybody.</p>
FrontPage Magazine
Blog post
November 4, 2007, 4pm PST

Last week I attended the Society of American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) conference in Portland, Maine. The conference attracted a variety of notable planners and historians to my hometown for sessions on everything from radical 1970s public participation exercises to best practices in waterfront planning.

At the conference, outgoing group president and historian Greg Hise gave a provocative lecture titled “Whither the Region, or Why Ought There to Be an ‘R’ in SACRPH?” In the talk he described how he believed there was a declining interest in the organization in studying regions, pointing out that the word was declining in use in the titles of papers presented at recent conferences.

Robert Goodspeed