Government / Politics

December 10, 2007, 10am PST
<p>The city may consider a heavy rail subway system after overturning a light rail ballot initiative.</p>
The Kansas City Star
December 10, 2007, 9am PST
<p>Plans to demolish low income housing and remove FEMA trailers are putting the poor of New Orleans in a tight spot.</p>
December 10, 2007, 7am PST
<p>The City Journal examines lessons from Boston's 35-year, $14.8 billion Big Dig project and asks how can American invest in infrastructure -- and do it intelligently?</p>
City Journal
December 9, 2007, 1pm PST
<p>Urban planners and developers in the Western United States could learn a lot from Munich, Germany, argues one online commentator.</p>
Blog post
December 9, 2007, 12pm PST

It's often said that in America, urban development issues are decided at the local level. In general the rule of thumb is accurate, explaining a country home to cities as different in form as Houston, Texas and San Francisco, California. The notable exception to the rule is the country's interstate highway system, build with extensive involvement of the federal government. However, under closer inspection we can find a number of areas where federal funding and policies has a strong impact on urban development. A survey of what the leading presidential candidates are saying about urban policy suggests what priorities our next president may have.

Robert Goodspeed
December 7, 2007, 12pm PST
<p>Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels wants city employees to ride the bus to work, and he's proposing giving them free transit passes to make it easier for workers to make the switch.</p>
Seattle Post Intelligencer
December 7, 2007, 7am PST
<p>To stem the loss of farmland to development, the Chinese government is raising taxes on non-farmed arable land by 500%.</p>
China Daily
December 6, 2007, 12pm PST
<p>When developers made plans for a housing development on land an Israeli kibbutz had to sell off, planners said the required rezoning was out of the question. But five years later and still without planners' approval, the courts have allowed project.</p>
December 6, 2007, 11am PST
<p>Citing strained resources, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez has vetoed a number of development projects located outside of the County's ever-tenuous urban development boundary.</p>
The Miami Herald
December 6, 2007, 10am PST
<p>The Southern California city of Lawndale has passed tight restrictions that prohibit residents from paving their front yards with concrete -- an effort to reduce the amount of vehicles parked in front yards and fight what some call a "sea of gray."</p>
The Daily Breeze
December 6, 2007, 8am PST
<p>In California, the 2008 election year may result in victories for two contrasting interest: those who want to limit eminent domain powers and those seeking increased regulation of land use, writes William Fulton.</p>
California Planning & Development Report
December 5, 2007, 10am PST
<p>With the recent multi-million dollar settlement over a Connecticut town's abuse of eminent domain, the land acquisition practice is facing increasing scrutiny nationwide.</p>
The New York Times
Blog post
December 5, 2007, 9am PST

 In an earlier post, I wrote about how the EcoDensity Initiative here in Vancouver has been transforming the public dialogue about density ( ). Since then, over autumn, the conversations have intensified, with Vancouverites from all perspectives weighing in. Just Google "ecodensity" for a flavour of what’s being written, in media, articles, and blogs, etc. The community is very aware and engaged in this important initiative, and that’s a great thing. 

Brent Toderian
December 5, 2007, 7am PST
<p>Calling out the Philadelphia City Council for "deliberate inaction" on a casino developer's zoning requests, the state Supreme Court has overstepped the city authority to approve the casino's construction.</p>
The Philadelphia Inquirer
December 5, 2007, 6am PST
<p>A subdivision project enabled by Oregon's Measure 37 and already under development when the state's voter passed the counteractive Measure 49 in November may be allowed to continue, raising questions about how to interpret to competing measures.</p>
The Oregonian
December 3, 2007, 2pm PST
<p>Federal land in Las Vegas has been sold off by the government, creating a fund worth billions of dollars. The fund has been used for many public service and preservation projects in the state. But some say it opens space up for unchecked growth.</p>
The New York Times
December 3, 2007, 10am PST
<p>The governor of Illinois and legislators outside of Chicago are fighting over transportation funding, which is delaying the bailout for Chicago transit.</p>
St. Louis Post Dispatch
December 3, 2007, 7am PST
<p>Many Japanese cities are in decline, and people there are counting on the new prime minister to put a stop to it.</p>
Der Spiegel
December 3, 2007, 6am PST
<p>Seattle pushes forward with an inclusionary housing bill, but housing advocates have pushed back, saying the plan does not go far enough.</p>
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
December 2, 2007, 1pm PST
<p>As Massachusetts warms to the idea of casino gambling, Donald Trump is scouring the state for prime development opportunities.</p>
The Boston Globe