Social / Demographics

Blog post
June 11, 2007, 10pm PDT

It is now about 22 months since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. I was recently in New Orleans for the first time and had plenty to see. The city is still very much in a state of devastation. But there has also been a lot of progress.

In this post, I'd like to share some pictures I took when I was there and some facts and figures I've come across that help illustrate the current situation in the city.

Nate Berg
June 11, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>With more and more grandparent raising their grandchildren nationally, developers are responding to the demand for housing that can accommodate both age groups and provide the specialized services each needs.</p>
The Chicago Tribune
June 10, 2007, 7am PDT
<p>While encouraging the city's residents to embrace higher densities and public transit, many of Los Angeles's smart growth advocates live in single family homes and commute long distances in cars.</p>
LA Weekly
June 8, 2007, 7am PDT
<p>A human rights group has accused the Chinese Government of forcing 1.5 million residents from their homes in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing -- the latest in a continuing saga of displacement in former host cities.</p>
The Washington Post
June 7, 2007, 9am PDT
<p>Assaults and property crimes are also up in 2006, according to recently released FBI data. City officials are hoping the increase is a one-time occurrence, and not a trend that could endanger its ongoing urban revitalization efforts.</p>
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 7, 2007, 5am PDT
<p>Fewer and fewer parents are allowing their children to leave the house unattended. Citing safety concerns, nearly half of parents prefer to keep their kids home.</p>
BBC
June 6, 2007, 2pm PDT
<p>Space for the dead is an increasingly tight commodity in England, so the government has pushed plans to increase the density of its graveyards. Under the new plans, older gravesites could be altered to accommodate up to six additional coffins.</p>
BBC
Blog post
June 6, 2007, 5am PDT

Although the latest immigration bill being debated upon in congress has attracted relatively little attention from planners, the planning implications of reforming or not reforming current immigration policy are huge. Immigration impacts labor markets, and thereby commuting patterns, transportation planning and economic development. Immigration swells the population of many cities and towns forcing planners to rethink their plans for housing, schools and other public services. Often overlooked, however, is f immigration’s impact on the planning process itself.

Lance Freeman
June 5, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>Americans generally see bigger as better, and a desire for status combined with local government's desire to attract high-income residents often drives the development of large homes on large lots.</p>
The Environmental Report
June 4, 2007, 12pm PDT
<p>Do great civic spaces evolve or can they be invented? A look at the impact of "Disney-esque' developer Rick Caruso, the creator of The Grove, a successful retail complex in Los Angeles.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
June 4, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>"Street View," a new feature of Google Maps, offers panoramic street-level views of major urban areas. Where do you draw the line between public &amp; private?</p>
The New York Times
June 4, 2007, 5am PDT
<p>Rather than down-sizing to a more economic vehicle, many commuters are instead choosing to up-size their car ‘fleet’ to include the smaller vehicle, rather than trading-in their gas-guzzler, resulting in an explosion of three-car households.</p>
The New York Times
Blog post
June 3, 2007, 7pm PDT

Two years ago I saw John Norquist, former Mayor of Milwaukee and current President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism, give a presentation on the state of America’s cities. During the slide show, Norquist used two sets of images to effectively convey a point about urban disinvestment in America. The first set of images was of Berlin and Detroit circa 1945. Unsurprisingly, the Berlin image displayed a war-torn and rubble-strewn city, while the Detroit image revealed why it was once called the Paris of the Midwest -- it was simply elegant.  However, the second set of images displayed the same two cities 60 years later. It was as if Detroit had been through an epic war and not Berlin.

Mike Lydon
June 2, 2007, 1pm PDT
<p>The UK releases a summary report on the growing need in the country for greater 'Community Cohesion' -- or how to promote community citizenship based on greater knowledge and contact between different cultures.</p>
IDeA Knowledge
June 1, 2007, 1pm PDT
<p>The first issue of a new journal on aging features a discussion on planning and rezoning of a suburb in response to the desires of an aging suburban population for a walkable community with mixed use and better transit services.</p>
CCQ Capital Commons Quarterly: The Dynamics of Aging and Our Communities
June 1, 2007, 12pm PDT
<p>Ex-hippies-turned-homeowners and younger drifters have different expectations from San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
May 31, 2007, 10am PDT
<p>A new development in Hyde Park aims to revitalize its business district by attracting artists who are being priced out of Boston's formerly affordable neighborhoods.</p>
The Boston Globe
May 31, 2007, 6am PDT
<p>As Vancouver prepares for the 2010 Winter Olympics, rampant homelessness and a lack of affordable low-income housing threatens to tarnish the city's Olympic gold.</p>
The Tyee
May 30, 2007, 12pm PDT
<p>With relatively affordable housing stock and an increasingly desirable urban environment, Baltimore has attracted single female homebuyers at twice the national average.</p>
The Baltimore Sun
May 30, 2007, 5am PDT
<p>A bill facing parliament in India would provide a broad social security program for nearly 400 million poor workers in India. Some say the $22 billion program will cost too much to sustain.</p>
BBC