All We Need to Do: Call BS

Ben Brown calls BS on a number of city planning and gentrification points.

1 minute read

May 25, 2017, 12:00 PM PDT

By Hazel Borys


Rent

HipKat / Shutterstock

"Chuck Marohn was in my town last week with his better-than-ever demonstration of the lies we tell ourselves about infrastructure finance."

"Chuck’s message and that of Joe Minicozzi prod us to get our arms around the math. And that’s a crucial message. But, jeez, our problem is way bigger. Thanks to the never-ending hangover from the 2016 campaign, we’re picking our way through fake news and alternative facts, hoping to salvage a morsel of hope that not everybody everywhere is bullshitting us about just about everything just about all the time."

Ben Brown points out classes on BS are being taught from university to kindergarten, and then calls BS on topics related to transportation and land use planning:

"If our roads are congested, all we have to do is add more lanes. If housing prices and rents soar beyond wage growth, all we have to do is bring the hammer down on developers to build what most folks can afford or build nothing at all. If well-heeled investors are gentrifying old neighborhoods, all we have to do is make it harder for them to disrupt places that should be preserved exactly as they are."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in PlaceShakers

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Acela train at Wilmington station in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Passenger Rail Revival Is Here

For the first time in decades, multiple rail projects are moving forward that could have a transformative impact on train travel in the United States.

May 21, 2024 - Route Fifty

California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing funding for tiny home shelter project in front of quick-build tiny home shelter unit.

California’s Tiny Home Pledge Still on Paper, One Year Later

A promise to fund 1,200 tiny homes for unhoused residents in four cities as a way to rapidly and cost-effectively provide shelter has yet to yield tangible results, but projects are moving ahead in some cities.

May 24 - CALmatters

Residential neighborhood in Colorado with fall foliage and snowy mountains in background.

Colorado Ends Non-Family Occupancy Limits

Local jurisdictions will no longer be able to limit how many unrelated adults can live in a household, a move that supporters say will help lower housing costs and help older adults supplement their incomes and stay in their homes.

May 24 - Strong Towns

A white crosswalk painted by Crosswalk Collective LA in Los Angeles, California.

Guerilla Urbanism Spurs Action From Cities

Rather than take a hostile approach to DIY urbanism, some cities are using guerilla efforts as an opportunity to understand critical infrastructure gaps.

May 24 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.