Controversies

Los Angeles, California

City Council Controversy Threatens L.A.’s Proposed Downtown Plan

A Los Angeles Times editorial explains how political intrigue is spilling over into planning frustration in the city of Los Angeles.

January 11, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Streets and buildings in historic Oxford, England.

Misinformation, Threats Follow Oxford’s ‘Traffic Filtering’ Plan

A plan to limit the number of automobiles in Oxford and Oxfordshire has provoked a very contemporary form of resistance—online misinformation and threats.

December 28, 2022 - Cities Today

New York City Open Streets

Open Streets and Outdoor Dining Are Best for Business, Report Says

Most business owners believe that they'd be out of business without on-street parking near their front door. The experience of New York City during the pandemic proves otherwise.

October 27, 2022 - StreetsBlog NYC

Wind Turbine

The Nation's Largest Wind Farm: Planned in Wyoming, Built for California

This project could "save California," according to the Los Angeles Times. But it won't be easy.

September 4, 2022 - Los Angeles Times

Uber Dumbo

‘Instagrammed to Death’ or a Return to Pre-Pandemic Normal?

Familiar controversies might seem reassuring in 2022.

August 21, 2022 - The New York Times

Tents fpor people experiencing homelessness are surrounded by signs that impart messages of resistance to change.

People’s Park—Symbol of Berkeley’s Storied Past—Temporarily Cleared and Fenced Off for Development

A few days after a judge’s ruling cleared three pending lawsuits blocking the development of People’s Park, the unhoused people living in the park were cleared and fence surrounds the site. Protestors took back the park within a day.

August 4, 2022 - Berkeleyside

Brooklyn, New York City

Gowanus Rezoning Clears Post-Approval Legal Hurdle

The saga of the Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study, approved by New York City at the end of 2021, continues into the summer of 2022. Opponents claimed the Gowanus rezoning ran afoul of the state’s environment law. A county judge dismissed the case.

August 3, 2022 - Brooklyn Paper

Zoning Code Rendering

Minneapolis 2040 Implementation Allowed to Proceed … For Now

The same judge that blocked implementation of the landmark Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan in June 2022 has allowed a temporary reprieve for planning work in the city to proceed.

July 28, 2022 - Star Tribune

A cable-stayed bridge designed spans the water of the Los Angeles River, which is placid and dotted with rocks.

A New Master Plan for the Los Angeles River

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to approved a new master plan for the L.A. River—the “Reimagined River.”

June 22, 2022 - Ethnic Media Services

Salt Lake City, Utah

Buslash in Salt Lake City

New bus routes planned for Salt Lake City have provoked a vocal political opposition.

June 1, 2022 - The Salt Lake Tribune

YIMBY

Where Pro-Development Groups Are Gaining Traction

The YIMBY movement seems to be gaining steam as more the country deals with growing housing prices and increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness. Recent research reveals where pro-development forces are most likely to call home.

April 18, 2022 - Brookings

A map showing Auburn, Maine and surrounding highways and towns.

Auburn, Maine Approves New Residential and Commercial Densities Despite Public Outcry

Auburn, Maine offers the latest an example of a small city deciding to increase its capacity for future development in response to housing pressure, even in the face of intense public opposition.

March 31, 2022 - Sun Journal

Pedestrianized Ocean Drive, Miami Beach

Pedestrians Briefly Take Back Miami Beach's Ocean Drive

Miami Beach reopened Ocean Drive to vehicles earlier this year at the request of hotel owners. So many pedestrians showed up to the famous street on a weekend earlier this month, however, that cars were blocked once again.

March 30, 2022 - The Next Miami

Green Building

Industry Continues to Push Back Against Carbon-Slashing Building Codes

The battle over the efficiencies and infrastructure required in building codes continues.

March 15, 2022 - Huffpost

NIMBY Sign

What Is a NIMBY?

One of the most politically charged and controversial terms in planning, the acronym NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard.

March 14, 2022 - James Brasuell

A map showing the city of Hammond and surrounding cities in Louisiana and Florida.

Louisiana City Halts Multi-Family Housing Construction Due to Infrastructure Concerns

The Hammond City Council has paused multi-family development approvals while it studies ways to improve the city's infrastructure.

February 10, 2022 - The Daily Star

South Platte River surrounded by apartments and office buildings at Shoemaker Plaza in Confluence Park. Denver, Colorado

Nebraska, Colorado Square Off in Fight Over South Platte River Water

Billions of dollars of water development are at stake as Colorado and Nebraska battle for control of more South Platter River water.

January 19, 2022 - Hastings Tribune

California State Capital

Land Use Regulations on a Collision Course in California

The future of planning in California depends on how lawyers reconcile the Housing Accountability Act with the California Environmental Quality Act.

December 2, 2021 - State & Local Government Law Blog

Toronto Construction

Toronto Reconsidering its Parking Requirements

Parking reform is reaching new frontiers.

November 29, 2021 - CBC News

Rittenhouse Square, a park in Philadelphia, framed by large buildings.

Sun and Parks

Some people fear tall buildings near parks, asserting that such buildings will reduce sunlight. But because many parks are a block or more wide, this impact is likely to be minimal.

November 10, 2021 - Michael Lewyn

Top Books

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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.