The big question for planners since the outset of the pandemic has been how cities and communities will change, and what role planners will take in implementing those changes. Here are four potential ways for urban planning to respond to the crisis.
(Opinion) After devoting more than a century of planning and engineering effort to the movement and storage of cars above all other considerations, U.S. cities have suddenly, temporarily shifted priorities.
Former Washington State Representative Margaret Hurley, aided by Margaret Leonard at the local level, saved the Logan neighborhood in Spokane from a freeway plan that would have razed 600 homes. Now the plan is reborn in another part of town.
The Los Angeles Times follows-up an earlier article on the dangers of building too close to freeways. It's a trade-off that the California Air Resources Board acknowledged last April with new guidelines that recognize the dire need for housing.
Although many local activists and officials oppose the trend, Arkansas state planners are considering major highway expansions in the Little Rock area. The state's highway department has demonstrated a pro-car, pro-suburb agenda.
As more solo-commuters have moved into the express pay lanes designed to quickly move traffic on Los Angeles's congested freeway system, speeds have dropped and L.A. Metro officials are looking to pricing disincentives to speed things up again.
Logically we might assume that as cities grow larger, commutes get harder. It can certainly feel that way. But research points to structural factors that actually make commuting in big cities more efficient.
Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne describes an L.A. in flux, at once beholden to its postwar image and pushing in a new direction. The city, he says, faces existential questions on a scale unmatched elsewhere in the nation.
It is difficult to imagine a time when Los Angeles' freeways symbolized access, efficiency, and modernity. Now that the city's love affair with freeways is nearly spent, what future do we envision for them?
When his father was governor, California was awash in federal highway dollars. Now Jerry Brown's administration contemplates a risky tax hike, juggling the need for road improvements with a clean, transit-oriented agenda.