December 27, 2018, 9am PST
Zócalo Public Square Editor Joe Mathews takes aim at the phrase, “We want to protect the character of the community," calling it a lousy argument in normal times and verging on "treasonous" due to climate change and California's housing crisis.
August 2, 2018, 7am PDT
In Washington D.C., ZIP code 20003 is split into two distinct areas: fiercely preserved Capitol Hill and the construction-heavy Capitol Riverfront. But where are rents skyrocketing, and what factors go into that equation?
Greater Greater Washington
May 30, 2018, 1pm PDT
80 Flatbush, a major high-rise development combining apartments, offices, and community amenities, lies at the center of ongoing debate between YIMBYs and neighborhood character advocates.
Crain's New York Business
May 9, 2018, 9am PDT
Aerial photos show just how completely some areas of the city were transformed before the building typology was eliminated earlier this week.
May 2, 2018, 8am PDT
The California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund, unlike other renters groups, sees increased housing production as key to bringing down rents. It is enforcing the Housing Accountability Act in cities that arbitrarily deny new construction.
California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund
April 19, 2018, 10am PDT
Kate Wagner argues that moral arguments about what kind of architecture is fitting, can stand in the way of good planning.
December 11, 2017, 8am PST
Santa Rosa is struggling to complying with two laws passed last year to encourage construction of inlaw units to increase affordable housing. Council members are concerned that loosened restrictions would degrade neighborhood character.
December 8, 2017, 9am PST
City council members of Burlingame, a small, affluent suburb south of San Francisco, are not happy with new laws that take away their discretion to reject developments that fail to meet "neighborhood character" criteria, but meet zoning requirements.
July 11, 2017, 11am PDT
Iowa City's Mayor, Jim Throgmorton, opposes changes to the state's rental occupancy limits, arguing that these limits protect the state's elderly. The amendment's supporters say it's giving Iowans the freedom to live the way they want to.
January 30, 2017, 11am PST
In the wake of rapid gentrification, an organization in Los Angeles is leveraging the arts to celebrate a community's rich heritage and keep social equity a priority.
January 1, 2017, 5am PST
The National Trust for Historic Preservation's new Atlas for ReUrbanization relies on a metric called "character" to explore the relationship between historic preservation and affordability.
October 17, 2016, 6am PDT
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also a committed climate change activist. His documentary on the topic airs Oct. 30 on the National Geographic channel. At the U.N., he asked leaders to take bold action. Yet, as an Angeleno, he opposes increased density.
April 7, 2016, 10am PDT
Urban design critic John King’s aversion to LinkedIn’s new office space points to long-standing tensions in San Francisco.
October 2, 2015, 6am PDT
A longtime resident of an old, eclectic neighborhood reflects on what makes the area so desirable and why new places like it are effectively outlawed today.
City Observatory City Commentary
June 10, 2015, 6am PDT
Owners of rowhouse properties in Washington D.C. will no longer be able to add height and density by building pop-ups. The construction provoked the ire of aesthetically minded critics and, now, the regulatory controls of the District's zoning code.
April 23, 2015, 9am PDT
Concerns about out-of-character construction, much of it oversized, has led the Los Angeles City Council to prohibit construction of additional 'McMansions.' In some areas, all new development will be held up for two years.
April 22, 2015, 9am PDT
In the quest for density and infill, preservationists often stand beside those who want static cities. But both preservation and density can be ideologies, and thoughtful land use demands a nuanced middle ground.
March 16, 2015, 10am PDT
As affordable housing and its related challenges—gentrification, preservation, and displacement, for example—become more challenging in Nashville, candidates in the city's 2015 race must take a stand on the issue or risk alienating voters.
January 22, 2015, 2pm PST
The Washington D.C. Zoning Commission is considering a proposal to limit the ability to convert or expand rowhouses. The proposed ordinance has provoked controversy about the effect of the law for the city's supply of housing.
October 30, 2014, 10am PDT
A high profile environmental attorney in San Diego called out neighborhood opposition to development that would add density for "selfishness and closet racism."