Ben Brown

September 28, 2015, 11am PDT
Ben Brown points out the potential political upside to the aging population.
PlaceShakers
September 20, 2015, 5am PDT
The New Urbanist Katrina Cottages initiative for the Gulf Coast appeared to be a failure but their legacy lives on in the SmartDwellings and in the Tiny House movement.
Original Green
August 11, 2015, 6am PDT
Katrina Cottages held such great promise 10 years ago, as an alternative to FEMA trailers. But a host of roadblocks stood in the way. After a decade, has the tiny house time arrived?
PlaceShakers
August 7, 2015, 1pm PDT
The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is upon us. Many of us city planners invested whatever skills we thought we had, plus a heavy dose of passionate naivete, to recovery planning in the wake of the 2005 storm.
PlaceShakers
June 25, 2015, 6am PDT
Pope Francis, sticking to his job description, is out to save the world and all its creatures. Maybe we can help in our own little universes, where we can influence planning and design that makes for swell places and for reduced contributions to GHG.
PlaceShakers
May 27, 2015, 10am PDT
The latest in a list of tip-of-the-spear practitioners combining their own experience and expertise with the lessons of others who share similar commitments to the easy-to-grasp, hard-to-realize ideas driving new urbanism.
PlaceShakers
April 21, 2015, 7am PDT
If we can't grow our trust networks beyond our tribes, we can forget about working together successfully as communities and regions, let alone as a nation of citizens or in coalitions of nations in common causes.
PlaceShakers
March 16, 2015, 1pm PDT
Ben Brown wades into the wealth/income inequity morass to make a pitch for getting beyond "gentrification" squabbles and on to wealth-building strategies for the bottom 90 percent.
PlaceShakers
February 25, 2015, 7am PST
Housing supply is offering up something that looks very different than what today's households want to buy.
PlaceShakers
January 19, 2015, 1pm PST
Dwell small; live large. It's something many passionate urbanists have been working on for a decade. Could 2015 finally be the year small goes big?
PlaceShakers
January 12, 2015, 2pm PST
If we remove our ideological blinders, we might notice that the traditional city serves the interests of both the Left and the Right. Common ground, literally and figuratively. Ben Brown explores.
PlaceShakers
December 18, 2014, 9am PST
However your read the tea leaves, if it's true the 'burbs are reinventing themselves in the new era, it’s walkable, compact urbanism that's providing a game plan.
PlaceShakers
November 24, 2014, 11am PST
Community conversations often devolve. Could it be partly due to the "midlife crisis" of the North American demographic? Can we look forward to a time of more social connectedness in the next decade, as we recalibrate to less "me," more "we?"
PlaceShakers
November 4, 2014, 6am PST
U.S. politics are "...beginning to sound like a mash-up of Greek tragedy and Groundhog Day. All hubris and irony, over and over again. But the pragmatism required in cities and states is starting to look like an exit strategy."
PlaceShakers
October 20, 2014, 11am PDT
Republicans and Democrats have connected failures to control spread of Ebola to the other guys’ actions. We’re requiring stressed-out bureaucracies to perform out-of-the-box with zero tolerance in arenas of mind-boggling complexity.
PlaceShakers
September 3, 2014, 11am PDT
Most North American urbanists turn to Europe for inspiration and direction. Some of that brilliance, Ben Brown reminds us, is due to time and distance.
PlaceShakers
July 28, 2014, 2pm PDT
In the new normal, an affordable lifestyle is suddenly of interest to a larger circle of us. Here's what some interesting innovators are doing about it, between now and when our politics and legal structure fully align with our needs.
PlaceShakers
July 21, 2014, 11am PDT
Life is hard. So are baseball, soccer, and a bunch of other stuff that require making good enough guesses to size opportunities and duck calamity. With apologies from Ben Brown for beating up on David Brooks.
PlaceShakers
July 1, 2014, 9am PDT
Consider spending more time at the beginning of a community engagement process understanding predispositions that could turn toxic if we don’t keep the conversation about what unites neighbors.
PlaceShakers
May 12, 2014, 12pm PDT
A local Tea Party type is making a passionate pitch for what his group considers Constitutional guarantees against government planning, and I get this deju vu tug. I’ve been here before. I’VE BEEN THIS BEFORE.
PlaceShakers