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."
July 1, 2014, 7am PDT
Call them teardowns, infill, or McMansions, the affluent suburb of Decatur, Georgia is dealing with growing concern about neighborhood character and tree canopy as property owners adopt the trend toward new, large houses in existing neighborhoods.
June 23, 2014, 12pm PDT
Washington D.C. is experiencing a "rush" on new construction of renovated townhouses or "pop-ups," which many say do not fit the character of the neighborhoods where they tend to proliferate.
February 11, 2014, 11am PST
To protect the character of city blocks, a Philadelphia councilwoman has proposed new restrictions on building heights on blocks with uniformly two-story buildings.