Culture War

Court Ruling Overturns Texas’ ‘Death Star’ State Preemption Bill

The Texas government’s attempt to keep bluer local governments in check has been delt a setback by the state’s judicial system.

September 4, 2023 - Texas Tribune


Majority of Americans Prefer Larger Homes and Longer Trips, Survey Says

The percentages have fluctuated on either side of the pandemic, but most Americans prefer to live in communities with larger houses, located farther away from schools, stores, and restaurants, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

August 3, 2023 - Pew Research Center

Aerial view of historic Oxford, England street with old buildings and red double-decker bus

When Planning Issues Become ‘Culture Wars’

‘Commonsense’ urbanism projects are being painted by opponents as sinister plots to limit movement and erode property rights.

June 1, 2023 - Governing

Ellis Island is shown across the water of the New York Harbor.

New York Suspends Land Use Reviews for Shelters

The Adams administration in New York City will relax the review process for homeless shelters to create new space for arriving asylum seekers.

May 17, 2023 - Gothamist

Natural gas stove with blue flame

Berkeley’s First-in-Nation Natural Gas Ban Overthrown by Court Ruling

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Berkeley does not have the power to mandate electric hookups in new development because a federal rule preempts the local regulation.

April 18, 2023 - Bloomberg Law

A bright red traffic lane reads “Bus Only.”

Texas Legislation Would Add More Roadblocks for Transit Funding in Austin

A former Austin city councilmember, now at the Texas State Legislature, is trying to make it harder for Austin Transit Partnership to borrow money to fund Project Connect, the Austin region’s big, ambitious transit investment plan.

March 20, 2023 - KUT

A view of the entrance to Walt Disney World reads “Where Dreams Come True.”

Walt Disney World No Longer a Self-Governed Special District

The culture war is determining the powers of special districts in Florida, as exemplified by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing HB 9-B, thus rescinding a special district created 50 years ago to manage land and infrastructure around Disney World.

March 3, 2023 - Governor Ron DeSantis

New York City sidewalk with outdoor dining patio with black and white striped umbrellas and black barriers protecting diners from traffic

The Slow Retreat of Pandemic-Era Outdoor Dining Programs Continues

It’s been almost three years since the political dynamics of outdoor dining in the United States shifted, suddenly and overwhelmingly. Increasingly, the status quo is being restored.

March 1, 2023 - James Brasuell


Chain Drugstores Are Closing, But Not Because of Shoplifting

Massive chain drug stores have become integral members of the urban fabric, for better or worse, but widespread store closures and security practices have come to symbolize urban decline. The dynamic must be monitored.

November 10, 2022 - Slate

The Washington St Bridge in Minneapolis is shown with downtown Minneapolis in the background.

Minnesota Republicans Kill Passenger Rail, Freeway Cap Projects

Republicans in the Minnesota State Senate blocked the planning of a proposed passenger rail route between Duluth and the Twin Cities in addition to a plan for a freeway cap in a historically Black neighborhood in St. Paul.

May 19, 2022 - MPR News

Trump supporting insurrectionists scale the walls of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

Year in Review: Urban Planning in 2021

Part one of two of Planetizen's review of 2021—re-assessing failed predictions and daylighting the biggest planning stories of the year.

December 20, 2021 - James Brasuell

Black Likes Matter

White House Marks Juneteenth by Pushing for Zoning Reforms

On a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, the White House marked the occasion by discussion exclusionary zoning.

June 20, 2021 -

January 6, 2021

3 Takeaways From 2020 Census Apportionment Data

The U.S. Census Bureau yesterday released its first set of apportionment population and resident population counts for the nation and each state.

April 27, 2021 - James Brasuell

Trump Sign

How Trump's Version of the Suburbs Gets it Wrong

Analysis of Trump's favorability ratings with suburban voters and the demographic trends of recent years could doom his recent messages regarding the Democratic agenda for the suburbs.

August 4, 2020 - The New York Times

Christmas Lights

The Anti-Urban Streak of Hallmark's Christmas Movies

The culture war episode sparked by a recent commercial aired on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel shouldn't surprise anyone who has noticed the anti-urban themes consistent in the channel's Christmas movies.

December 25, 2019 - The Washington Post

Pedestrians Only

Friday Funny: Satirizing the War on Cars

A new voice in the wilderness of YouTube: the War on Cars.

August 11, 2017 - CityLab

The Chicago Bean At Sunrise

The New Enemy of the Alt-Right: Modern Architecture

Are the iconic symbols of modern architecture a new front line in the new era of culture wars?

July 9, 2017 - CityLab

Not in my back yard

Battle Cry of the Suburban Majority

According to Joel Kotkin, the next culture war will be fought over how and where Americans choose to live. It's suburbs vs. cities, again.

July 10, 2015 - Real Clear Politics

Bikes Become Target of Conservatives' Vitriol

Is biking a partisan past time? If you listen to conservative leaders, you might think bikes were created as part of a liberal mission to spread socialism and curtail personal freedoms. Cycling is the unlikely new front in the culture wars.

December 16, 2013 - The Boston Globe

How Mass Transit Became a Focus of the Culture Wars

Delving into the psychology behind the House transportation bill, Will Doig investigates the reasons why the Tea Party have turned their attention to mass transit as the next culture war battleground.

February 15, 2012 -

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