Urban Development

July 23, 2009, 1pm PDT
The City Council of Vancouver recently gave developers the ability to create smaller units attached to condos for buyers to use as rental property.
Metro Vancouver
July 23, 2009, 10am PDT
This piece from <em>Triple Canopy</em> tracks the development of megachurches in America and the similar trajectory of corporate headquarters from dense city areas to vast exurban campuses.
Triple Canopy
July 23, 2009, 7am PDT
Vancouver's development for the 2010 Winter Olympics will be a long-term benefit for the city, according to Olympics advisers. Some say the positive impact is already being seen.
The Vancouver Sun
Feature
July 23, 2009, 5am PDT
Streets aren't just for driving, and cities are starting to realize it. Amber Hawkes and Georgia Sheridan explain why street design matters and where we are today in terms of designing the "street space."
Amber Hawkes
July 22, 2009, 12pm PDT
After five years of preparation and testing, members of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Congress for the New Urbanism will begin balloting in late July on whether to authorize a full-fledged LEED-Neighborhood Development program.
New Urban News
July 22, 2009, 7am PDT
A consortium of consultants has released an ambitious urban development plan for Hanoi City in Vietnam, including an extensive green corridor.
VietNamNet Bridge
Blog post
July 21, 2009, 2pm PDT

The unstoppable force paradox is an exercise in logic that seems to come up in the law all too often. There is a Chinese variant. The Chinese word for “paradox” is literally translated as “spear-shield” coming from a story in a Third Century B.C. philosophy book, Han Fiez, about a man selling a sword he claimed could pierce any shield. He also was trying to sell a shield, which he said could resist any sword. He was asked the obvious question and could give no answer.

The Washington Supreme Court broke the paradox between a 12-month moratorium during which the City of Woodinville considered sustainable development regulations for its R-1 residential area, and the efforts by the Northshore United Church of Christ (Northshore Church) to host a movable encampment for homeless people on its R-1 property. City of Woodinville v. Northshore United Church of Christ (July 16, 2009).

Dwight Merriam
July 21, 2009, 11am PDT
As a planned rapid transit line gets closer to completion in Vancouver, there's a debate brewing about what sort of development should spring up around it.
The Vancouver Sun
Blog post
July 20, 2009, 3pm PDT

Once upon a time, there was a city called City. And everyone living in City voted in the same elections and paid taxes to the same government.

And then 5 percent of the people decided that they wanted to live in an new neighborhood that was opened up for development by the highways. And they called it Richburb, because they were, if not rich, at least a little richer than many of the people in the city (since even if there wasn’t zoning to keep the poor out, new housing usually costs more than old housing anyhow).

Michael Lewyn
July 20, 2009, 5am PDT
The suburbs are steadily becoming more urban, with denser development, taller buildings, and a greater mix of uses.
USA Today
July 17, 2009, 12pm PDT
Vancouver is hoping to build the greenest Olympic Village yet as it prepares to host the 2010 Winter games. But there are some challenges facing the ambitious plans.
Grist
July 17, 2009, 6am PDT
Plans to build a Wal-Mart and parking lot near a historic Civil War battlefield has spurred a bi-partisan protest from Virginia's top officials.
The Washington Post
Blog post
July 16, 2009, 10am PDT
I previously lamented the apparent death of industrial use in our cities by the widespread application of terms like “post-industrial” and “rust-belt.”  While semantics is an issue, let’s not forget that design matters and, in terms of industrial use, it hasn’t seemed to matter enough in recent years.    

In times past, industrial use was often a form of pride.  Many of the hulking, multi-story industrial buildings in older cities are (still) beautiful additions to our cityscapes.  In some cities, those that went vacant have spawned a new form of urban scavenge hunting by those seeking to fuel their appreciation for our industrial past through photography and exploration.  Think as well of the WPA posters, many of which used stylized industrial themes to promote our “American” identity. 

Scott Page
July 16, 2009, 8am PDT
Los Angeles sidewalks are in an advanced state of disrepair, with little to no funds available. A new proposal in front of the city council puts the burden on new property buyers.
LAist
July 16, 2009, 7am PDT
A resident of a Rancho Palos Verdes, CA development of 262 tract homes designed by Paul R. Williams, the first African-American architect in the AIA, is seeking an historic preservation measure to protect the 1950s-era homes.
Daily Breeze
July 15, 2009, 1pm PDT
Back in 1971, Alvin Duskin mounted an all-out campaign to limit buildings in San Francisco to 72 feet. Today, he is one of many Bay Area activists reconsidering density.
San Francisco Chronicle
July 15, 2009, 11am PDT
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a bill that will bring about $31 billion worth of road, transit and school construction projects.
Chicago Tribune
July 15, 2009, 7am PDT
Sales in Brooklyn are down, and that's made a ghost town out of the recently booming but now busted Williamsburg neighborhood.
New York Magazine
Blog post
July 14, 2009, 12pm PDT

Over various blog posts through the last few years, I've shared some of the key steps and stages leading to the eventual unanimous Council approval of Vancouver's EcoDensity Initiative. Since then the EcoDensity Charter and new policies have been changing the way we think about density, green building and site design, and our ecological footprint in and outside of city hall. We've also been moving forward on various EcoDensity actions approved in principle by Council back in 2008.

Brent Toderian
Blog post
July 14, 2009, 10am PDT
All forms of public decision-making are subject to controversy and competing expectations. Many of these relate to the perceived utility gained -- or disutility incurred -- through public expenditures.
Michael Dudley