Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
As the Federal Highway Administration continues its anti-painted crosswalk crusade, attracting new attention at the national level, cities are resisting the notion that rainbow crosswalks are a safety liability.
Julián Castro, Democratic candidate for president and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, chose a side regarding the controversial rezoning proposal making its way through the Des Moines City Council.
The city of Des Moines is working on a new zoning code intended to ease the process of developing homes. The proposed regulations have triggered warnings from affordable housing advocates as well as local and nation home builders.
For four years, the city has worked to make public projects compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rather than granting an extension, the Department of Justice says it is closing the case.
President Trump made good on his promise last October to lift the E15 ban in time for the summer driving season. Not mentioned by the Des Moines Register are the downsides to allowing the higher ethanol blend to be sold during the summer, e.g., smog.
The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that found that the Iowa Utilities Board was justified in giving the private owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline the use of eminent domain. Climate change was considered in the ruling.
President Trump announced at a campaign rally in Iowa that he would lift the ban on summertime sales of a 15 percent blend of ethanol, expected to increase smog levels. Both environmentalists and the oil industry oppose the action.
The city of Cedar Rapids has traditionally struggled to generate funding for flood control projects from local sources. As flooding increases and federal support decreases, the political calculus for flood control infrastructure has changed.