Speaking of Houston: Two Links

The Atlantic Cities has a longish essay on the limitations of “density” as a goal for urbanists, which attempts to answer some of the questions I posed about the value of density per se versus traditional, walkable urbanism that may be less dense. (I apologize for using the word “density” or “dense” three times in one sentence, but this is a blog, and you should expect subpar prose.) The upshot is that, at least from an environmental standpoint, what matters most is a sort of functional urbanism that allows a high level of non-car travel, rather than simply a high people-per-square-mile statistic. Not really addressed: social and economic justice. Worth reading nonetheless.

This paper from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute does take on the economic side of things, and purports to show that functional urbanism is, in fact, the best policy to promote transportation affordability. Not shocking. What I’m not sure if it covers–I haven’t read the whole thing yet–is how functional urbanism affects economic segregation, which is more of my interest. Read it here.

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