Livability urbanism v. general welfare urbanism

I think this piece by Richey Piiparinen at New Geography (via The Urbanophile) is mostly on point, although he commits the sloppy journalistic sin of declaring that Chicago is suffering from “record levels of violence,” which is not true by any metric and which is, in fact, so unsupported by any evidence that it makes Continue reading Livability urbanism v. general welfare urbanism

Things I have not had time to note

1. Speaking of elitist urbanism: This article from DNAInfo fairly dumbfounded me when I first read it. An independent grocery store in Ukrainian Village – Ashland just south of Division – wants to start selling liquor. The local neighborhood association is concerned, however, that alcohol might bring around unsavory characters. Or, well, not all alcohol: A local grocer Continue reading Things I have not had time to note

Questions for Richard Florida, one month late

1. Why, in these graphs, are we comparing wages minus housing costs to…housing costs? It’s certainly interesting that greater real estate prices are so positively correlated with white-collar wages that those workers end up with greater take-home income in high-housing-cost metros, even after subtracting those housing costs. But wouldn’t the better comparison – if your question Continue reading Questions for Richard Florida, one month late

Yuppie Urbanism v. Egalitarian Urbanism

Via Whet Moser, an Urbanophile piece that asks: “Is Urbanism the New Trickle-Down Economics?” That depends, it seems to me, on what we mean by the question. If we mean, “Do elites in the government use urbanist policies primarily for the benefit of other elites?”, then I think the answer is a clear yes. As Continue reading Yuppie Urbanism v. Egalitarian Urbanism

Is This The Densest Sprawl In The Country?

A veritable fiesta of posts today! Going off my last one, I was poking around Houston on the NYT’s lovely Census maps and discovered this gem: Census Tract 421402, at the southwest corner of Renwick and Gulfton in Houston, with a population of 3,440 and a population density of 55,254. Fifty-five thousand! For comparison’s sake, Continue reading Is This The Densest Sprawl In The Country?

Things I Envy About Houston: Really? Really.

The Urbanophile for some reason has re-posted a six-month-old piece from Keep Houston Houston, a high-quality heterodox urbanist blog that I wish I saw linked to more places. In it, KHH makes a number of interesting claims about population density that I should really check out on some of the NYT’s Census maps (There are Continue reading Things I Envy About Houston: Really? Really.

A Thought, Deserving of More Time Than I Will Give It Here

The timing of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ discovery of Arnold Hirsch’s Making the Second Ghetto is opportune, since I just re-read the book about a month ago. (The first time was in high school, for a research paper on the history of segregation in Chicago that was my first academic investigation into what appears to be my future Continue reading A Thought, Deserving of More Time Than I Will Give It Here

Links 2/21

Urban Innovation and Density, on lifting density requirements to make more livable cities, at Sustainable Cities Collective. Coercion by Contract, on the “private governments” of homeowners associations, at the Switchboard.

Transit, energy efficiency, yuppies

Is this post from the Freakonomics blog pretending to be more clever than it really is? Yes. Does it employ an annoying, I’m-pissing-off-both-sides-I-must-be-such-an-impish-devil angle? Yes. Must it die? Yes. Its conceit is that, measured in terms of how much energy it takes to move a human body a given amount of space, public transit—especially buses—is Continue reading Transit, energy efficiency, yuppies