Vancouver B.C. Metropolitan Core is famous among urbanists for what is now called the “Vancouver Style,” neighborhoods of point towers of 40 stories or more, with a planned tower separation to preserve public views and maximize privacy. The towers have small floor plates set on top of a street wall podium lined with three-story townhouses, or retail storefronts with offices above. There is landscaping on top of the podium and parking underground. Vancouverites have embraced density and walkability in the urban core, the envy of many of us from stateside. [Read more…] about How Metropolitan Vancouver Is Reorganizing Suburban Growth Around Transit
The current leadership at San Diego’s regional transportation agency hates taxes, except that they love to spend it. This double-standard has become increasingly apparent in the recent months, as they are back-filling the shortfall in the local sales tax revenues and increase in project costs with $5 billion from a statewide gas tax that many on the agency’s board vehemently oppose. [Read more…] about How San Diego’s public transit went from first to worst
We think of “sustainability” as a new idea, a concept underlying our hoped-for environmental stewardship of the planet, but as Poor Richard first voiced a related concept at the beginning of our national existence, it really isn’t a new idea at all. I’m not going to use this opportunity to go tree-hugger on you (although it’s not a role foreign to me), but I do want to highlight how an unused asset of the City’s could be turned into a brilliant community treasure. Sadly, this is an asset the City was prepared to waste. [Read more…] about Innovative Community Bike Center coming to San Diego in . . .
I’ve been driving my electric car (aka EV for electric vehicle) for a little shy of a year now. While I love it (I even bought a second one), I realize they’re not for everybody. Below are some reasons you might hate an EV: [Read more…] about Eleven reasons an electric car wouldn’t be for you
The San Diego Region will struggle in every neighborhood to accommodate the population growth forecasted by SANDAG – as many as a million new residents by 2050. San Diego already has a widely-recognized housing shortage that results in major annual price increases and undermines the city’s climate action plan as commuters go farther afield in search of affordability. The problem will only get worse unless we take bold steps to sensibly accommodate this inevitable growth. [Read more…] about Support the Morena Corridor Specific Plan
Parking was not among the conditions Jane Jacobs said are required to create exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts. She did say: “There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people…” And: “The district must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two. These must insure the presence of people who go outdoors on different schedules and are in the place for different purposes, but who are able to use many facilities in common.” [Read more…] about Why Parking Still Matters in America’s Downtowns
I recently had a client ask me to look at a local park disfigured by freeway construction bifurcating the neighborhood and cutting residents off from this very expensive and valuable amenity. Environmental problems. Social problems. Economic problems. Could anything be done? What are best practices today? [Read more…] about Don’t listen to Mark Twain – freeway caps gaining traction
New York City’s new math: 100 years, $4.5 billion, 3 subway stops.
New Year’s Day 2017 saw the ribbon cut on the first phase of the Second Avenue subway, the locally-mythic train touted to alleviate the overburdened east side subways since the late 1920s. A Great Depression, a world war and a City bankruptcy interfered with its execution. After nearly 10 years of actual construction and neighborhood misery, three airy, clean and art-filled stations opened for business. [Read more…] about Take a Train: The Q – NYC’s new subway extension is airy and full of art
One crucial aspect of contemporary debates on spatial politics, socioeconomic stratification, and immigration is the issue of public transit. Prior to the question of a person’s right to be in a city (or supposed lack thereof in the case of undocumented immigrants), there is the question of a city’s duty to provide feasible means for moving around in its space. Albeit mundane, it is a key factor determining a person’s economic and educational opportunities, to name only two. And it hardly bears mentioning, but moving around in San Diego all but requires a car. [Read more…] about Public Transit as a Social Justice Issue
Reviewed by Todd Jersey, AIA
Written primarily for urban activists, Janette Sadik-Kahn and Seth Solomonow’s Streetfight documents the now well-copied street improvement initiatives implemented during her six-year tenure as transportation commissioner in New York City. Sadik-Khan/Solomonow’s mission was to “claw back” the public realm from the 100-year onslaught of auto-centricity and to, in her words, “rebalance” our streets to more equitably serve pedestrians and bicyclists and more effectively accommodate other forms of mobility.1 [Read more…] about How Sadik-Khan clawed back the streets of NYC for walkers and bikers – book review