Tue, 19 August 2014
What would you think of a city planner, out ruffling feathers with his bold ideas about density and urbanism -- who commutes to work an hour each way from his ranch way outside the city? Ironic -- or hypocritical? That's the question we wrestle with in our discussion of Brad Buchanan, the head honcho at Denver's Department of Community Planning and Development.
And then we head from Denver to Dallas, where MPO chief Michael Morris has unilaterally declared that the plan to convert I-345 into a boulevard is going nowhere. Trouble is, he doesn't actually have the authority to say that, and his facts are wrong. But by asserting it, will he make it true?
Wed, 13 August 2014
Welcome to the dog days of summer! Before skipping town, Congress passed a transportation funding patch so they wouldn't have to deal with the real problem of the unsustainable way our nation builds and pays for infrastructure. I give the briefest possible rundown of where we are now before Jeff and I launch into discussions about the issues of the day: zoning and ride-share.
Houston is famous for its wild-west attitude toward zoning, but that laissez-faire approach was put to the test recently when residents of a single-family neighborhood protested the construction of a 23-story apartment building. No matter how the situation resolved itself, it was bound to have ripple effects through the development community.
We also talk about new services offered by Lyft and Uber that bring them a little closer to true ride-sharing -- though, as we note, they're still a far cry from the platonic ideal: hitchhiking.
Mon, 4 August 2014
In this week's podcast, Jeff and I take on the infamous New York City "poor door," designed to keep tenants of affordable units segregated from the wealthy residents that occupy the rest of the high-rise at 40 Riverside. In the process, we take on the assumptions and methods that cities use to provide housing, and by the time we're done, we've blown a hole in the whole capitalist system.
Then we investigate the reasons behind the assertion that "restaurants really can determine the fate of cities and neighborhoods." We determine that food is mostly a proxy for other needs people have related to where they live, but we do love a good pupusa.
And finally, we wrestle with the paradox that if we love nature, we should live in cities.