New Urbanism in the News 6-12-10

The Economist explores this question — When the economy recovers, will Americans be as willing to buy houses, or will they want more freedom to chase labor markets and be geographically flexible? Speed and velocity of cities is what makes them productive. Homeownership is in most cases a highly leveraged, undiversified, relatively illiquid bet, with a return that is highly correlated to local labour market conditions.

Up to 22 US cities could be laying streetcar track within 2 years.

Why do people stay or leave particular cities/Neighborhoods?

Why Humanity Loves and Needs Cities

One-third of Americans inhabit just 16 large metropolitan areas, which collectively use only a tiny fraction of the country’s land mass.

If cities serve to connect people and enable them to learn from one another, than an increasingly information-intensive economy will only make urban density more valuable.

What makes a great creative city?

‘Curiosity, exploration and discovery’ are a triad of words that come up frequently.

People want things that are ‘memorable, iconic and power­ful’.

Report: Commuting Costs offset Lower House Prices

People who move to an outlying Boston suburb to find affordable housing or to get more house for their money often sacrifice the savings to higher transportation costs, according to a study to be released today by a national planning and land-use organization

Dramatically transformed role for the supermarket?

Seattle urban design planner Mark Hinshaw sees a dramatically transformed role for supermarkets. They’ll actually become the anchors of new and walkable neighborhoods.

Suburbs Lost Their Sheen: A Harvard Business School report – To put it simply, the suburbs have lost their sheen: Both young workers and retiring Boomers are actively seeking to live in densely packed, mixed-use communities that don’t require cars—that is, cities or revitalized outskirts in which residences, shops, schools, parks, and other amenities exist close together. The change is imminent, and businesses that don’t understand and plan for it may suffer in the long run.

Businesses ought to consider locating in walkable, culturally diverse city centers because that’s where young workers want to be

“These companies are getting a jump on a major cultural and demographic shift away from suburban sprawl,” writes Assistant Editor Ania Wieckowski. “The change is imminent, and businesses that don’t understand and plan for it may suffer in the long run.”

Urban Land Institute: Walkable Neighborhoods Linked by Train are the Future: When consumer confidence returns, this will be the pent-up housing demand.

Mayors see regional cities now more popular than suburbs that sucked out their residents over last 40 years.

In this article on New Urbanism, the author summarizes an article by Chris Leinberger in The Atlantic where he acknowledges thatthe old model of building housing as quickly and cheaply as possible on the metropolitan fringe is no longer viable. On the other hand, building the kinds of walkable urban neighborhoods that are in demand (and in short supply) is difficult to do given the infrastructure and local regulatory systems currently in place.

The nation’s transportation planning process fails to account for more than $200 billion per year in “hidden health costs” imposed by traffic and air pollution, according to a new report from the American Public Health Association (APHA)

White flight? In a reversal, America’s suburbs are now more likely to be home to minorities, the poor and a rapidly growing older population as many younger, educated whites move to cities for jobs and shorter commutes.

“A new image of urban America is in the making,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at Brookings who co-wrote the report. “What used to be white flight to the suburbs is turning into ‘bright flight’ to cities that have become magnets for aspiring young adults who see access to knowledge-based jobs, public transportation and a new city ambiance as an attraction.”

Check out quotes on The City

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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