1. Planners in the Twin Cities have decided to “back away from the age-old compact in which the state tries to keep pace with suburban expansion” (i.e., they’re canceling new outer road projects) and add toll/bus lanes to highways in the inner metro area. Republican governor and business on one side, Republican voters on the other – we’ll see who wins.
3. While DC’s “impervious area charge” that finances for the sewer system makes sense in theory, it does seem a bit inefficient to mandate that people and businesses build parking, and then charge them a fee on something they might not even have wanted to build in the first place. I guess it’s better than California’s solution.
4. NYT architecture critic Nicholas Ouroussoff rails against the NYC Planning Department’s decision to cap Jean Nouvel’s planned Midtown skyscraper at 1,050 feet (he wanted to build it 200 feet higher) and what he views as a mentality that “risks transforming a living city into an urban mausoleum.” According to the planning commissioner, the design was rejected since it failed to live up to the Empire State Building’s grandeur, which it would have rivaled in size.