Tuck-under duplexes in Palisades Park, NJ (Google Streetview)In two previous posts, I’ve raised questions about the competitiveness of missing middle housing. This post is more petty: I want to challenge the design rigidities that Daniel Parolek promotes in Missing Middle Housing. Although … [Read more...]
In praise of fee simple ownership
In yesterday's post, I showed that missing middle housing, as celebrated in Daniel Parolek’s new book, may be stuck in the middle, too balanced to compete with single family housing on the one hand and multifamily on the other.But what about all the disadvantages that middle housing faces? … [Read more...]
Stuck in the (Missing) Middle
Everybody loves missing middle housing! What’s not to like? It consists of neighborly, often attractive homes that fit in equally well in Rumford, Maine, and Queens, New York. Missing middle housing types have character and personality. They’re often affordable and vintage.Daniel Parolek’s new … [Read more...]
What Should I Read to Understand Zoning?
We are blessed and cursed to live in times in which most smart people are expected to have an opinion on zoning. Blessed, in that zoning is arguably the single most important institution shaping where we live, how we move around, and who we meet. Cursed, in that zoning is notoriously obtuse, with … [Read more...]
“Order Without Design”, a new guide to urban planning
This book is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding. This is how Jane Jacobs opened her 1961 classic “The Death and Life of Great American Cities”. It wouldn’t be an inappropriate opener for Alain Bertaud’s upcoming “Order Without Design”.While Jacobs was an observer of how cities … [Read more...]
Market Urbanist Book Review: Cities and The Wealth of Nations by Jane Jacobs
No one writer of the last 60 years has influenced urban planning and thinking as much as Jane Jacobs. It seems like just about everyone who has ever set foot in a major city has read The Death and Life of Great American Cities and most professional urban planners have embraced at least part of her … [Read more...]
E-books for everyone!
The era of liberals writing e-books about market urbanism is upon us! I knew about Matt Yglesias' upcoming "Kindle Single" The Rent is Too Damn High, but Ryan Avent's The Gated City took me by surprise. Ryan's book has a "print length" of 90 pages, costs $1.99, and despite the name "Kindle Single," … [Read more...]
“The art of doing well with one dollar, which any bungler can do with two after a fashion”
A paragraph on what we might today call "good transit" in Railroaded: What distinguished railroads from the natural geography through which they ran was their centrality to measures of value; they transformed everything around them. There is no such thing as a badly placed river on a mountain, … [Read more...]