For a reading group, I recently read two papers about the costs and (in)efficiencies around land assembly. One advocated nudging small landowners into land assembly; the other is an implicit caution against doing so.Graduated Density ZoningAlthough he's mostly known for parking research and … [Read more...]
Is Tokyo comparable to U.S. cities?
In his new book Arbitrary Lines, Nolan Gray points out that Tokyo is more affordable than many U.S. cities because its zoning policies are less restrictive.One common counterargument is that because Tokyo is a population-losing city in a population-losing city, it simply lacks the demand to have … [Read more...]
Unpacking Emergent Tokyo with author Jorge Almazán
In my previous post, I reviewed an old book on Japan while teasing a new one:If you read one book about Japan this year, it should be the beautiful, new Emergent Tokyo: Designing the Spontaneous City by Jorge Almazan and his Studiolab colleagues, including Joe McReynolds. But if you read … [Read more...]
Given that I've written a few papers about Harris County, Texas, and even helped republish a book about the city of Houston, it's a little embarrassing to admit I had never been there. So when a Canadian buddy suggested meeting up in the Bayou City for barbeque ahead of his conference there, I … [Read more...]
What’s Wrong With Hong Kong?
One common argument against new housing is that the laws of supply and demand simply don’t apply to dense cities like New York, San Francisco ands Hong Kong, because new housing or upzoning might raise land prices.* After all (some people argue) Hong Kong is really dense and really … [Read more...]
For once I agree with the NIMBYs: please don’t turn my neighborhood into Dubai- because Dubai isn’t dense enough!
One common argument against new housing is that it will turn "[neighborhood at issue] into Dubai." Evidently, some people think Dubai is a hellscape of super-dense skyscapers.In fact, Many Dubai neighborhoods aren't very dense at all.There is one Dubai neighborhood that is more dense than … [Read more...]
World City Profiles: European Villages Are Showcases Of Old Urbanism
There is always the lurking suspicion that great urbanism is a museum piece, something we cannot recreate. We have to console ourselves with guarding what’s left. Even then, some feel it unfit for ‘modern life,’ that humans cannot live as their recent ancestors had. Urbanists tend to celebrate … [Read more...]
World City Profiles: Ancient Rome Really Knew How To City
I've been enjoying the series Meet the Romans, and episode 2 really revealed what I love about many ancient Roman cities. I’ve been to quite a few, though often without knowing beforehand that they were ancient Roman cities. These include cities like Dubrovnik, Split, La Spezia, Florence, … [Read more...]