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Making Room in the New Seattle (Part 2)

Making Room in the New Seattle (Part 2)

In Seattle, policy victories tend to be long-fought and hard-won. What will it take to achieve a city that can flex, evolve, and meet its residents’ needs in a more organic way, without every change becoming an arduous political battle?

Making Room in the New Seattle (Part 1)

Making Room in the New Seattle (Part 1)

A remarkably diverse coalition of activists is moving the needle in Seattle on the question of who—and what—belongs in the city’s neighborhoods. And they’ve scored two big policy victories in 2019. Is it enough?

7 Rules for Creating "15-Minute Neighborhoods"

7 Rules for Creating "15-Minute Neighborhoods"

We hear it everywhere we go: people want, and cherish, the kind of complete neighborhood where you can meet most of your daily needs within a 15-minute walk. What will it take to create more such places in North American cities and towns?

$3.2 Billion to Fix Tampa's Aging Pipes? From Where?

$3.2 Billion to Fix Tampa's Aging Pipes? From Where?

Tampa has an epidemic of leaking and bursting pipes. But don’t worry, the city’s taking action! …by proposing an eightfold increase in the amount it spends on maintenance for the next 20 years, half funded by new debt. How did we get to this point?

What's Wrong With This Picture?

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Commuter rail stations in the San Francisco Bay Area should be some of the most valuable land in the region (and by extension, the world). So why are there so many parking lots and one-story buildings right next to them?

The Cult of the Fantasy Pedestrian

The Cult of the Fantasy Pedestrian

If your goal is to promote public safety, design streets for the humans you have, not the perfectly obedient ones you wish you had.

Car-Free in L.A.? Don't Laugh.

Car-Free in L.A.? Don't Laugh.

Los Angeles, where the car is famously king, may have one of the best shots of any American city of becoming a car-optional place at scale—not just in a few trendy neighborhoods lucky enough to have good transit. Here’s why.

5 Ways To Make the Missing Middle Less Missing

5 Ways To Make the Missing Middle Less Missing

Missing Middle development—anything from a duplex to a cottage court to a small apartment building—is an indispensable piece of the Strong Towns vision for cities that are resilient, adaptable, and can pay their bills. We need to revive a culture of building this way: here are 5 ways cities can start.

The Status Quo is a Choice, Too

The Status Quo is a Choice, Too

Those who are most comfortable with the status quo often demand that we exhaustively study any new policy for possible harmful side effects before taking action. But what if we applied the same scrutiny to the harmful side effects of not changing things?

The Zombie Freeway Project in Shreveport That Won't Die

The Zombie Freeway Project in Shreveport That Won't Die

There’s every reason not to build a freeway through a poor, mostly-black neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana. So why is the state government taking money away from needed maintenance to push this bad project forward?

Is It Better to Be a Soldier or a Scout?

Is It Better to Be a Soldier or a Scout?

The best judgments are made with a “scout” mindset—your job is to survey the terrain and understand it—rather than that of a “soldier” whose job is to win a battle (or an argument). A social scientist explains the difference.

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

Making Normal Neighborhoods Legal Again

The growing movement to end exclusive single-family zoning—as Oregon just did in its cities—is not a radical or untested experiment: it’s a return to a historical norm. The actual radical experiment is the strange notion that a neighborhood should be required to contain only one type of home.

Striding Toward Walkability? 5 Insights About Walkable Urban Places

Striding Toward Walkability? 5 Insights About Walkable Urban Places

Mixed-use, walkable neighborhoods have enduring appeal, are more financially productive than auto-oriented places… and we still don’t allow nearly enough of them to be built. A new study surveys the landscape of walkability in America’s large metropolitan regions.

The Trickle or the Fire Hose

The Trickle or the Fire Hose

Most neighborhoods face a stark choice between the trickle or the fire hose: either virtually no new development or investment, or cataclysmic change that leaves a place unrecognizable. We need to get out of this destructive dichotomy.