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The Times hosted a “Room for Debate” about forest fires. They address it in a silly way, asking “Does the Government Cause or Prevent Wildfires?” Um, both? Also, wrong question. The fundamental problem is that wealthy people have moved to the forest edge, built large homes without proper vegetation clearance to protect those homes from […]

Urban Planning

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On May 7, 2012

Most of us would probably agree that we really screwed up our cities in the 1950s and 1960s. Between uncontrolled suburbanization, urban renewal, the destruction of public transportation, white flight

Jaywalking

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On April 25, 2012

And you thought I was going to write about Leno…. Sarah Goodyear has a nice piece at the Atlantic about the invention of jaywalking. Essentially, cars were seen as murderous killers in the early

Green Space

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In General
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On March 5, 2012
I think it’s great that Los Angeles is creating a new wetland in south Los Angeles. Part of a 9 acre park, this 4.5 acre wetland will bring much needed green space to a gritty neighborhood sorely lacking in parks of any kind, will process up to 680,000 gallons of storm water each day, and […]

Food Trucks

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On February 23, 2012

I don’t agree with all of Yglesias’ analysis here on cities regulating food trucks out of business, but the overall point is fairly sound. In the comment section for my post on Cleveland t

Branding Cleveland

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On February 21, 2012

This is an interesting piece at Rustwire on Cleveland’s constant attempts to rebrand itself over the past 40 years. As industry left the city, Cleveland suffered an identity crisis as real as it

Parking Lots

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On January 9, 2012

Michael Kimmelman has a very interesting piece in the Times on taking parking lots seriously as architectural structures and community spaces. There is much to agree with here. The gigantic Wal-Mart p

Ikea Urbanism

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On December 15, 2011

IKEA is proposing to build an entire neighborhood in east London. It’s hard to see what could go wrong with giving this kind of control to a company whose success is based upon yuppie faddism, w

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