Blog

  1. Grant Opportunity: AARP Challenge Grants for Non-Profits and Municipalities

    AARP has jumped on the bandwagon in recents years to advocate for walkable communities and aging in place. They have produced several good slide shows and publications. Now, their grant program is offering up funds to municipalities and non-profits for a wide range of project implementation. The grants are awarded to projects ranging from basic home repairs for seniors...
  2. Fake News: The Coming Information Apocalypse?

    Today's post goes well beyond the concerns of urban planning. It may broadly affect the course of humanity. If you use the internet, social media, etc. please read this. Originally posted by Tim Ferriss to his subscribers, it is truly sobering and well worth a read. Make certain to click on the video on about page two. https://www.buzzfeed.com/charliewarzel/the-terrifying-future-of-fake-news?utm_term=.xflrMkB8r&utm_campaign=Content%20Advisor%20Newsletter&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=60684688&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_BhhAULGnTvwRznvhAM-9gukGiu3bSQ-XvE4s8WlyTTs9KCnIQ3L1cWy1QEhiC678wHuPsow_grS4j4MmdS_C6VWlHqQ&_hsmi=60684690#.wqwrGzBYr  
  3. Municipal Revenue: Property Tax versus Sales Tax

    The value of property tax revenues per acre clearly demonstrates the critical importance of supporting and investing in your downtown. This is a nice analysis, published by Strong Towns, that illustrates the point with a series of brief, graphic case studies. Please share this with elected officials, and support your downtown! https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/2/1/the-surprising-relationship-between-retail-taxand-property-tax
  4. Streets vs. Roads: Engineer Streets for People – Not Just Vehicles!

    Strong Towns wrote this short, but to the point, piece on what the consequences are when streets are engineered for vehicles only. I shared it with our Planning Commissioners and Community Development. This is not only a safety, walkability and livability issue. It also carries enormous financial impact. My local community engineering department currently requires extremely wide streets, even...
  5. Affordable Housing: Inclusionary Zoning – Boon or Curse?

    Provo Downtown Rooftop Concert As housing markets continue to add units at the higher end of the market, the lack of "affordable housing" declines. The reduced number of housing units constructed since the Great Recession has helped to drive rents and purchase prices ever higher. In my own community...
  6. The Great American Single-Family Home Problem

      California often leads in national trends. The acute affordable housing shortage in the state is the topic of this article, and plays out in the Bay Area. These examples examine all of the forces that impinge upon the feasibility of building, for lack of a better term, affordable...
  7. Development Regulations: How to Update without a Complete Overhaul

    Development regulations, or rather the lack of decent up to date regulations, plague many cities, large and small. There are work arounds to avoid zoning and development regulatory updates. But, in the end, that can end up being a series of ad hoc decisions made that are at best a stop...
  8. Making Housing More Affordable? Get Creative: How to Make that First Down Payment on a Home

    Housing affordability post-recession seems to be an issue everywhere. One of the biggest obstacles to making that first home purchase? Coming up with the down payment, while paying rent. This dilemma has priced many out of the housing market, especially in light of valuation increases that have surpassed the losses of...
  9. Land Art Park Buitenschot, The Netherlands

    This post is a bit out of the ordinary when it comes to urban design. But, as a planner, it amazes me how closely airports often encroach on neighborhoods. The noise level is usually abated by retrofitting the homes. Schiphol Airport, in the Netherlands, is one of the busiest in the world. The sound remediation strategy deployed there is...
  10. Tactical Urbanism – Testing Bike Lanes

    Bike lanes can provide transportation alternatives, encourage physical activity, and hopefully reduce air pollution. However, they can be politically difficult to retrofit into existing communities. So, why not try a low cost, low impact, temporary solution? This is the story of how Macon, Georgia proposed temporary bike lanes, at minimal cost to...
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