Showing all posts tagged #urbanism:

Part 3: The first walkable city in America in a century

February 20th, 2024

A new city has been proposed in California, and I’ve never been more captivated by a vision for the future of my home state in my lifetime. This post is part of a series I’m writing about this bold proposal. As an urbanism nerd, the aspect of California Forever’s plan that I was most eager to hear about was land use and urban planning for the new city. From reading the ballot initiative and speaking with their team, I was pleased to see that ...

Part 2: Cluster development preserves California’s landscape

February 20th, 2024

A new city has been proposed in California, and I’ve never been more captivated by a vision for the future of my home state in my lifetime. This post is part of a series I’m writing about this bold proposal. One of the most essential parts of California Forever’s proposal to build a new city is the idea of clustered development, which is the #1 most impactful strategy we can adopt for environmental conservation while also giving humans places...

Part 1: The story so far of California Forever

February 20th, 2024

A new city has been proposed in California, and I’ve never been more captivated by a vision for the future of my home state in my lifetime. This post is part of a series I’m writing about this bold proposal. California Forever was founded by Jan Sramek in 2017 as a way to create the missing economic engine for Solano County while helping to solve the region’s growing housing crisis in a scalable, financially self-supporting way. He began pitc...

The new city in California

February 20th, 2024

A new city has been proposed in California, and the plan is going to a vote in Solano County’s November election. The proposed location is in Solano County, about halfway between San Francisco and Sacramento, and the group behind the proposal is named California Forever. As a native Californian, I’ve never been more captivated by a vision for the future of my home state in my lifetime. This new city could make a huge impact on making housing ...

The road to hell is paved with asphalt

January 15th, 2024

Most roads are paved with asphalt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems with asphalt. Bricks, cobblestones, and pavers are often much better options, because: 1. Asphalt degrades fast, so once you account for maintenance, it's more expensive it first appearsAsphalt ages and falls apart quickly. It needs to be replaced after 10-15 years and starts looking pretty crummy well before then. It forms potholes and cracks quickly, especially in...

Urban sprawl is a tragedy of the commons

November 4th, 2021

We tend to choose larger homes than we want our neighbors to choose. The result: sprawling development that doesn't match what people actually want from their communities. People aim to maximize access and space when deciding where to live. All things equal, most people like living in places with easy access to their day-to-day life. It's nice to be able to walk your kids to kindergarten, and it's easier to keep a social life when many of yo...

OWD #5: The evolution of urban utopias (guest episode from Caos Planejado)

July 10th, 2021

Alain was interviewed by our friend Anthony for a Brazilian urbanism blog called Caos Planejado, and we thought it would be fun to cross-post it here. They discussed Brazilian cities, municipal financing, what it was like to live in NYC in the time of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, how urban planners' thinking has evolved over the course of Alain's long career, and lots more.RSS · Apple Podcasts · Spotify · Overcast Alain was interviewed by our...

What are startup cities for?

July 2nd, 2021

While the startup cities industry is still small, it is already quite heterogeneous. Each project has its own distinct set of goals, motivations, and scope. However, this diversity isn’t fully captured by the vocabulary we use right now. To help myself create a mental map of the industry, I’ve grouped these motivations into 5 categories. I’ve also included examples of places that personify each motivation. (Some of those examples wouldn’t sel...

Greater Los Angeles clipping

September 16th, 2019

I got back from Los Angeles last night and my head is still spinning. I’d move there again in a heartbeat. There are three great cities in the United States: there’s Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York – in that order. I love Boston; I even love Denver; I like Miami; I think Washington DC is habitable; but Los Angeles is Los Angeles. You can’t compare it to Paris, or to London, or to Rome, or to Shanghai. You can interestingly contrast it to...

Zonificación norteamericana vs japonesa

November 29th, 2018

This is a Spanish translation of notes from about a year ago. You can find the original in English here. Estas notas provienen de leer dos publicaciones del blog fantástico Urban Kchoze:Urban kchoze: Japanese zoning (aquí está la copia anotada)Urban kchoze: Euclidian zoning (aquí está la copia anotada) El sistema japonés es inclusivo, distinto al sistema americano que es exclusivo. La forma típica de zonificación en America se llama zonificac...

Ekistic lexicon: call for proposals

September 12th, 2018

In a recent conversation, Sebastián pointed out that there is a dearth of words to talk about cities. I gestured to a building while walking around the Fillmore and said "That's some nice urbanism!", and he grumbled that that's equivalent to pointing to a shop and saying "That's some nice economics!". His point was that the word "urbanism" is overloaded, and he's right. We use it to describe everything in the lexical space: concrete physical...

North American vs Japanese zoning

May 30th, 2018

I originally published these notes in April of last year in one of my old blogs. These notes come from reading two blog posts from the wonderful Urban Kchoze blog:Urban kchoze: Japanese zoning (here is the annotated and cached copy)Urban kchoze: euclidian zoning (here is the annotated and cached copy)The Japanese system is inclusionary, as contrasted to the exclusionary system common here in the US. The typical zoning form in America is calle...

Japanese street networks

May 22nd, 2018

I originally published this in May of last year in Idea Collector, one of my old blogs. Epistemic status: This is a quick write up of my personal experience wandering Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo last May. I'd be curious to learn how it compares to objective measures, models, others' experience, and so on! Epistemic effort: I noted my impressions in bullet-point form while wandering around the cities, then when I returned from the trip I spent ~1h ...

Continuous urbanization in Japan

May 21st, 2018

I originally published this in May of last year in Idea Collector, one of my old blogs. Epistemic status: This is a quick write up of my personal experience wandering Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo last May. I'd be curious to learn how it compares to objective measures, models, others' experience, and so on! Epistemic effort: I noted my impressions in bullet-point form while wandering around the cities, then when I returned from the trip I spent ~1h ...