Urban Planning

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Urban Planning

So there’s been a bit of discussion about libertarians who want to establish a bunch of off-shore countries on floating oil-rig type platforms that would be lil’ loonitarian paradises: Thiel has been a big backer of the Seasteading Institute, which seeks to build sovereign nations on oil rig-like platforms to occupy waters beyond the reach…

Removing Urban Highways: Thank the Big Dig

Over the past couple of months, there has been a spate of articles celebrating cities that are getting rid of their urban highways. The Christian Science Monitor had an article discussing New Haven’s urban reclamation efforts. NPR reported the following: How did this happen? After all, this is the country that always saw roads as…

By way of Digby, we come across this proposal of how to reach 95% percent renewable energy by 2050. Before I get to some of the issue I have with the study (which is actually pretty good), I want to lay out my general views on energy use. First, I’m not a ‘fan’ of nuclear…

Urban Vertical Farming: Maybe in Detroit?

We come across this very depressing article about how Detroit is becoming ‘unsettled’, in that it is suffering from a massive population decrease, leading to some unprecedented solutions: But a new momentum has taken hold here that embraces just that: shrinking the city in order to save it. “There’s nothing you can do with a…

(Click to embiggen) Don’t worry, I’m not describing Boston Mayor Menino’s latest harebrained scheme. Esplanade Magazine, which is some great architecture/real estate porn (and it’s free!), describes an effort in 1907, during the heyday of the City Beautiful Movement, to build an island in the Charles River. It didn’t happen due to opposition from Beacon…

Transportation: The Hidden Cost of Housing

The Washington Post covered an interesting study by the Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology. Basically, to determine the cost of housing, the authors included the costs of transportation along with the cost of housing. Some findings: …the combined cost of a home that requires a longer commute by car might exceed that of a…

I guess this is what a libertarian paradise looks like: COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric. More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police…

There’s been some discussion about Joel Kotkin’s argument “The War Against Suburbia“, kicked off by The NY Times making it their Idea of the Day. Leaving aside whether there should be a ‘war against suburbia’, it’s just not true. First, there has been a decades-long policy of federal subsidization of housing prices through the mortgage…

…drug stores, hardware stores, and supermarkets.. By way of ScienceBlogling Dr. Isis, we learn of The Great Brooklyn Tampon Shortage: You see, in Brooklyn, we have to deal with the problem of tampon scarcity. How, you may be wondering, can a product be scarce when it is a necessity of approximately half the population in…

Last week, I was visiting family in the D.C. area, and I was reminded how much the population density has increased in the surrounding suburbs compared to when I was growing up. If nothing else, the traffic is becoming worse and worse (it’s even become more congested over the last few years–an advantage of returning…