Container City Trinity Buoy Wharf London
May 19, 2012, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Cities, housing | Tags: , ,


and there was light
September 19, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Cities, Energy, fear, housing | Tags: , , ,

paint everything white
July 11, 2011, 11:24 pm
Filed under: Cities, Energy, housing | Tags: ,

Did you notice, when you were in Paris last, how light and airy the streets feel?  If you’re like me, and only go once a decade or less, you can get an admittedly bad approximation on flickr.

Recently, an acquaintance insisted to me that new buildings in his predominantly red brick northeastern city must be red brick.  I’m sure if I had pressed him he would have championed replicating the century old models down to the bad space, bad materials, bad windows and so on.

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irrational system
June 28, 2011, 8:34 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities, density, Energy, housing, Suburbs | Tags: , , , ,

No one who moves into a new suburban subdivision pays anything like the real cost of the infrastructure that is required to support them.  Low volume energy users in central cities end up subsidizing the expressways, air conditioners, swimming pool heaters, minivans, and automatic lawn watering systems that serve people living at the farthest edges of the region; a rational system would do the reverse, by imposing penalties for squandering resources shared by all.

-David Owen, Green Metropolis

home ownership and rural villages

Hold onto truths and dispatch harmful myths: … stop idolizing home ownership which favors suburban tract homes over high-rise apartments, and stop romanticizing rural villages.

Ed Glaeser, Triumph of the City


a place to live
June 21, 2011, 9:52 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities, housing | Tags: ,

In 1968, Americans paid about two and a half times their income for a house, if they were’t buying new. In 1980 we paid about three and a half times income.  In 2004, we paid over four and a half times.  So our parents paid half what we pay for housing, proportionally speaking.  Are we getting smarter or what?