Density Is at the Center of San Diego Climate Fight

San Diego skyline (Credit: Nserrano)
San Diego environmentalists and urbanists are sounding the alarm. They say if the city doesn’t take steps to increase density in its inner-core neighborhoods it won’t be on track to accomplish its climate goals. The city says the advocates are too focused on land use and are ignoring the many other climate mitigation strategies it has in play. Read more... Read more

The New American Suburb: Diverse, Dense, and Booming

Downtown Naperville, Illinois, an example of denser suburban development (Credit: Ian Freimuth / Flickr)
American suburbs are far from a static set of cookie-cutter housing developments. But a forthcoming new report, Demographic Strategies for Real Estate, suggests that this archetypical part of the American landscape is in for some massive changes over the next decade that will reshape planning, land-use, and the real estate market. Read more... Read more

Downtown as a Template for Miami’s Future

Miami's Metrorail train in downtown Miami, Florida. (Reuters/Joe Skipper)
People in Miami love their cars, and for good reason: it’s not exactly one of the most walkable large cities in the U.S. And yet there are signs Miami is trading in its decades of auto-centric urban design for a denser, more pedestrian-friendly model. Downtown Miami is leading the charge into that walkable future. Read more... Read more

We Need Code Reform: How Do We Get There?

Petosky, Michigan (Source: CNU Public Square)
We know that traditional zoning and development codes can be harmful to building strong, prosperous communities. So why has progress been so slow—why do rules that actively hinder the development that we say we want persist in most of our cities and villages? The Michigan Municipal League recently hosted a workshop that connected five Michigan cities with a team of national development code-writing experts convened by Congress for the New Urbanism to dig into this question. Read more... Read more

To End the Affordable Housing Crisis, Washington Needs to Legalize Main Street

Establishing by-right development and streamlining local permitting processes will allow developers to respond nimbly to market demands and will relieve the “guilty until proven innocent” status of new building development, which depresses construction starts across the country by delaying and inhibiting housing projects. Read more... Read more

Zoning Reform is National Priority, White House Says

Woodstock Downtown, enabled by a form-based code. (Credit: CNU)
The Obama Administration is calling on cities and towns to reform land-use regulations to allow denser development by right while recommending actions that new urbanists have long supported. The administration released a “toolkit” on housing development that recommends eliminating off-street parking requirements and allowing accessory dwelling units. Read more... Read more

Obama Takes on Zoning Laws in Bid to Build More Housing, Spur Growth

President Obama (AP Photo)
The Obama administration is calling on cities and counties to rethink their zoning laws, saying that antiquated rules on construction, housing and land use are contributing to high rents and income inequality, and dragging down the U.S. economy as a whole. The White House published a “toolkit” of economic evidence and policy fixes to help local political leaders fight back against the NIMBYs that tend to hold sway over municipal zoning meetings. Read more... Read more
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