Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Come here to talk about topics that are not related to development, or even Kansas City.
pash
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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby pash » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:49 pm

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby longviewmo » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:46 am

This was just weird enough I wasn't sure where to post it.

Miami mayor: $500K porta potty program a success
http://www.kansascity.com/news/nation-w ... 5.html#fmp

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby pash » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:09 pm

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby pash » Mon Jan 11, 2016 5:28 pm

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Jan 17, 2016 12:24 am

Can we fix American cities by tearing them down?
http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realesta ... li=BBnb7Kv

""Fixing what is broken in Baltimore requires that we address the sea of abandoned, dilapidated buildings that are infecting entire neighborhoods," he said.

Then the yellow paw of a Komatsu excavator ripped the face from a nearby row house, and Baltimore joined a growing club of declining U.S. industrial hubs that have decided they have more housing than their populations can support. The logic is that removing blighted sections of the city will help the larger body thrive, eventually clearing the path for redevelopment. The hard part is conceding that some areas are beyond short-term redemption.

“When you demolish with no plans for new residential development, you’re admitting that right now there’s no demand for this block, this neighborhood, this city,” said Erika Poethig, a fellow at the Urban Institute. “It takes a certain amount of political courage to do that.”

Efforts to eliminate derelict homes in the U.S. were turbo- charged in 2013 when the U.S. Treasury allowed six states that had received money from a pool known as the Hardest Hit Fund to use some of it for tear-downs, in addition to other foreclosure prevention initiatives for which it was originally earmarked. The reasoning behind the move, which made $370 million available for the demolition of residences, is that vacant homes lower the value of neighboring properties.

Through September 2015, Michigan spent $84 million in Hardest Hit Fund money to tear down 5,850 homes, including more than 3,200 in Detroit. Research published in October by Rock Ventures, the holding company for Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, reported that the program added 4.2 percent in value to all homes within 500 feet of each demolition.
...
There are other reasons to demolish homes beyond raising property values. Crime is one: A working paper published earlier this year by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies found that doing so may reduce burglary, theft, and vandalism. Mental health is another: An article last year in the American Journal of Public Health measured the heart rates of pedestrians as they walked past vacant lots, suggesting that removing neighborhood blight offers a path to reducing stress. Once a building or a block has been torn down, however, further challenges appear."

Demolishing an abandoned building may be less complicated than figuring out what to do with the land it stood on. Detroit has sold land to neighboring home owners for $100 a lot, and it has experimented with a program to use vacant lots to prevent storm water from flooding the sewage system. In Baltimore, Hogan's plan includes $600 million in redevelopment funding that may one day lead to new, affordable apartments and supermarkets. Initially, most lots will probably be converted into parks.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby DaveKCMO » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:22 pm

governor o'malley mentioned a "new plan for cities" (including transit and infrastructure) during last night's democratic debate. apparently we haven't had one since the carter administration.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby FangKC » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:38 am

Will U.S. Cities Design Their Way Out of the Affordable Housing Crisis?

“Missing middle” architecture could ease rents — and allow more Americans to build real estate wealth.

...

If we had a richer variety of housing options, we might be able to solve a number of problems.

First, it would give Americans more choices about where and how to live. Many people — especially growing demographic groups like single people and couples without children — would be relieved to say no to the large houses and luxe condos currently being offered them, and find a home or neighborhood they prefer. Restoring the missing middle would also increase the supply of housing in tight markets, putting the brakes on rising rents.

Second, because these forms of housing are quite dense, they would help communities meet the threshold where transit and neighborhood retail become viable: In other words, they would foster the walkable, 24-hour neighborhoods that Americans are clamoring for, but often can’t afford. Sixteen units per acre is that density threshold, according to many planners. Missing-middle housing ranges from 16 up past 50 units per acre, enough to undergird lively, connected, pedestrian neighborhoods, and wean some residents off their cars. These neighborhoods would also have the virtue of being mixed-income because of their diverse housing.

Third, if you favor traditional urban design, the missing middle yields the pleasant massing of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, rather than the spiky skyline of Manhattan (or the desultory sprawl of some New Jersey suburbs). To New Urbanists, many of whom loathe both modern skyscrapers and sprawl, the missing middle promises “goldilocks density,” as the writer Lloyd Alter terms it: not too high, not too low, but just right.

...

and Arthur C. Nelson, a housing analyst at the University of Utah, was predicting that a wave of small households would reshape the country’s housing preferences. Parolek took note.

...

Experts do agree that such housing is difficult to build today, and they point to the same culprits. Number one: zoning. The prevalence of low-density residential zoning gives developers few opportunities to build big(ger), which exacerbates another problem, the high cost of land.

So where developers can build big, they’re not going to squander that chance on a measly three stories if they can help it.

“If you have a big site, you tend to go for the absolute maximum you can,” says Alan Mallach, a prominent urban scholar who is a senior fellow at the Center for Community Progress. “And you can’t get small sites because there’s no suitable zoning.”

...

As the middle has dwindled to a niche, financing it has become trickier. Projects in the range of four to 49 units generally have a hard time finding backers. “In some cases, it’s a little bit of a circular thing,” Williams, of ULI, explains. “The developers proposing … missing-middle developments are not necessarily the same type of developers that would do larger properties. They tend to be smaller enterprises, perhaps with less strength in their balance sheets.”

Finally, there’s the slippery role of public sentiment. Christopher Leinberger is right when he says the demand for walkable communities, whether in cities or suburbs, exceeds the current supply; places like Evanston, Illinois, and Bethesda, Maryland, are expensive for that reason. Parolek estimates that the U.S. needs another 35 million units of multifamily housing to accommodate all of the country’s carless millennials, Marie Kondo-ing boomers and dissatisfied suburbanites.

Yet it’s one thing to acknowledge the need, and another to look on as someone builds those units next door. NIMBY opposition to development projects is still often fierce, even as cultural preferences shift toward higher-density living.

...

A paradox of the missing middle: Its biggest advantage would seem to be that it makes density less scary, even palatable, for owners of single-family homes who fear being crowded by tall buildings or hundreds of new neighbors. But many homeowners remain so immovable on the issue of local development that in-between housing doesn’t always go where it would work best as stealth density. That means it’s mainly going where it’s already expected (and zoned for) — and cities are losing an opportunity to create more housing and knit suburban-style neighborhoods with denser development nearby.

...



https://nextcity.org/features/view/cities-affordable-housing-design-solution-missing-middle

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Fri Feb 05, 2016 12:39 pm

Almost put this into the BNIM topic elsewhere given how that discussion has developed but then thought this just might be a more relevant area. Move it to someplace else if you think the discussion, if any, works there.

From AARP:
"The Super Bowl is like — because in a way it is — the exciting culmination to a book. You never know what could happen. What play might win the game or who will make it. And, while both of these cities have a lot to be proud of with their football teams, it’s important to note that each city is known for a lot more than just football. Both Charlotte, N.C., and Denver are at the heart of the movement to create more livable, walkable communities.

Over the years, a series of leaders in the Queen City (Charlotte) and the Mile High City (Denver) have made large and small investments to help shape their communities into places that are easy to get around and value residents of all ages.

DENVER
• Mayor Michael B. Hancock has made a point of increasing the accessibility of mass transit for people who live in the area. He’s led the expansion of Denver’s regional light rail system, RTD, to include four new lines and connect Denver to its airport. The expansion of the light rail was coupled with a bus rapid transit line that connects riders from as far north as Boulder.

• Additionally, Hancock is committed to providing affordable housing options in the city. Recently — much like other major cities in the U.S. — Denver’s citizens have found it more difficult to find affordable rental units within the city. Under its affordable housing plan, Denver will help finance more than 4,500 new rental units..

CHARLOTTE

• Charlotte, like Denver, has made increasing mass transit a priority by doing so both within its borders and in outlying areas. There’s a plan to extend the light rail system north toward the university area and south to the suburbs, with a street car system proposed for within the city. The LYNX Gold Line — which was proposed by Anthony Foxx, the city’s former mayor, now U.S. secretary of transportation — is one example of how streetcars are enabling residents to travel between nearby communities and downtown without a car.

• Charlotte also has added bike paths and trails — most notably the Cross Charlotte Trail. The XCLT, as it’s known, connected existing trails to form a larger 26-mile trail that extends from Pineville to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

• Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, also has developed a program called Livable Meck. The program focuses on how the city and greater metro area can together become a livable community.

I’m impressed by the efforts both cities have put forth to make their communities more livable for the people of all ages who live there: children, parents and grandparents. Here at AARP, we are working with both cities — and hundreds of others across the nation — to help make their livable dreams a reality."

Maybe these two cities and others have the leadership to get things done. Maybe the surrounding areas of these cities look at their situation as being "all for one, one for all." Maybe the local governments are more transparent in that more community involvement is encouraged and utilized when major projects are dreamed of or announced, instead of rushing things through. Maybe the local citizens have more say in economic development issues and tax policy used for them. Maybe these cities have a vision of what the leaders and citizens want for their city.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby DaveKCMO » Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:54 pm

central standard is putting together a show on density for next week. should be interesting!

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby FangKC » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:17 pm

Why Don't We Have More Walkable Cities?

National regulations are part of the reason these areas are in such short supply

According to the report and post, a longtime preference towards single-family homes has led to policies that support one type of construction to the detriment of others. Federal loans overwhelming support single-family homes—81 percent of all federal loans, according to the RPA report—and regulations that both promote larger buildings and cap commercial floor space in mixed-use projects discourage the kind of mid-level, multi-family projects needed in many struggling urban areas.


http://www.curbed.com/2016/2/26/11121372/why-federal-policies-make-it-harder-to-build-walkable-urban

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby FangKC » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:29 pm

How Driverless Cars Can Reshape Our Cities

A potential shift to a society of riders could reclaim roadways for green space and help reshape the public realm

http://www.curbed.com/2016/2/25/11114222/how-driverless-cars-can-reshape-our-cities

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby FangKC » Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:52 am


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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby droopy » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:29 am

FangKC wrote:What Makes An Attractive City? Try These 6 Points.

http://www.archdaily.com/604984/what-makes-an-attractive-city-try-these-6-points


That was worth watching. Thank you for sharing.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby FangKC » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:39 am


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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby pash » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:24 pm

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby loftguy » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:50 pm

Interesting bit of simple analysis.

$50 billion divided by $25,000 (new car cost) = 2,000,000 cars

I would bet that we have that many cars on the road this region.

Factor in the cost of road construction and maintenance and the time and dollars humans spend futzing around with their cars.

Why the heck aren't we seriously talking in terms of solid transportation investments in the tens of billions?

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby pash » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:33 pm

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby grovester » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:49 pm

The one year period after the streetcar opens will go a long way in determining whether that happens. It will either be a jumping off point or it won't.

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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby grovester » Sun May 15, 2016 1:39 pm


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Re: Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun May 15, 2016 10:04 pm

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-mi ... li=BBnb7Kz
The middle class in America's cities has shrunk dramatically in the 21st century.
A Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data looked at the state of the middle class in America's metropolitan areas. Pew defined "middle-income" households as those whose income fell between two-thirds and twice the national median household income, adjusted for household size and for the local cost of living in each metro area.
The results are fascinating and disheartening: Between 2000 and 2014, the two years Pew reviewed in the study, 203 out of the 229 metropolitan areas analyzed had a decline in the percentage of their populations that fell in that middle-income range.
...
Pew's research shone light on the issue that has contributed to the rise in anxiety throughout the American public, which has helped explain the rise of the insurgent candidacies of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders.
...
Pew observed that the decline in the middle class is associated with an overall increase in inequality in the United States, which could lead to somewhat dire consequences for American society.
Pew also noted that the drop in the percentage of households that fall in the middle coincides with an overall decline in incomes. The report pointed out that in the time period covered, real median household incomes in the US as a whole fell by 8%.
The decline of the middle class in America's cities is one of the biggest political and economic problems of the 21st century, and Pew's analysis shows the severity of the problem.
"The current and future status of the American middle class continues to be a central issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Moreover, new economic research suggests that a struggling middle class could be holding back the potential for future economic growth," Pew wrote in its report. " The national trend is clear — the middle class is losing ground as a share of the population, and its share of aggregate U.S. household income is also declining."


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