Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In spite of trendy "new urbanism," people still want single-family homes

by Joel Kotkin
The “silver lining” in our five-years-and-running Great Recession, we’re told, is that Americans have finally taken heed of their betters and are finally rejecting the empty allure of suburban space and returning to the urban core. “We’ve reached the limits of suburban development,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan declared in 2010. “People are beginning to vote with their feet and come back to the central cities.” Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City and Alan Ehrenhalt’s The Great Inversion—widely praised and accepted by the highest echelons of academia, press, business, and government—have advanced much the same claim, and just last week a report on jobs during the downturn garnered headlines like “City Centers in U.S. Gain Share of Jobs as Suburbs Lose.”
There’s just one problem with this narrative: none of it is true. A funny thing happened on the way to the long-trumpeted triumph of the city: the suburbs not only survived but have begun to regain their allure as Americans have continued aspiring to single-family homes...
America’s 51 major metropolitan areas (those with populations of at least one million) has accelerated—rising from 85 percent in the ’90s to 91 percent in the ’00s. There’s more than a tinge of elitism animating the urban theorists who think that urban destiny rides mostly with the remaining nine percent matters. Overall, over 70 percent of residents in the major metropolitan areas now live in suburbs...
The rest of the story here.

Quote of the day

Daniel Dennett

Atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett on religion: "There's simply no polite way to tell people they've dedicated their lives to an illusion."

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Coming soon: More parking meters in the neighborhoods

The folks at ENUF send this press release. The "policy rationale" for parking meters in the neighborhoods? It's all about the money, not about "managing" parking to benefit the neighborhoods. The MTA needs more money to support its bureaucracy of more than 5,000 city employees: 

Hearing on SFMTA’s Proposed Parking Meter Expansion Plans
WHERE: City Hall, Board of Supervisors Chambers, Room 250
WHEN: May 2, 2013 at 3:00PM
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has proposed parking management plans in the Southeastern part of San Francisco that have the potential of expanding parking meters into our residential neighborhoods. We want to ensure that any proposed plan has the proper amount of community input and is able to adapt to our distinct and diverse neighborhoods.
To gain more insight into these plans, District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell called for a public hearing on May 2, at 3:00PM, at the Neighborhood Services and Safety Committee, in the Board of Supervisors Chambers, Room 250, in City Hall.
At the hearing, Supervisor Farrell will ask the SFMTA to provide information on its policy rationale for the expansion, the revenues SFMTA anticipates from the expansion, and an update on future SFMTA plans and projects that include parking meter expansions into our neighborhoods. Merchant and community leaders will also present on their unique concerns and needs, and how they hope the parking meter expansion process will go.
Everyone's voice and attendance at this hearing is crucial to let the SFMTA know that they must consult with the community first before moving forward with any parking meter expansions into our neighborhoods. We look forward to seeing you there!
Concerned citizens
Meeting Agenda

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