Latest Posts

Latest in Cities, Society, and Design

  • Burning Down My City
    I tweeted earlier during coronavirus about how the “100-year pandemic” is something that long-term planning is indeed suppose to address. Like the 100-year flood in land use, the decisions we
  • Micro-Units: What’s a Proper Living Space
    Micro-units were all the rage in DC this year. About a dozen projects are in the works. There is nothing too new about this marketing label for what are essentially
  • We Need a Second Transbay Tube
    In the past year a renewed push to build a second Transbay Tube across the San Francisco Bay floor has heated up.   BART has been plagued with it’s own
  • Will the U.S. Adopt Scooters
    While Americans are still entrenched in this idea of make the car great again with autonomous systems, there’s another urban transport mode people have overlooked, the scooter.   The scooter or
  • On Ride-Sharing Becoming Permanent Transportation
    It’s clear that ride-sharing’s reputation has been rather tarnished by public policy backlashes this year, but this hasn’t diminished its popularity. In my view, I see Uber and Lyft as
  • Reflections of the Mission District in the Mid-2010s
    In honor of Jane Jacob’s 100th birthday, I thought I’d share what I learned from San Francisco’s neighborhoods and what made them great places to be. Lost in the tech
  • Trading Four Wheels For Two, A Follow-Up
    In 2008, Minnesota Public Radio interviewed me about bicycling when the idea of being a full-time bicyclist was just starting to gain traction. At the time, bike lanes were only
  • Why They Still Are “Willing to Relocate to San Francisco”
    Why is it in 2016, we must be willing to relocate to San Francisco?
  • Transit Tech Startups
    Shaun Abrahamson of Urban.us detailed a list of “Pop-up Mass Transit” startups operating now.  From a VC perspective, he’s concerned about how game theory will make or break their mobility
  • Geography of Nowhere Remains Relevant for the New Urban Age
    James Howard Kunstler’s Geography of Nowhere was published in 1993 but it’s view of our current urban landscape remains just as relevant today.  Kunstler is a journalist turned urbanist critic, much like
  • Stop Making Developers Build Parking
    As I think of New Year’s Eve complaints about Uber surge pricing I am reminded again of another supply and demand quandary, parking.  Just as Uber attempts to encourage more drivers with
  • How About Free Sunday Transit
    “Why is public parking free on Sundays but public transit is not?” said @ptraughber on Twitter the other day. I couldn’t help but fume about this very question as it
  • Soft Planning or Lipstick on a Pig
    I often think of city planning as composed of “hard” and “soft” approaches which shape and define land use and design.  Hard planning consists of real shit like height limits, density,
  • Ride Sharing and the Future Urban Fabric
    I felt this TechCrunch article “Ride Sharing Will Give Us Back Our Cities” jumped the gun for me on issues of land use equity.  Planners have to be skeptical about
  • Carless Cities and City Isolation
    A friend of mine suggested to look into Cinque Terre, a car inaccessible city on Italy’s western coast.  The hillside village consists of terraced homes created over the centuries on rugged terrain overlooking