Posts tagged Sprawl

  • The all-purpose suburban mega-home

    Robert Samuelson writes about the dangerous trend toward larger and larger homes.  “By and large,” he says, “the new American home is a residential SUV. It’s big, gadget-loaded and slightly gaudy.”  Encouraged by tax breaks for mortgages, American families are buying larger and larger homes even as the prices soar.  Keep reading…

  • What free market?

    Houston is the poster child for bad urban planning - or should I say the complete lack of any planning.  Developers build subdivisions across the Texas plains, and the government builds freeways to them, in an endless cycle of sprawl.  This Houston Chronicle article talks about the many negative effects this is having on the region, from decaying inner-ring suburbs to…  Keep reading…

  • The sprawl lovers

    There’s something aesthetically appealing about big, soaring highway ramps conveying a feeling of speed and mobility.  And I can understand why, in Robert Moses’ day, people could have thought building highways was a grand endeavor.  But we now know they just don’t work.  Or do we?  Alex Marshall, author of one of the best books on sprawl,…  Keep reading…

  • Let’s solve traffic jams by creating more!

    Congress is close to approving a huge transportation bill, which in its original form allocated $300 billion to roads but only $75 billion to transit.  According to the article, “House Transportation Committee spokeman Steve Hansen… cited the $70 billion that is ‘wasted each year due solely to traffic congestion and the waste of more than 5.7 billion gallons…  Keep reading…

  • Reaper Mall

    Actually, it turns out there’s quite a lot to say about How Cities Work and Reaper Man.  In Reaper Man, a mysterious set of snow globes appears in Ankh-Morpork, followed by metal shopping carts.  A character realizes that if cities are like life forms - large, slow moving life forms - then there would evolve parasites to prey upon them, just as other long-lived life…  Keep reading…

  • Marshall and Pratchett

    I started reading How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl, and the Roads Not Taken by Alex Marshall on the plane.  (I also started reading Reaper Man, but there’s not much to say about that other than that Terry Pratchett is hilarious and you should read his books).  Keep reading…

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