Photo by Viqi French on Flickr.

Obama serious on cities: The President-elect will create an Office of Urban Policy, to “better coordinate federal efforts to help America’s cities.” Via Matt Yglesias.

Periods of decline: Why is the Capitol Hill Restoration Society and other preservation organizations so opposed to changes like reducing parking minimums, which aren’t really about preservation? Richard Layman tries to put these groups in context.

CHRS was forged during a different time, one of decline, and … today things are different - the city is growing in population, income, and resources, and there is greater demand to live here and to accommodate new population in new buildings. Yet, most neighborhood associations and even some citywide ones, such as the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, haven’t begun a process of adjusting to this new dialectic. Instead they are still mostly reactive and focused on an automobile-based paradigm when it comes to considering some of the most pressing urban issues facing the city today.

Not everyone moved to the suburbs “with joy”: Examiner transportation columnist Katherine Hill debates urbanism with her mother and whether “people are trying to ‘get back to’ living” in walkable areas near work, shops, and friends.

Maryland follies: It’s not too late to stop the ICC, argues a Maryland student leader; Baltimore Red Line hearings aren’t accessible to the disabled, which could force them to start all over.

And…: More street trees equals fewer asthma cases, a study found; urban farming is making it in Milwaukee; bike sharing is all the rage in Europe.