The Happy City

Just read a great blog post from Mr. Money Mustache. Check it out The Happy City and our $20 Trillion Opportunity. It is a succinct description of the inefficiencies of our current development paradigm in the United States. It relates very directly to work I’ve been doing with Urban Community

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Smart School Siting – The Final Chapter

(For background on this issue, see these previous posts: Smart School Siting, Smart School Siting – 2, Smart School Siting – 3, Smart School Siting – 4, Smart School Siting – 5, Charter School Proximity to Residential Neighborhoods.) It’s taken me awhile to get to writing this, but the long-playing saga of my

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Charter School Proximity to Residential Neighborhoods.

This post in in the response to the following comment from the Press Democrat Close to Home published by advocates of the Charter School. Paul, I read your opinions as being very much centered on your own neightborhood. Not very many people live in walking distance of the current campus.

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The Missing Middle

I went to a conference recently and participated in a tour and session on ‘Missing Middle Housing.’ Missing Middle housing is a term coined by Dan Parolek of Opticos Design, Inc. Missing Middle refers to housing types between a single-family home and multi-family apartments that are compatible in scale to

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Santa Rosa: A City in Flux

This post was originally published as a guest post on the Strong Towns website. Like many other cities in California, Santa Rosa is struggling with high housing costs and deteriorating infrastructure. Rents have risen 40% in the past 4 years. Median sale price has risen about 10% in the past

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Understanding the Relationship Betweeen Development Fees, Infrastructure and Tax Revenue

Last week, the local newspaper ran an article about the city of Santa Rosa’s consideration of updating their development fees to spur housing construction.  The article explains how the city has hired an economist to review the city’s fee structure and advise how they can spur housing development to counteract

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Parking Requirement Impacts on Small Town Urbanism

Sebastopol, like many other small towns, needs to get a handle on its parking requirements. Current zoning code parking requirements is often at odds with good urbanism. Without a mechanism such as a parking assessment district, or simply reducing on-site parking requirements, our attempts at creating good pedestrian-friendly urban environments

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After Hours Vitality and a Movie Theater

I was asked recently to suggest ways to provide vitality in a small town downtown in the evening, after the shops close. It’s a great question and one in which many small towns struggle with. People are out and about downtown during the day and on weekends in particular, but

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