“HELL is other people,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre. He nonetheless spent much of his life in Paris, the better to interact with other French intellectuals. Cities have long been incubators and transmitters of ideas, and, correspondingly, engines of economic growth.
That has never made the crowds less annoying. Maybe that’s why people try to tame the city by chaining it down and limiting who can build what where along its quieter streets. We lobby leaders to fight development, aiming to protect old buildings and precious views, limit crime and traffic, and maintain high-quality schools. But what makes a city a city and a not-city a not-city is the fact that a city is dense and a not-city isn’t. The idea of it may chill a homeowner’s heart, but the wealth supported by urban density is what gives urban homes their great value in the first place....More
To rejuvenate urban centers, look to teachers and entrepreneurs.
Detroit once had 1.85 million inhabitants. Now it has fewer than 740,000. cleveland and St. Louis, too, are half the size they were in 1950.
When so many cities are booming, why are some trapped in decline?...More
Most of humanity now lives in a metropolis. That simple fact helps to fuel our continued success as a species.
Crime, congestion and pollution mar all cities, from Los Angeles to Mumbai. But another force trumps the drawbacks of urban living: cities bring opportunities for wealth and for creative inspiration that can result only from face-to-face contact with others.
Aneglected segment of San Francisco housing is getting some attention.
In November, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved legislation that would allow residential projects for students to be an exemption from affordable housing requirements, thus increasing the financial incentive to consider building or renovating student housing....More