Posts Tagged ‘planning’

Playing by the Rules

A short thought for today. I read an article on the Chronicle that I found interesting, titled “Blending Elegance and Fast Food.” Here are the most relevant excerpts: Fast-food restaurants in upscale planned communities such as First Colony, Cinco Ranch and The Woodlands shatter some basic assumptions about retailing. Fast-food chains are used to having [...]

Parking Ordinance Meeting No. 1

This post will be the beginning of a series regarding parking ordinances in general, and the review of its existing ordinances that the City of Houston is currently conducting. I’ll try to provide some reporting and feedback on the meetings I’m able to attend, as well as some background and commentary on the way these [...]

Solving the Ashby Paradox

The Ashby Hi-Rise situation has put the problems with Houston’s development regulations in the spotlight. The way the city does business today offers neither the protections that residents desire, nor the predictability that developers need to do business. If we’re not careful, the backlash from this event could make things even worse. Fortunately, there’s a win-win alternative that can solve this problem and make Houston a better place to live and do business.

Natural Ammenities

I read a column today that really struck a chord with me. In it, Nicholas Kristof points out the value his family places on interacting with nature, and then posits that the current generation is increasingly not exposed to the natural world at all. Such time in the wilderness is part of our family’s summer [...]

Houston Tomorrow Form-Based Codes Presentation

This was an interesting presentation, though somewhat limited in its applicability to Houston. While form-based code is extremely relevant for Houston, most of the panel presenters were focused on understanding the difference between conventional zoning and form-based code, and they spent most of their time talking about the processes and challenges involved in transitioning from conventional [...]

The Urban Network

A few years ago Peter Calthorpe, one of the leading urban designers of our generation, was looking at a bunch of the tools that are advancing good urbanism today (like the Transect, Context-Sensitive Streets, and SmartCode) and felt that something was missing. What we needed, he argued, was a pattern for holding these things together [...]

Property Value Theory, Part 1: People-Productivity

Continuing from my earlier post on Transportation Theory, today I wanted to take a look at property values, and what creates value in land. Again, these are my own words, but are drawn from the extensive graduate research I did as well as my professional experience as a real estate consultant. [serialposts] Two Kinds of [...]

A thought experiment on Urban Corridors

Tory Gattis over at Houston Strategies was talking urban corridors a few days ago, and had this to say: Had a conversation this week with Josh at HRG about the Urban Corridors initiative moving forward at the Houston Planning Commission, which involves encouraging dense development near Metro rail stops. There are debates about the right [...]

Houston’s infrastructure and a rare good idea in California

California is slowly moving along with a bill intended to link land use and transportation statewide. The plan basically gives significant incentives to developers for building in planned areas where infrastructure is planned to go, rather than out in the fringe wherever they can find the cheapest land. The package cuts down the regulatory process [...]