Dream Home for the New Era: Compact, connected & mortgage-free?

The future is here. And it’s for lease.

Even before the Great Recession, real estate market analysts Todd Zimmerman, Laurie Volk and Chris Nelson were patiently explaining the demography-is-destiny argument for an inevitable shift in American housing. It’s all about the numbers.

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Collaboration’s Failing so it’s Back to Hypocrisy

It’s a sad day when you have to start rooting for liars and hypocrites.

That thought occurred to me when I read the news of Congress’s likely axing of the budget for the Sustainable Communities Initiative. That’s the two-year-old program that attempted to pull together goals of three federal agencies — the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency — to encourage out-of-the-silos thinking by local and regional planners. Grants under the program required getting lots of folks who don’t normally talk to one another collaborating to integrate policies and programs covering infrastructure, environmental protection, economic development, public health, housing, transportation and transit, and land use.

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‘Show Me the Money!’ New bumper sticker for the New Normal?

There hasn’t been a New Urbanist Council gathering for a while. Which is why a lot of pent-up anxiety — and hope — found release in Council sessions in Montgomery, Alabama, October 14-16.

These regionally organized Councils are intended to grapple with topics that should be on the table for annual Congress for the New Urbanism meetings but require give-and-take from a smaller group to better focus issues. So some 50 or so folks came to Montgomery to critique recent ideas and projects and to wrestle with propositions to position New Urbanism for the New Normal.

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After the Flood: Hard choices for communities and citizens

Virginia Republican Eric Cantor, majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, caught a lot of grief for suggesting there should be budget cuts elsewhere to offset the extra federal dollars that FEMA needed to do its job as tornadoes, floods and winds assaulted the eastern U.S. But at least he was being consistent as a deficit hawk and fearless — if naive — in the face of some ugly truths.

The ugliest of them: We want a bunch of stuff we’re not willing to pay for. And because democracy allows us to vote our delusions, we don’t plan to stop wanting or to start paying anytime soon.

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