Category: Foundations

Fourplexes and Flexibility

Fourplexes have many advantages for communities and their residents. Some of the advantages, when compared generally to single-family on the same parcel size, are: Higher property values and tax income Promote the density needed for retail investment and therefore walkability Great first-time investor owner-occupied opportunities (aka house hacking) Consolidated maintenance Can be financed through single-family […]

How to Improve Walkability

Walkability usually refers to how urban and how likely people are to walk in an area. There are many definitions and metrics for walkability. Urban scientists often measure block size or distance between intersections. One of the more highly rated mainstream sources on walkability is Jeff Speck with his book Walkable City and more recently, […]

Should We Save Your City? Minimum Viable Urbanism

Many cities around the world are experiencing migration from smaller rural towns to larger cities. That’s not new. What makes a town or a city enough of a city to focus our efforts on? What predicts the difference between a strong town, a quaint tourist destination, or a blighted or even ghost town? In entrepreneur […]

Paradigms for the Built Environment

In addition to the various perspective of professions related to the built environment, there are macro-level perspectives I want to further discuss. They are a long time scale, user experience, network science, ecology, and spiral dynamics. Many people do not realize that the suburban development pattern is a recent post-WWII invention. Beyond our building patterns, […]