“Hyperdensity” and providing cities the room to grow

CC image from Alan Grinberg

The first thing crossing my mind when reading Vishann Chakrabarti’s piece in Design Observer (Building Hyperdensity and Civic Delight) was: what the hell is ‘hyperdensity?’ Thankfully, Chakrabarti answers that question in the first paragraph: “density sufficient to support subways.”

The second thing to cross my mind was why he

Continue reading “Hyperdensity” and providing cities the room to grow

Crowdfunding and cooperatives – more thoughts on Fundrise and alternative models for urban development and finance

CC image from harrypope

Following up on the previous post on the limits and potential benefits of Fundrise:

First, from Payton Chung, an excellent breakdown of the limits and potential benefits of the crowdfunding platform. Payton identifies three general benefits to a Fundrise-like system: ‘slower’ and cheaper money; participation and trust of the investors;

Continue reading Crowdfunding and cooperatives – more thoughts on Fundrise and alternative models for urban development and finance

Real estate as investment vs. real estate as city-building

CC image from John M.

Fundrise is one of the most hyped developments in real estate in recent years. Is it a major shift in real estate investment? Maybe, maybe not. If nothing else, Fundrise and the surrounding hype/criticism exposes the dual nature of real estate as both an investment and the critical element

Continue reading Real estate as investment vs. real estate as city-building

Housing demand and the regulatory path of least resistance: Seattle and microapartments

Seattle Space Needle. Photo by author.

The feature piece in The Stranger last month delved deeply into Seattle’s trend of micro-apartments. Dominic Holden offers an in-depth look at not just the development trends, but the politics of the policy and planning conversation around development in an expanding city.

A few things popped out:

Room

Continue reading Housing demand and the regulatory path of least resistance: Seattle and microapartments

Shifting DC’s mode share – Sustainable DC’s complimentary policies of population growth and increasing non-auto transportation

Last month, the Washington Post’s Dr. Gridlock column profiled DC’s various new transportation investments might change transportation in the District. However, Dr. Gridlock used some odd phrasing to frame the city’s varied goals:

“In the Sustainable D.C. plan we released earlier this year,” the mayor said at the crosswalk event, “we set an aggressive-but-realistic goal

Continue reading Shifting DC’s mode share – Sustainable DC’s complimentary policies of population growth and increasing non-auto transportation

Frager’s Hardware

Yesterday evening, Frager’s Hardware went up in flames in a four-alarm blaze. The iconic neighborhood institution has been in operation since 1920.

It’s the kind of neighborhood store many would love to have. At the same time, the store represents more than just a hardware store. While it can’t compete with the big box stores

Continue reading Frager’s Hardware

On restaurants, retail, and clustering – agglomeration economies and urban retail trends

A few intersecting stories regarding retail and restaurants:

In DC, a group of activists are pushing a moratorium on new liquor licenses for 14th and U and environs. There has been substantial pushback to the idea of a moratorium, yet proponents insist the dominance of bars and restaurants are crowding out brick-and-mortar

Continue reading On restaurants, retail, and clustering – agglomeration economies and urban retail trends