Well, here goes nothing. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a city and town planning blog for a few years, and I think it’s time to give it a shot. Here are some of the ideas that I’ll be working with on this site, in no particular order.
All things being equal, I believe it is better to build communities in an urban pattern than a suburban pattern, for numerous reasons. But most importantly, an urban pattern makes it possible to live a significant portion of one’s life on foot, while a suburban pattern generally makes this difficult, if not impossible. A community where you can participate by walking (or using a wheelchair) is inherently inclusive physically, and this generates numerous benefits socially. I’ll talk about these benefits as time goes by.
Being urban has nothing to do with the size of a community in terms of population or building height, though they are often correlated. You can have urban towns of under 500 people, and suburban cities of hundreds of thousands of residents.
I believe that the benefits of a community built in an urban pattern inevitably demonstrate network effects; the more continuous urban fabric in your community, the more variety you will find in local restaurants, the better your transit system will function, the stronger and deeper your labor markets become, and the more opportunities there are for people of all ages, backgrounds, and income levels to enjoy shared community benefits.
I hope to kickstart discussions of some ideas that I think don’t get enough attention, as well as respond to emerging local issues in Carrboro. As I do, I’d love to hear what you think as well. My first regular piece comes out Tuesday at 7:00 am, and focuses on Informal Markets and their history in cities and towns around the world. I hope you come back and check it out.
Thanks for reading!
Filed under: Definitions