San Francisco must change. "...the current state of permitting regulations for building and the glacial pace of infrastructure projects in San Francisco benefit very few people and risk turning it into a caricature of its former self for tourists and residents rich enough to live in a fantasy, not a living city. If there was ever a time when San Francisco needed to embrace a dynamic, expansive policy for building housing, offices and transportation, it is now." (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
As suburbs become home to more poor people, immigrants, minorities, senior citizens and households with no children and we face what may be the end of suburbia, planners are wondering what do we do with suburbs? [more inside]
Tomorrow in Las Vegas, a mixed hotel/condominium called Vdara will open for business on the spot once occupied by the unlamented Boardwalk Hotel and Casino. It is the first stage of the CityCenter complex, the largest privately financed development in the United States, which has already cost $8.5 billion and six lives. Even before the recent debt-restructuring woes of 50% stakeholder Dubai World, there was concern over CityCenter's impact on the struggling local economy. (previously) [more inside]
Lexington’s Mayor, Jim Newberry, bristled at critical questions about The Dame block, “Nothing of consequence ever happened on that block.” Richie Wireman begs to differ. [more inside]
For the last two years, Flickr user HK Man has been collecting old photos of Hong Kong, finding the exact spots at which they were taken, and taking them again. The result, from his first photo of Victoria Harbor to a more recent one of Nathan Road, comprises a chronicle of Hong Kong's unrestrained vertical development over the past few decades. In a similar vein, Gwulo is a community site for "for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong" and includes photos, mysteries, and discussions -- such as this one about old Kai Tak Airport. [more inside]
Red Hook is New York's perennial next-year neighborhood, perenially held back by huge housing projects and bad transportation, despite some ambitious proposals. Ikea's proposed store has been the subject of a long battle between "it'll bring jobs" and "it'll destroy the neighborhood". It's finally going to happen, and soon these buildings will be a parking lot.
HUD money for poor now earmarked for religious buildings. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, says "The 'faith-based initiative' was bad enough, but now Bush wants taxpayers to foot the bill for church expansion projects. This policy is outrageous as well as patently unconstitutional; it is bound to spark litigation." [ACLU article here]