To most people, zoning and land-use regulations might conjure up little more than images of late-night City Council meetings full of gadflies and minutiae. But these laws go a long way toward determining some fundamental aspects of life: what American neighborhoods look like, who gets to live where and what schools their children attend.
And when zoning laws get out of hand, economists say, the damage to the American economy and society can be profound. — the New York Times
Last week the city council in Mountain View, California, took a significant step toward addressing Silicon Valley's housing affordability crisis. The city approved a new planning document for its North Bayshore district that envisions the creation of up to 10,250 units of high-density housing. Mountain View only has about 32,000 households total, so that would be a substantial 32 percent increase
[...] — Vox
"Of course these so-called 'poor doors' are shocking, but they are a symptom, not the problem," says Michael Edwards, senior lecturer at the Bartlett school of planning at UCL. "We've simply stopped building proper social housing, and until that's addressed then fiddling around with front-door arrangements is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic." — theguardian.com
New York City is moving forward with a proposal that calls for a new high-rise apartment complex to feature separate doors for wealthy tenants and those living in the building’s affordable housing unit.
While wealthy residents will be able to enter the building from its designated front entrance, affordable housing tenants will be required to go in through a back alley.
A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off. — RT
Some have already joked about the city's future three million square foot "wellness district,” saying it is being designed for those who shop not only for new outfits, but also for new bodies.
According to the project's press release, the domed wellness area "will offer a holistic experience to medical tourists and their families, ensuring access to quality healthcare, specialized surgical procedures and cosmetic treatments." — RT
The Wall Street Journal calls this "Fighting Urban Blight With Art". Liz Thomas, the curator of the project, calls it "an experience that asks people to think about this space that they hurtle through every day".
The project is not actually fighting blight, of course - only the ability of Amtrak customers to see it. — Al Jazeera
One problem with our obsession with gentrification as the end-all of urban equity issues is that it discourages us from talking about other important things happening in our cities. In some instances, gentrification has become such a dominating narrative that it has completely erased broader trends that we really ought to be concerned about.
Case in point: Brooklyn is getting poorer. — danielkayhertz.com
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