How Immigrants Can Revitalize Rural Communities

For much of its history, Siler City, North Carolina was mostly white; now, due to jobs in poultry processing, the town is 40% Latinx. Driving through downtown, the demographic change is marked by the tiendas, beauty salons, and evangelical churches with signs en español that line the streets. Like many towns across the state, Siler City suffered when the furniture and textile industries moved elsewhere. … Continue reading How Immigrants Can Revitalize Rural Communities

Why Planners Should Study Finance

In 2016, Oregon planners hoped to take advantage of a new light-rail line between Portland and Gresham, a suburban city towards the east, by developing a mixed-use community around Gresham’s rail station. The project would be a walkable transit-hub in a city otherwise dominated by single-family homes and automobiles. But Metro – Portland’s regional government that purchased the land – faced a problem. Nearly all … Continue reading Why Planners Should Study Finance

Path to Peace: Road Building and Recovery in Afghanistan

While Americans are debating a Hyperloop, electric scooters, and ride-hailing services, some people are still just trying to access basic road infrastructure. Take Kunar, Afghanistan: located on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Kunar is a stronghold for the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), the Afghan branch of ISIS. Despite the ongoing violence in Kunar, the government has been unable to advance its counter-terrorism agenda … Continue reading Path to Peace: Road Building and Recovery in Afghanistan

Not All Developers Are Boogeymen

So why do people hate developers so much? UCLA conducted a study to examine just that, and their conclusion boils down to two primary reasons. First, developers generally get in and out of the market as quickly as possible to reduce risk, limiting their ability to engage with the community. Second, people do not like that developers make money by building public and private space … Continue reading Not All Developers Are Boogeymen

Hazard Mitigation and Hurricane Harvey: Reflections on a Conversation with Dr. Galen Newman

The following is derived from an interview about the 2017 disaster with Dr. Galen Newman, a Fellow in the Institute for Sustainable Communities and a member of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. His research focuses primarily on urban regeneration and flood resilience. Harvey was different. While many hurricanes pose serious flooding risks to coastal areas, the danger often lies in … Continue reading Hazard Mitigation and Hurricane Harvey: Reflections on a Conversation with Dr. Galen Newman

Honk for Wildlife! And Other Neighborhood Tales

For much of the professional field, planning takes place in civic buildings, government halls, and non-profit offices. The range of their consideration can extend throughout a city or even an entire region. But for much of America, how neighborhoods function and how daily life gets lived is negotiated at a smaller scale. One (often amusing) way that this occurs is through the neighborhood listserv, which … Continue reading Honk for Wildlife! And Other Neighborhood Tales

Short-Term Rentals and Housing Affordability in Asheville, NC

What happens when a city’s economic growth and its affordability to residents are in competition? Last month, Asheville’s City Council voted to enact rules to slow the development of vacation rentals in its downtown area.  The new rules come in the wake of the rapid conversion of housing into short-term rentals, which local leaders believe has  complicated an increasingly expensive housing market.  The development highlights … Continue reading Short-Term Rentals and Housing Affordability in Asheville, NC