A behind the scenes look at what makes cities tick. Whether financing infrastructure, adapting to climate change, or building more affordable housing, a big part of innovative solutions can be traced back to land.
info_outline Housing at a time of crisis 07/09/2020
Housing at a time of crisis The coronavirus pandemic and growing outrage about racial injustice have underscored the centrality of healthy, well-located, and affordable housing in society. Author Kim Vermeer and smart growth advocate Andre Leroux assess efforts to create more housing options to address longstanding economic and racial disparities.
info_outline Oakland aims to build back better 05/30/2020
Oakland aims to build back better For Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, the coronavirus crisis began when California Governor Gavin Newsom asked to allow sick passengers to disembark from the Crown Princess cruise ship. And life as mayor of this Bay Area city of 435,000 has not been the same since. Schaaf oversaw a successful lockdown, placed the homeless in vacant hotel rooms, and closed streets to vehicular traffic to encourage biking and walking. Now she wants to make Oakland more sustainable and equitable than before the pandemic struck.
info_outline The future of cities in the pandemic 04/30/2020
The future of cities in the pandemic The coronavirus pandemic has changed virtually all aspects of urban life, both now and for the foreseeable future. Cities like Detroit – before the crisis, arguably on the brink of a rebound -- now must make a range of adjustments in programs and initiatives in their quest for equitable regeneration. The long recovery ahead will move from near-term responses to a more holistic re-imagining of how communities function, according to two leaders at the Lincoln Institute’s Center for Community Investment.
info_outline Plotting the Planet’s Urban Future 02/26/2020
Plotting the Planet’s Urban Future Financing urban infrastructure and promoting decent, affordable housing were both big topics at the United Nations global cities summit, the World Urban Forum, recently held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Architect and urban planner Claudio Acioly helps explain the worldwide effort to improve conditions in fast-growing cities in the developing world, where one of four people live in slums.
info_outline In Praise of Global Agreements 01/31/2020
In Praise of Global Agreements The new year is a time to set goals for the future. But what happens when an entire planet tries to make a common pledge? Economist and Lincoln Institute President George W. “Mac” McCarthy takes stock of an impressive roster of global agreements, from the ozone-repairing Montreal Protocol to the Paris climate accord and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in the spotlight at the World Urban Forum 10 in Abu Dhabi.
info_outline Hartford is Ready for a Reboot 12/18/2019
Hartford is Ready for a Reboot A classic post-industrial city on the brink of bankruptcy, Hartford, Connecticut has overhauled its zoning and turned abandoned factories into craft breweries and makers spaces. Can the city be just as creative in replacing a crumbling 1960s-era highway through downtown? Planning commissioner Sara Bronin talks about the cutting-edge urban planning practices she hopes will put the city back on the map.
info_outline Designing the Future City 11/19/2019
Designing the Future City Cities around the world are hard at work on traffic congestion. Boston has established multi-modal street layouts and special drop-off zones for Uber and Lyft, at Fenway Park. But the task is about to get more complex, with the advent of driverless vehicles, delivery robots, and AI-enabled trackless trams -- all of which will require a more wholesale transformation of the cityscape. In this episode, the Lincoln Institute’s Heather Hannon explains how scenario planning can help design the future city.
info_outline The (Late) Great Climate Change Mobilization 10/23/2019
The (Late) Great Climate Change Mobilization Climate change can seem like an insurmountable challenge. But many tools and policies to decarbonize the economy and build resilience are readily available, says Billy Fleming, director of The McHarg Center and one of the editors of the new Lincoln Institute book Design with Nature Now. The green and blue infrastructure systems detailed in the book are proven solutions that need only be implemented on a larger scale – in a national mobilization similar to preparing for war or sending a man to the moon
info_outline Moves by Minneapolis 09/30/2019
Moves by Minneapolis Minneapolis may seem like an unlikely place for the start of a revolution. But as City Councilor Lisa Bender explains, the Midwestern city has passed some of the most progressive housing policies and zoning reforms in the country. The measures, including banning single-family-only zoning, are based on one important idea: that when local government changes the rules of the game to allow more building, the public should get something back in the form of more affordability.
info_outline Solutions in Slums 08/26/2019
Solutions in Slums Slums have been a feature of cities for centuries, and accelerating global urbanization has led to an estimated 1 billion living in substandard conditions. But what if cities stopped thinking of informal settlement as a problem to be solved? In this episode, the Lincoln Institute’s Enrique Silva and Theresa Williamson, who has worked for years in Rio’s favelas, exchange ideas about how to make improvements in existing communities while promoting alternatives for future settlement.
info_outline Water Meets Land 07/18/2019
Water Meets Land As the global water crisis intensifies, the Colorado River Basin is poised to become a model for how to bring together stakeholders representing agriculture, urban areas, and the natural environment. In this episode, we’ve put together highlights and takeaways from the 2019 Journalists Forum (#WaterMeetsLand) – including the importance of considering the central role of land use in the management of a dwindling resource. For more: https://www.lincolninst.edu/publications/articles/water-planning
info_outline Yes in My Backyard 06/11/2019
Yes in My Backyard The “Yes in My Backyard” movement seeks to increase the supply of housing in cities across the US, to help bring sky-high prices down. But YIMBYs face a backlash from neighborhood activists fearful of gentrification and displacement. In this episode, author and tenants advocate Randy Shaw sizes up what's needed for true affordability, including the concept of inclusionary housing. For further reading, see “Backyard Brouhaha” in Land Lines https://www.lincolninst.edu/publications/series/land-lines-ma
info_outline Let's Talk TIF 05/23/2019
Let's Talk TIF Tax increment financing is one of the most widely used – and least understood – public finance mechanisms in the U.S. today. David Merriman, author of the Lincoln Institute report Improving TIF for Economic Development, talks about what communities can do to avoid the pitfalls. For further reading, see also The Hidden Costs of TIF in Land Lines.