Some interesting data found and shared by Market Urbanism:

With nothing quick to blog about and not being in the mood to write something long, I dug into the Google Scholar pool for some interesting empirical work, which is something this blog hasn’t featured in a while.  This paper shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but it’s interesting empirical work nonetheless (.pdf):

The foregoing analysis suggests that patterns and processes of racial segregation in the post-civil rights American city are strongly affected by density zoning. At any point in time from 1990 to 2000, intermetropolitan variation in Black-White segregation and Black isolation was strongly predicted by a metropolitan area’s relative openness to housing construction, as embodied in maximum zoning rules—the greater the allowable density, the lower the level of racial segregation. Moreover, our instrumental variable analysis suggests that the causal arrow runs from regulation to segregation even if the reverse is also true.

In keeping with these cross-sectional findings, we also found that the prospects for desegregation are greater in areas with more liberal density regulations. From 1980 to 2000, metropolitan areas that allowed higher density development moved more rapidly toward racial integration than their counterparts with strict density limitations, even after controlling for a battery of social, geographic, and economic characteristics and for potential reverse causality between segregation and zoning. Our confidence that anti-density zoning is a true source of segregation is increased by a recent working paper by Rothwell (2009b) that uses the same data and finds essentially the same results for levels of Asian and Hispanic segregation, and consistent with Pendall’s (2000) analysis, we do not find any consistent pattern emerging for other land-use regulations. …More

What do you think?  Does traditional zoning exacerbate racial segregation in our urban and suburban areas?

Living Architecture Monitor;a magazine that advocates for green roofs, has dedicated its current issue to innovative urban agriculture policies and projects. Included are articles on designing the edible building envelope, Seattle's recently adopted urban ag policies, Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, rooftop pollinating in New York City, the economic valuation of rooftop farming, and macro-scale food production in Toronto. More here

As we prepare for the holiday weekend, we’re giving thanks for the parts of our transportation system that have worked well throughout an otherwise challenging week so far around these parts.

We’ll also be giving thanks for the great effort by many of you over the past few months in the fight for a future of smart transportation in Seattle. There are heroes among us!

Here’s an update on the campaign:

Yesterday, the Seattle City Council passed the city’s 2011-12 budget. Our elected leaders faced the daunting task of closing a $67 million deficit while maintaining crucial city services. We are proud to say that the city’s 2011-12 budget takes a number of positive steps in the right direction towards providing transportation choices that will make our city safe and accessible for everyone. However, we will need to take much larger steps next year if we are serious about funding a transportation system that works for our future.

Positive steps this year include:

·      Spending on the pedestrian and bicycle master plans will increase by seven percent over 2010;

·      Funding for basic street maintenance will increase by over $1 million in both 2011 and 2012;

·      A $784,000 increase in the Neighborhood Projects Fund (small pedestrian and bicycle improvements); and

·      A nearly $2 million increase for Mobility Operations, such as wayfinding, the Transit Master Plan, and safety projects.

Prior to the budget process the City Council also passed a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) and will form a public advisory committee to advise the Council on transportation priorities. The Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee 3 (CTAC-3) will report back to the Mayor and City Council early next summer with recommendations to design, fund and build a transportation infrastructure that aligns with the values and priorities of our citizens. The City Council enacted a vehicle license fee as part of this legislation to fund pedestrian and bicycle improvements and help support basic street maintenance.

None of this would have been possible without Streets For All Seattle volunteers like you, who “dominated the mic” and packed the house at budget hearings, sent thousands of emails to the City Council in support of our goals, and provided our elected leaders with the support they needed to do the right thing.

In fact, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, Chair of the Transportation Committee, wrote us last week because he:

“…wanted to thank you and the other members of the Streets for All Seattle campaign for all your hard work over the last year to elevate the importance of increased investment in Seattle’s bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure…. I believe your work was critical in getting us to create a TBD and pass the $20 VLF earlier this year. I also believe we would not be moving forward with CTAC-3 but for your advocacy.”

City Council President Richard Conlin added that: “…with all of this work and commitment, and the strong advocacy of a new coalition called Streets for All Seattle…we have a great opportunity to move forward together with increased ped/bike investments.”

While we applaud these positive steps, the City Council missed an opportunity to significantly increase funding for pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements when they failed to pass the larger revenue increase proposed in the budget. Despite modest increases in funding for walking, biking and transit, this budget barely makes a dent in meeting the great remaining needs for sidewalks, transit, and bike facilities in our city.

But this campaign has always been about more than this year’s budget process – it’s about engaging the entire city in a conversation on how to make Seattle into the city we want it to be. That’s why we’ll be back in 2011 to work with the City Council, Mayor McGinn, and people like you to build a transportation system that will make Seattle work for our future. Stay tuned for updates about our plans moving forward.

Firefly Kitchens was excited to learn last week that it was a finalist in the National Good Food Awards in the Pickle Category for their Yin Yang Carrots. Although this is the first year of the Good Food Awards, 780 products were entered from 41 states, in the categories of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, pickles, and preserves. Lucky [...] No related posts.

This evening’s discussion about the Sign Code has been postponed one week to November 30.

Rescheduled—Due to snow Event: SEATTLE SKYLINE CHANGES
New Date: Tuesday, November 30, 2010 from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (PT)
For more information click here:
Call with any questions: 206/622-4322


One of the all time best urban design studies is now available online. William “Holly” Whyte’s Secret Life of Small Urban Spaces is a tour de force cinematic study of how people actually use urban spaces in New York.

whyte styles from chris woebken on Vimeo.


Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan

h/t The Infrastructurist


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