|Asakusa District, Tokyo|
Another very pleasant shopping street, in Osaka.
|Asakusa District, Tokyo|
|Source: Massengale & Co. LLC, Dover, Kohl & Partners et al., via Urban Design Week 2011|
|The plaza looking west, with 47th Street at right. Source: Old Urbanist|
|Source: New York Observer.|
"In part at least, the obstacles to integration are harder to detect than the culprits behind discrimination. They take the form not of malicious real estate agents or red-lining banks. Rather, integration is stalled or blocked today by exclusionary zoning that keeps lower-income people or new affordable housing out of many communities. This means that furthering the goals of the Fair Housing Act in 2013 is a complex problem of planning and land use that goes far beyond rebuking anyone who won't offer a black family a home."In remarks last week on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, President Obama alluded to similar notions in the context of civil rights:
"In some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination – the very significance of these victories may have obscured a second goal of the march, for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in search of some abstract idea. They were there seeking jobs as well as justice – not just the absence of oppression but the presence of economic opportunity. For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can't afford the meal?"To that it might be added, what use is it to have legally integrated communities if one can't afford to live in them? The connection between exclusionary zoning and integration, not only of races but of classes, generations and household types, has been extensively studied, from 1992's American Apartheid to 2003's Unfair Housing to 2012's Snob Zones. A recent article chronicles the inexplicable failures of successive administrations, both Republican and Democrat, to affirmatively promote integration. That so little has been achieved in rolling back exclusionary zoning shouldn't come as much surprise, however, given the focus of the Act itself and the precedents set by state and federal courts.
"A 2009 settlement between the county and the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York … mandated that Westchester build and acquire 750 units of affordable housing in its wealthiest, and least diverse, communities over the course of seven years. The case came about as a result of the anti-discrimination center’s claims that the county had zoning that was exclusionary based on race."Such inadequate remedies involving the construction of insufficient quantities of housing without challenging the exclusionary codes themselves seem aimed more at "sticking it" to wealthy communities rather than actually providing reasonably priced homes for a majority of those in the county, regardless of their race. And although there is at least a dawning awareness that segregation and affordability are linked, the focus on the former – the symptom – detracts from real achievement on the latter.
|Source: Urban Institute|
"The plain truth is that the true object of the ordinance in question is to place all the property in an undeveloped area of 16 square miles in a strait-jacket. The purpose to be accomplished is really to regulate the mode of living of persons who may hereafter inhabit it. In the last analysis, the result to be accomplished is to classify the population and segregate them according to their income or situation in life."
|From Livable Norwalk: public parking in blue, private in orange.|
"Dan Mauney keeps misplacing his car. Mr. Mauney, 42, lives in an apartment tower in this city’s Uptown neighborhood, a pedestrian-friendly quarter with new office buildings, sparkling museums and ambitious restaurants. He so seldom needs to drive that when he does go to retrieve his car in his building’s garage, he said, 'I always forget where I parked it.'"Although Mauney may have little "need" to drive his car, need does not always align with behavior when it comes to transportation choice. When one's car is steps away from the front door, its use, relative to need, is likely to be high, even where other options are available. By contrast, where the car is kept in a remote storage facility, out of sight and immediate access, it is likely that use of the car more closely coincides with genuine need. In Mauney's case, that need turns out to be surprisingly low.