Rebuilding place in the urban space: there should be a 1% for

Seattle Now Has the Right to Levy a 1% Income Tax

Transportation architecture as civic architecture. The basic point is that it shouldn't be that hard to take the extra time and money to make transportation infrastructure simultaneous recognize its responsibility to function as civic architecture in a manner that enhances communities, rather than merely facilitate the movement of people and goods. The most current discussion of the concept is developed in " Town-city management: we are all asset managers now.

But that program was eliminated by the Republican Congress in the passage of the most recent transportation funding act.

Percent for art programs. During the Great Depression, the federal building program instituted a program that put one percent of the total budget for a project into "art and decoration. Since the initial federal program, many cities and states have adopted similar programs. Art funding for transportation projects. Many transit agencies have similar programs Best Practices for Integrating Art into Capital Projectsbooklet and report American Public Transportation Association and often public art--murals especially and sculpture--is incorporated into road, streetscape, and bridge projects.

But it is more miss than hit when it comes to road projects. Roadside Landscaping. Many jurisdictions provide some landscaping for beautification and vegetation management purposes, either at the city, county, or state scale. The genesis for many of these programs was in the " parkway " approach to building long distance roads, although this way of building roads was supplanted by the creation of the Interstate Highway system " Historic Roads in the National Park System ," NPS.

From the report: The idea of parkways grew out of 19th century efforts to create beautify cities by creating grand, landscaped boulevards for the purpose of recreational pleasure afforded by walking, riding, driving carriages, and the social interaction that went along with it.

Characteristics of these roads included limited-rights-of-way, careful plantings and landscape articulation, exclusion of commercial vehicles, and limited access. Often these boulevards were the approach roads to city parks, or connecting roads between them. But quite quickly, the Macaulay mural was tagged with graffiti — and then repaired — the year it was created under the initiative of then-Gov.

Lincoln Chafee. Martin explained Monday. Martin said. Martin said, and the DOT no longer has a muralist on standby. That's a programmatic failure, and maybe a lack of money, but rather than be resigned to painting the graffiti over, why not address the need to provide operating funding to maintain murals and other placemaking elements of road projects?

Why not create a "percent for placemaking" "highway" transportation program?

rebuilding place in the urban space: there should be a 1% for

Rather than just focus on public art, although "art" can be interpreted pretty expansively and includes street furnishings, pavement treatments, and other elements, "percent for art" programs should be repositioned as "percent for placemaking" programs, and systematically address treatments that include murals and sculptures, but go beyond it. Places that don't have such programs should be encouraged to create them. Basically, eligible projects should include most of what had been part of the former transportation enhancements program, with the addition of public art elements.

May 1, But it should be done in a systematic fashion, especially with road projects, so elements treated as utilitarian elements like freeway abutments can be made more aesthetically attractive. Include maintenance as a part of the program. The incident in Providence indicates that there should be funding set aside not just for creating placemaking elements but also for maintaining them.

rebuilding place in the urban space: there should be a 1% for

The way to do so would be to include funding for maintenance as part of "percent for placemaking" programs. Virginia DOT is doing a special treatment for freeway abutments in the Haymarket area.The Baltimore Sun has a long piece, " One year of BaltimoreLink bus system: Ridership bounces back, reliability still falls short ," evaluating the quantum scale changes to the Baltimore-area bus system one year later.

For many, the changes have lengthened trip times. The reorganization was organized into what I term primary and secondary transit subnetworks. Note that during the Ehrlich Administration MTA created a network of limited stop faster routes called the QuickBus, which was the genesis of the new CityLink network, although focused on Baltimore City as opposed to longer city-suburban routes, like the QuickBus 48 route on York Road to Towson. According to the launch websitethe system has added bus traffic signal prioritization on some routes, dedicated busways on some streets, better facilities, improvements in signage and real-time schedule displays, and connections to a richer set of "last mile connections" like bike share and car share.

The changes came with bus livery redesign, new logos, and cross-marketing of the new system on light rail and subway cars. It's hard to tell if the changes have made for a better transit system.

BaltimoreLink launched in June with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new West Baltimore transfer center on Smallwood Street. Given that a lot of these massive overhauls of route structures for transit systems don't seem to result in significant ridership gains see the January entry, " Improving bus service overall vs. But what are the right things?

I have to acknowledge that maybe repositioning and rebranding bus service as premium, by switching to double deck buses, might not be enough. Although in London and other UK cities it works just fine, and more people ride buses in London on a daily basis than the entire railroad system in the UK.

Introducing new buses and repositioning bus transit needs to be complemented with a series of other improvements to the provision of the service--I outlined eight categories of improvements which is why the entry is way too long.

I think another point is pricing and other incentives. For example, in Columbus, Ohio they are introducing free transit passes to downtown workers as a transportation demand management measure " Downtown Columbus parking issues getting partial fix as workers getting free COTA passes ," Columbus Business First.

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That would get more choice riders onto buses. But it's not like MTA doesn't provide a number of incentive programs for discounted transit passes, such as to colleges and employers. London has capping and Edmonton is thinking about it " Thinking systematically about bus transit service improvements: spurred by Columbia SC, Edmonton AB, and Baltimore ," In Orlando, with the "new" commuter rail system, they spend more money on the cost of collecting fares than they make in fares, " SunRail ticket revenue is less than ticketing expense ," Orlando Sentinel.

I think it comes back to density, proximity of activity centers, and the relative efficiency of transit. If transit is reasonably efficient and cost effective, especially if you have to pay for parking, or the city is dense like most core center cities, you can get higher ridership. Otherwise, transit is more of a social service--at least bus service is--and your ability to grow the service is constrained.While not the sweeping outcome that progressive tax reform activists desired when they drew up this legislation, the ruling does clear the way for a new progressive revenue source—and at a time when Seattle badly needs it.

With the coronavirus pandemic snarling the economy to a halt and blowing budget holes left and right, State, County, and City services could be eviscerated unless lawmakers act quickly. Some of that revenue could returned to low-income households via rebate to make the impact more equitable.

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Even without a rebate, income taxes are more progressive than sales taxes since lower income households spend more of their income and high-income households save and invest more, keeping more of their paycheck immune to a sales tax hit. Early indications are that Mayor Jenny Durkan and the Seattle City Council—which unanimously passed the income tax that triggered this court ruling—are interested in pursuing an income tax.

Until that more equitable system is built, low-income people find themselves in the crosshairs of the unfolding pandemic crisis. Social services and equity efforts are often the first to be cut. Governor Inslee painted the cuts as necessary to meet the looming fiscal crisis.

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Wilson said that in addition to filling budget holes, an income tax could also be designed to avoid low-income households. Nonetheless, the window for progressive tax reform may finally be approaching. Given the narrow margin, a challenge originating from state legislative action might fare better.

The statewide effort may taken longer than the City effort, but progressive advocates see it as a race with the effects of the encroaching recession and hope to forge ahead on all fronts. We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a non-profit that depends on donations from readers like you.

Lee Bruch, that would be illegal.

The Top 10 Cities for Urban Farming

Many large businesses in Washington may end up relocating to Texas. Boeing is already set up to do so and most likely will in the next 5 years. Liberals need to stop thinking they can spend and tax for pet projects.

Homelessness is getting worse in Seattle because homeless people are migrating because they know the liberals will provide for them and not arrest them for selling drugs. Make it a tax that applies to ALL income, corporations, businesses, and individuals. And include a large deduction for the lower income levels of local businesses and individuals.

Unfortunately only the state leg can create exemptions, and there are limits on what they can do because of the state constitution. Sunday, 19 July, The Urbanist. Credit: Nathantain, Flickr.A report from the U. So what does this mean exactly?

Well, you no longer have to own land to be a farmer. It can mean everything from growing herbs and small crops on the rooftop of a high-rise condo to raising chickens in a backyard, to planting food alongside neighbors in a community garden. Urban agriculture turns lawns, patios and parks into prolific farms, which creates more local food sources, builds communities, promotes sustainability and can make for a pretty fulfilling hobby!

Based on our findings, here are the top 10 U. Yep, you heard right! Eugenenot Portland, earned the top spot on our list of best cities for urban farming, with The downtown farmers market is bustling on any Saturday and the local food scene is thriving.

According to Eugene-or. A local store, The Eugene Backyard Farmersells a medley of supplies for urban farming including seeds, gardening tools, soil and even chicks and ducklings. So why Eugene and not Portland? Redfin real estate agent Matthew Brennan says Eugene is more affordable and has more space than Portland, making it a destination for those who crave a sustainable lifestyle.

Burlingtonthe most populated city in Vermont, came in second on our list, with Alison Nihart, assistant to the food systems initiative at the University of Vermont, said Burlington offers a myriad of benefits to urban food producers including a robust community gardening program run by the city, and strong farm-to-school programs in the Burlington School District, including school gardens and summer programs for students.

The city also has an innovative and progressive municipal policy that supports urban livestock and garden structures like greenhouses and hoophouses, Nihart says.

David Harvey, Talk, 24 October 2018

Urban gardeners in Burlington have access to many resources, including the Vermont Community Garden Networkwhich teaches kids and adults how to grow their own food and connects local gardeners to resources and to each other. Santa Rosa grabbed the number three spot on our list, with Sonoma County, she says, is a very biodiverse region, which allows residents to produce high quality organic foods and artisan products.

Those products, she says, are often sought out by many of the top chefs and restaurants in the Bay Area.

Residents of Greenvillea beautiful city in the upstate region of South Carolina, have also shown an interest in urban farming.

Sixteen percent of listings in Greenville included one of our keywords. Redfin real estate agent Jim Brown says much of the demand for farm-friendly housing is driven by health-conscious millennials who are flocking to Greenville due to its quality of life, low living costs and high-tech and engineering job opportunities. A local organization called Gardening for Good focuses on supporting existing community gardens, and has partnered up with LiveWell Greenville to build new gardens in food deserts of Greenville county.

Local children benefit from touring these urban farms, so close to their homes, schools and playgrounds. They learn about nutrition, the environment and whole food production, hopefully encouraging a future generation of urban farmers. Brent Buffington, executive director of Growing Orlandotold Redfin that in comparison to other cities, Orlando still has a lot of ground to make up in the food movement. We have also begun reversing old laws to allow for a more dynamic food economy that includes laying hens, front yard gardens and urban farms.

A nonprofit called IDEAS For Us started an initiative called fleet farmingwhich helps set up home farms and utilizes bicycles to bring fresh produce to local venues and farmers markets. Farming may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Bay Area, but San Francisco snagged the number six spot on our list with Others, like Community Grows and Slide Ranchaim to connect children with nature, and teach the fundamentals of gardening, cooking, healthy living and sustainability.

We frequently get to visit well designed urban gardens and chicken coops on our home tours here. Buyers enjoy living in a city that encourages sustainability practices. Lane says the sunshine and moderate high desert climate supports the objectives of the sustainably minded community — and there are abundant resources to help community members interested in getting involved.

Duke City Fixa local community blog, runs a forum called ABQ Chicken Keepers that is also a great resource for those new to raising chickens.Now, she may be kicked out " in the Washington Post describes how a low income tenant in social housing was served an eviction notice for smoking in the common areas of the complex, which has a smoking restriction clause in the lease.

One of the commenters made a good point, that the property manager, before taking the extreme action of eviction, could offer smoking cessation classes as a type of warning.

rebuilding place in the urban space: there should be a 1% for

That makes sense to me. The eviction machine. In the vein of the book Evictedthe Guardian has an article on " America's eviction epidemic ," focusing on Richmond, Virginia, North Carolina, and Atlanta. In Richmond, the city housing authority is a major proponent of eviction. Evading tenant protections in Toronto. The Toronto Star reports " This Toronto renter fought eviction from a man who bought just 1 per cent of the house.

From the article Jacky Bai Jun Liu, a first-time homebuyer in his early 20s, had acquired the landlord title after he was sold just a one per cent stake in the house in midsummer. McKenzie told the Star that Liu had told her during a phone call he was a Ryerson student and intended to move his friends into the house. Almost immediately after the sale, Liu moved to evict seven tenants from two units, in June serving them with an N12 notice co-signed by one of the primary homeowners, informing them that Liu intended to exercise his legal right to take over the property for personal use.

New York City special eviction protections. InNew York City passed a "Right to Counsel" law, which provides legal representation in eviction matters for people who are below the federal poverty line. Currently, the program is limited to certain areas of the city with the highest need, because there isn't enough money and enough lawyers to fully fund and staff the program " Year One of the NYC Tenant Right to Counsel Program ," Next City.

New York State eviction protections. From the article: In June, Gov. WRT rent control, in the s NYC had over 2 million housing units covered by rent control, now it's less than 25, units.

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Extending the "Right to Counsel" approach. Just as issues raised by Moms 4 Housing are leading Bay Area jurisdictions to consider enacting tenant right to purchase laws, the "Right to Counsel" approach, providing additional assistance to impoverished households when facing eviction, in a system that is weighted to favor property owners, ought to be extended, as a way to reduce the overall human and social costs that result.

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Labels: evictionhousing markethousing policymulti-unit housingrental housingtenant-landlord relations. Probably because the Guardian reported on it earlier in the week, the Washington Post did a story on eviction rates in Richmond.

I could go on a rant on how landlordism is now very prevalent; in my circle it is very common for people to own places and rent 2 of them out. Again a sign of a dysfunctional finance system that allows that.I've been blogging for about 13 years and heretofore I haven't produced an annual sum up piece, listing what I think are the best or more important or innovative pieces I've written over the course of the past year.

This year, the blog was named one of the top blogs in urban planning by Feedspot. Writing output. I continue to write less than I used to, for two reasons.

First, I feel that when I've written about a topic many times before, do I need to write about it again? As the Talking Heads sang in "Psychokiller," "say something once, why say it again? It's unfortunate, because I still have a lot I want to communicate. It's also unfortunate that if I don't knock out a piece once I start it, conduct an interview, or am thinking about it, I am less likely to finish it.

Important pieces I have not yet written. I have 75 pieces in draft form that are in various stages, many of which I'll never finish. And others not necessarily have made it that far, some which may just be notes or ideas include: -- 2 piece on Trump infrastructure, following up on " Trump Administration Infrastructure Program Priority List: Part One, the list ," from January, although that piece will finally come out in January, because the Trump Administration is supposed to be releasing their plan -- a piece about James Jim Brainard, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana, a Republican mayor who believes in addressing climate change, and and has initiated many high-profile pro-urban projects in his city, projects which have pushed nearby communities like Fishers to respond similarly.

Thank you Mike Canan, editor in chief of the digital news operation, for talking with me, I just need to read Making Local News to finish the piece. I have a private memo on using the mixed and cultural program approach to a rebuilding of the library in DC's Southwest quadrant. In August, the Salt Lake City Library system set up for me a high level meeting and tour--thank you Andrew Shaw, communications manager--where I got to sit down with the Director, Deputy Director, space manager, project director for the architecture firm, director of the Community Writing Center, and the director and a host from the NPR station based in the library complex and -- DC's new Wharf development in Southwest DC which opened in November as well as some discussion of waterfront revitalization issues generally, especially Chicago -- NYC's subway issues just as the Silver Line stressed the Metrorail system beyond its equilibrium, the same thing has happened with NYC because of significant ridership increases, matched with effects from Superstorm Sandy and the separate failure to upgrade signaling systems which would increase reliability and allow for more trains -- planning for the second phase of a commercial district's revitalization H Street NE, Columbia Heights, etc.

But writing less is relative, I have over 10, pieces, and over the course of this year I will publish as many as finished pieces, although some are merely photo posts or very short, even if the majority are long. Paul Meissner's graphic skills and Washington area transit mapping.

Over the summer, transit advocate Paul Meissner was kind enough to develop with me a graphic map of the current rail system, integrating railroads into the current subway map, as well as a fantasy map of future possibilities. Paul is on the Metrorail Riders Advisory Committee, but this project is independent of that. It was a push and pull endeavor, we each had our own ideas and there are some compromises on my part e.

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But it wasn't merely drawing lines on a map, a goodly number of recommendations were driven by past approved but speculative transportation plans. Original Purple Line concept.

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Sierra Club graphic. I used Paul's map in writing up proposed comprehensive transit network improvement plans in association with the Purple Line light rail in Suburban Maryland and the Silver Line Metrorail in Northern Virginiabut speaking of two pieces I haven't written, I haven't yet done a full write up using this map wrt Maryland and DC.It's more focused on underground-specific linkages and monumental architecture rather than a systematic approach to developing access improvements.

But the images are still pretty cool. Oh, another is Bicycle Dutch mentioned the opening of a new massive bicycle parking garage at a Netherlands train station " A huge new bicycle parking garage in The Hague ".

It has space for bike share bikes, and 7, parking slots. And there is an ad on the Washington City Paper website about public comments for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project I couldn't seem to find the closing dateand I expect that my comments from a few years ago didn't go anywhere. In those comments I stressed reconfiguring access on the front facing plaza, to the extent possible shifting the traffic underground, creating world class bicycle support programs, and adding visitor and museum functions.

The concepts about visitor and museum functions build off my comments on the State Rail Plan and the entry calling for the creation of a heritage streetcar system modeled after San Francisco serving the National Mall, from staging points at Union Station, Georgetown, and Arlington County Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Rosslyn.

It's unfortunate that planning-wise the US doesn't seem to have done a good job in terms of codifying best practice guidance, and working it into new projects going forward.

rebuilding place in the urban space: there should be a 1% for

It was partially inspired by an article about the initiatives at Los Angeles Union Station " At 80, Union Station tries to reinvent itself for a rail future ," Los Angeles Times along with programming on NHK World about transit service in Japan, the th anniversary of the Golden Spike last year, etc. Los Angeles Union Station is very pretty, but because it's not in a thriving part of Los Angeles, the station lacks the kinds of ancillary functions in a station like retail and food, which tend to be amazing in main train stations in Europe because they serve so many people for example, the Essen train station has a Lidl Supermarket, among other retail; the Hamburg station has an amazing array of retail and food options, etc.

There is a smattering. Reprinted with permission. A great point made by Todd in this ongoing discussion is that as population increases, allowable density should increase as well. Instead, it's kept at rates that are artificially low relative to demand, and accentuated by the reality that most neighborhoods are "already built out" in terms of allowable densities.

I am often frustrated by people who make ideological statements, such as, "increasing supply never reduces housing prices" or "allowing higher densities simply makes developers rich," and ignore any contrary evidence. Curiosity is the foundation for true problem solving. There is robust evidence that increasing housing supply reduces prices and increases affordability reduces prices for lower-income households.

I've listed good examples of this research at the end of this posting. These studies reflect a variety of research methods and geographic scales. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research ,"Upjohn Institute tracked the previous residences of the occupants of new multifamily developments in 12 North American cities, and the previous residences of the households that replaced them, through six cycles. It found that building market-price apartments causes a kind of housing musical chairs, as households move into new units.

This analysis indicates that for every new market-rate units built, approximately 65 units are freed up in existing buildings, accommodating up to 48 moderate- and low-income families.

As the properties grow older, their relative quality declines as does the rents they command and the income of the occupants. They found that adding about 2, rental units annually, reduced average city apartment rents estimated 5.

Why don't we see these effects? These studies demonstrated proof of concept, and they show that, had cities like New York and Washington DC added less supply in recent decades, rents would have risen even more than they did.

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