‘Is America’s suburban dream collapsing into a nightmare?’

The above is the provocative headline on a story on cnn.com. After some description of the foreclosures in suburbia, the story focuses on the shifting attitudes of homeowners. “The American dream is absolutely changing,” (Christopher Leinberger, an urban planning professor at the University of Michigan and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution,) told CNN. This […]

What does it cost to live in your neighborhood?

The Spaulding brothers do a great service by pointing us to the Housing and Transportation Affordability Index, which shows the affordability of your Fort Wayne neighborhood based on housing and transportation costs. As you can guess, everything’s cheaper the closer you get to the core of the city. As the Spauldings say over on their Web […]

Traditional neighborhoods and modern architecture

Scott Greider, over on his personal blog, quotes a portion of the San Jose historic design guidelines that addresses the role of modern architecture in older neighborhoods. (If you’re adventurous, you can download the entire 95-page PDF.) What does San Jose say? It says, “Bring it on”: Rather than imitating older buildings, a new design […]

Suburbia: The next slum?

(Jon) Next American City points us toward a sobering article in The Atlantic about the effects of the subprime crisis on the nation’s suburbs. “The Next Slum?” says these changes “may turn today’s McMansions into tomorrow’s tenements.” Here are some highlights: At Windy Ridge, a recently built starter-home development seven miles northwest of Charlotte, North […]

Must New Urbanism look old?

(Jon) Neal makes a valid point regarding my post, “New Urbanism blooming in Bloomington”: A neat development in a neat town, but the main problem is that the new houses are old-fashioned looking. What part of “New Urbanism” says it has to look like the thirties? I know the looks are a response to what […]

New Urbanism blooms in Bloomington

(Jon) A big hat tip to Urban Indy for this: As a new development in central Bloomington shows, New Urbanism in many ways is just the old urbanism. This is from a story in the Indianapolis Business Journal about how new housing is being built to blend in with the existing neighborhood around it: “The […]

It’s time for Christians to get over it and celebrate Halloween already

This is a repost from my own blog at www.jonswerens.com. Soon after my wife and I became Christians, the first holiday out the window was Halloween. It was obviously devilish, and we wanted our children to have nothing to do with it. Back in the ’80s and early ’90s, Satanism scaremongers like the now-discredited Mike […]