The New Urban Order

The New Urban Order explores diverse urban issues including housing affordability, urban planning, mobility trends, and the cultural landscape. It examines the impact of policy, technology, and societal changes on cities, focusing on innovations and challenges in urban living, sustainability, and the evolution of spatial dynamics.

Housing Affordability and Supply Urban Planning and Design Mobility and Transportation Retail and Independent Business Climate Change and Environmentalism Demographic Shifts Culture and Lifestyle Technology and Innovation Public Policy and Governance Social Equity and Diversity

The hottest Substack posts of The New Urban Order

And their main takeaways
279 implied HN points β€’ 26 Apr 24
  1. Consider sending your child to a 'good enough' public school instead of chasing perfection.
  2. Good enough schools with ratings between 3 to 5 can offer a balanced and affordable education.
  3. Question the trend of prioritizing top schools and consider the benefits of neighborhood schools for social diversity.
159 implied HN points β€’ 23 Apr 24
  1. American public transit has seen a decrease in ridership since the pandemic, mostly due to remote work affecting office occupancy and transit rates.
  2. Cities with low office occupancy and high transit ridership are pointing towards a future of transit beyond the commuter model, exploring alternatives to driving or rideshare services.
  3. Cities leveraging transit for non-commuting purposes are succeeding, such as London where ridership exceeds pre-pandemic levels on weekends, showcasing the importance of public transit for overall city vibrancy.
119 implied HN points β€’ 01 May 24
  1. Close is an interactive map that helps people find neighborhoods with amenities important to them, like public schools, increasing personalized walkability.
  2. Close uses free spatial datasets and user feedback to build a detailed destinations roster, showing a commitment to accuracy and continuous improvement.
  3. Close differs from tools like Walkscore by focusing on transparency, user customization, and the 'time to furthest important destination' approach to assess walkability in cities.
179 implied HN points β€’ 15 Apr 24
  1. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide on whether homelessness can be considered a crime, impacting how cities handle homeless individuals.
  2. Many cities fail to provide the necessary housing and services to keep people off the streets, leading to homelessness being criminalized.
  3. Jailing homeless individuals further exacerbates their situation, making it harder for them to transition out of homelessness.
79 implied HN points β€’ 06 May 24
  1. Women can be serious elected officials and mothers simultaneously, as long as it's a choice they make, not one imposed by society.
  2. Several women mayors in the top 10 American cities are mothers, challenging stereotypes and embracing their unique blend of roles.
  3. Parenting experiences, whether as mothers or fathers, are increasingly influencing urban policies, as seen in the approaches of some mayors.
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219 implied HN points β€’ 25 Mar 24
  1. Using creative and simple methods, like Legos, can effectively convey complex topics like housing supply and demand to a wider audience on social media.
  2. Politicians can make their housing messages more engaging by focusing on simple but impactful messages, avoiding getting lost in technical details.
  3. Creating approachable and visually appealing social media content can help elevate the dialogue around housing issues and engage a broader audience in the conversation.
139 implied HN points β€’ 10 Apr 24
  1. The sports economy involves more than just building stadiums, with a focus on combining sports with other economic activities like housing and retail to create sustainable developments.
  2. There is increasing skepticism about the economic benefits of public subsidies for stadiums, with citizens and governments becoming more cautious about investing in such projects.
  3. The concept of 'stadium neighborhoods' is evolving, with a shift towards creating more holistic developments that offer amenities beyond just sports entertainment, emphasizing urban recreation and community needs.
199 implied HN points β€’ 11 Mar 24
  1. Dynamic pricing can help businesses like Amtrak optimize revenue and manage unsold inventory effectively.
  2. Cities are considering implementing dynamic pricing to influence behavior, reduce congestion, and increase revenue for public services like transportation.
  3. Dynamic pricing could be a valuable tool for businesses, nonprofits, and public sectors to adapt to post-pandemic economic challenges and maximize revenue.
199 implied HN points β€’ 04 Mar 24
  1. There is a significant increase in multifamily housing supply, signaling a potential tipping point in the housing industry.
  2. Cities like Minneapolis that have increased housing supply are seeing a decrease in rent prices, showcasing the impact of supply and demand in the housing market.
  3. The increase in housing supply across the U.S. is leading to declines in rent prices in many major markets, demonstrating the effectiveness of increasing supply to address housing affordability.
359 implied HN points β€’ 08 Jan 24
  1. Cities in the Rust Belt like Buffalo, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis are emerging as top housing markets for 2024, showing significant price appreciation.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, cities in the Midwest and Rust Belt are now becoming more attractive due to affordability compared to traditionally booming cities in the South and West.
  3. Factors like housing affordability, climate change, and government and private investments are influencing the resurgence of the Rust Belt cities in 2024.
119 implied HN points β€’ 18 Mar 24
  1. Many big US cities like NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, and San Diego are still losing people.
  2. The Northeast's population decline is slowing down, showing signs of stabilization.
  3. Despite positive trends in the Northeast and Midwest, the South continues to experience growth that is even accelerating.
259 implied HN points β€’ 16 Jan 24
  1. Miami reflects modern American obsessions with beauty, pleasure, money, technology, and escapism.
  2. Despite the hype, Miami is facing a net population loss, especially in its expensive areas like Miami Beach.
  3. The concept of a city is evolving to include virtual elements, connecting people based on shared experiences and work rather than physical location.
119 implied HN points β€’ 22 Feb 24
  1. Growing up in Memphis, Carol Coletta's love for urban environments and interaction with diverse communities sparked her interest in city development.
  2. Leadership in city initiatives can come from unexpected places, showing the importance of finding and fostering leadership across different sectors.
  3. The impact of public spaces like parks goes beyond recreation, serving as a crucial platform to promote social connection, equity, and community building.
39 implied HN points β€’ 18 Apr 24
  1. Cities play a crucial role in human happiness, dignity, and equality through sustainable urban design.
  2. The 15-Minute City concept promotes a lifestyle where daily necessities are accessible by walking or biking within a short time frame.
  3. Addressing climate change and inequality requires transforming transportation systems to be inclusive of all people, not just drivers.
119 implied HN points β€’ 19 Feb 24
  1. Experienced investors are seizing the opportunity to acquire distressed office buildings due to significant investment momentum and low prices.
  2. Cities are offering incentives like tax abatements and low-interest loans to encourage the purchase and conversion of office buildings into residential spaces.
  3. Cities could benefit by investing in distressed office buildings themselves to shape the future of their urban landscapes and prevent missed opportunities, similar to what happened after the Great Financial Crisis.
119 implied HN points β€’ 14 Feb 24
  1. Globalization's decline and the cold war with China are reshaping American cities by leading to major onshoring of jobs, particularly in defense and technology.
  2. The production of semiconductors is crucial for national security and winning future cold wars, as they power modern technology and defense systems.
  3. Former manufacturing hubs like Phoenix, Columbus, and St. Louis are well-positioned to benefit from investments in industries like semiconductors and expanded military spending.
139 implied HN points β€’ 31 Jan 24
  1. California Forever aims to address California's housing crisis by offering a new city with up to 400,000 residents and 160,000 dwelling units.
  2. Critics argue that California Forever's development threatens natural resources, increases wildfire risk, and diverts attention and resources from existing infrastructure improvements.
  3. The project prompts debate on the balance between housing expansion and environmental impact, as well as the effectiveness of starting a new city versus revitalizing existing communities.
119 implied HN points β€’ 08 Feb 24
  1. HUD's current role is limited, focusing mainly on providing subsidies to low-income renters in big cities, missing out on addressing broader housing market issues.
  2. HUD could enhance its role by coordinating research, encouraging regional cooperation among housing authorities, and providing more guidance and support to local governments.
  3. HUD should prioritize assembling and disseminating real-time housing market data to improve housing policy, address the housing crisis, and provide better insights for decision-making.
299 implied HN points β€’ 06 Nov 23
  1. The uniqueness of independent retail in cities like Cadiz, Spain, highlights the need for a new movement supporting independent retail in American cities.
  2. While American retail may seem to be thriving, there is a concern about the homogenization of street life across cities, showcasing the importance of distinct local retail offerings.
  3. To revitalize independent retail, new solutions such as credit tenant leasing adjustments and promoting corner stores are essential, along with the need for an international movement to advocate for and support independent retail.
139 implied HN points β€’ 02 Jan 24
  1. YIMBY movement has had significant successes in housing reforms, but the impact on housing supply and affordability is uncertain.
  2. While YIMBYism appeals to various political ideologies, it may not address the need for subsidized housing for the growing number of Americans in poverty.
  3. Advocating for the expansion of project-based vouchers, which offer federally guaranteed rent and simplify affordable housing development, could be a more pragmatic and cross-over approach embraced by developers and policymakers.
279 implied HN points β€’ 09 Oct 23
  1. Converting office buildings into co-living spaces can help address social challenges like loneliness and offer more housing options.
  2. Co-living is a shared living model that emphasizes intentional community through communal spaces and activities.
  3. Co-living has the potential to be a source of affordable housing, cater to different demographics like seniors and digital nomads, and could be aligned with co-working spaces for a more integrated urban living experience.
99 implied HN points β€’ 24 Jan 24
  1. Taylor Swift's decision to move to Nashville at a young age had a significant impact on her career.
  2. The concept of moving to big cities for career opportunities has become less popular recently, with more people opting for remote work and online platforms for launching products.
  3. Industries that were once centralized in big cities are now becoming more dispersed, with cities like Austin, Miami, and Seattle attracting entrepreneurs.
199 implied HN points β€’ 17 Oct 23
  1. A large portion of housing lacks aging-ready features like step-free entryways and first-floor bedrooms, leading to difficulties for older residents, especially those over 85.
  2. The aging population poses significant challenges like increased falls and medical expenses, highlighting the importance of addressing housing issues sooner rather than later.
  3. By 2060, a quarter of Americans will be over 65, underscoring the urgent need to focus on building housing that better caters to the needs of an aging population, instead of relying solely on unsustainable models like assisted living.
139 implied HN points β€’ 27 Nov 23
  1. Walking trips in the U.S. have significantly decreased post-pandemic, with every metro and state experiencing a decline, pointing to a potential long-term shift in mobility habits.
  2. Remote work and delivery services have reduced the need for short walking trips for activities like shopping, affecting public transit use and contributing to an increase in vehicle miles traveled.
  3. Despite some positive changes like an increase in bicycle usage, cities should focus on making walking more appealing and preserving biking gains to address the evolving mobility landscape.
179 implied HN points β€’ 28 Sep 23
  1. Private car ownership in American cities is likely to decrease in the coming decades, with a shift towards a variety of mobility options like bikes, scooters, taxis, and rental cars.
  2. Diverse demographic and social trends, including remote work, declining young families, and aging Baby Boomers, are contributing to this transition away from private car ownership.
  3. The rise of car-share options, developments in autonomous vehicles, and the focus on mobility mix in some American cities are further paving the way for decreased reliance on owning cars.
119 implied HN points β€’ 15 Nov 23
  1. Access to culture from home, accelerated by the pandemic, is impacting in-person arts attendance and the urban arts establishment.
  2. In-person arts attendance is declining, particularly among older, White audiences, while digital arts engagement is rising, especially among younger and diverse groups.
  3. The decline in traditional arts attendance poses challenges for cities economically, culturally, and in maintaining urban identities.
99 implied HN points β€’ 05 Dec 23
  1. 3D printed homes have become mainstream in 2023, with various projects and collaborations showcasing their potential.
  2. There is optimism that 3D printed homes could help solve the affordable housing crisis due to potential cost reduction, sustainability, and efficiency benefits.
  3. However, skepticism exists around whether the popularity of 3D printed homes will be lasting, similar to the limited uptake of traditional 3D printing technology for everyday use.
159 implied HN points β€’ 04 Oct 23
  1. St. Louis has a deep history reflected in its urban architecture, but faces challenges due to population decline and urban renewal.
  2. The exhibit 'Urban Archeology: Lost Buildings of St. Louis' showcases salvaged architectural elements to create a 'mosaic of urban memory' that tells a story of past communities and structures.
  3. The exhibit emphasizes a different approach to historical preservation, focusing on individual artifacts to understand the broader narrative of St. Louis's urban fabric and the importance of valuing and defending historical elements.
119 implied HN points β€’ 30 Oct 23
  1. Complaining about noise pollution in the city is often met with the suggestion to move, but cities are increasingly recognizing the health risks associated with noise and taking action.
  2. Noise pollution can have serious health impacts, including hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart disease, and increased stress in adults, as well as sleep loss and cognitive impairment in children.
  3. Efforts to address noise pollution vary, with some cities implementing tech-driven solutions like 'noise radar,' but challenges arise in enforcement, appropriate consequences for noise makers, and balancing noise regulations with other policing priorities.
199 implied HN points β€’ 11 Aug 23
  1. Loneliness and social isolation in America are serious issues that can lead to mental health challenges and premature death. Building social connections should be a priority like other public health issues.
  2. In the past, there were more housing options that naturally fostered community and connection. Policy decisions made privacy a priority over connection in the last century.
  3. Private sector initiatives like apps promoting living near friends or co-living spaces are addressing the need for more socially connected housing, while policymakers have not yet prioritized this issue.
119 implied HN points β€’ 23 Oct 23
  1. Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans over 20 years old are either overweight or obese, and as medications like semaglutide become more accessible, it may lead to significant changes in eating habits and society.
  2. While semaglutide can help reduce the obesity epidemic, it won't address the root causes such as predatory marketing of unhealthy foods, poverty, or lack of access to safe places for physical activity.
  3. The impact of medications like semaglutide on reducing obesity and changing eating habits could have far-reaching effects on various aspects of cities, from restaurants and transportation to parks and employment.
159 implied HN points β€’ 25 Aug 23
  1. Cadiz's urban design features a largely car-free town center, multi-family housing stock, and commercial space on the first floor of residential buildings, enhancing the concept of a 5-Minute City.
  2. The city boasts an abundance of parks, plazas, public spaces per capita, breathtaking waterfront esplanades, and historic buildings rich in charm.
  3. Visiting a 3,000-year-old city like Cadiz showcases the historical beauty and urban planning that can inspire contemporary urban development.
179 implied HN points β€’ 05 Jun 23
  1. Cities worldwide have seen unprecedented growth since 1980, but this growth is slowing down.
  2. Declining population growth will bring economic and social challenges, like older populations and changing demands for goods and services.
  3. Alan Mallach's new book highlights the need to adjust economic models and urban policies for a future with less population growth.
59 implied HN points β€’ 07 Dec 23
  1. Cities are increasingly using litigation to address problems that policies can't solve.
  2. City legal departments are evolving from being slow and conservative to actively participating in affirmative litigation.
  3. Cities are winning lawsuits against companies like Kia, Hyundai, Big Oil, and 3M for issues like car theft, climate change, and pollution.
79 implied HN points β€’ 13 Oct 23
  1. Cities are increasingly focusing on nature-based solutions to combat climate change and improve urban life.
  2. Efforts include dedicating large areas to biodiversity, adding green spaces to streets, and investing significant funds in new parks.
  3. Local governments and private citizens are joining forces in these bold initiatives, setting examples for sustainability and resilience.
59 implied HN points β€’ 20 Nov 23
  1. Cities consistently have lower voter turnout compared to suburban and rural areas.
  2. Urban voters tend to be overwhelmingly Democratic, which leads to neglect from both Republican and Democrat campaigns.
  3. The 2024 Presidential Election is expected to focus on cities as an unexpected battleground, especially concerning the turnout of Black and Hispanic voters.
99 implied HN points β€’ 06 Sep 23
  1. Designing vibrant public spaces involves more than just adding moveable chairs, as it may sometimes feel like a shortcut to thoughtful design.
  2. Placemaking in cities has seen success with quick and cost-effective improvements using moveable chairs, but there's a need to consider the long-term development and meaningful enhancements of public spaces.
  3. Cities should move beyond relying solely on moveable chairs and explore more innovative and comprehensive approaches to developing public spaces that align with both form and function.
139 implied HN points β€’ 05 Jul 23
  1. New York's congestion pricing plan can set an example for other American cities to focus on street infrastructure, the environment, and people-centric downtowns
  2. Cities around the world, like London and Singapore, inspire each other to adopt innovative transport solutions, creating a dynamic and competitive urban environment
  3. The shift towards transportation modes that prioritize clean air, infrastructure investment, and pedestrian-friendly streets can shape cities for the 21st century, offering hope amidst the challenges of the modern world