Woodframe construction in Portland.
Woodframe construction in Portland.

This week in design: Finland goes all in on its first big cross laminated timber project, Vancouver is going super boxy for a new tower, and New York may end up with a modern Brutalist meets modern glass and steel.

Two Cap Hill projectsDesign review has begun on the old Piecora’s and Hugo House sites in Capitol Hill.

What’s in a name: The Sound Transit Board settles on station names for East Link, some are likeable, others are, well, lame.

Garbage no more: Seattle is taking its crap seriously and completely redefining what “garbage” is with new composting rules.

Highway fights: As driving continues to plummet across the country, there’s a backlash rising against superfluous highway projects.

No muni broadband: A report out this week by the City of Seattle claims that building municipal broadband is too expensive.

Growing housing, growing rents: Since 1998, the number of apartments in Capitol Hill, First Hill, and the Central District have climbed 80% yet rents have shot up 40% in real terms.

Biking news: Tom at Seattle Bike Blog gets into the weeds of the Broadway bikeway extension on a block-by-block basis, highlights two Ballard greenways that will finally intersect, and breaks the news of a citywide Pronto expansion plan.

Long commutes: Thanks to our socially unequal society, the poor get the brunt of long commutes and pay a disproportionate amount for them.

Map of the Week: Locations of every film ever made in New York City mapped block by block.

The power of an M: 77 different versions of the letter “M” all representing a “Metro”.

The Barcelona plan: A look at how Barcelona was planned but took a completely different turn when it was actually realized.

Moving on in: Bike Portland compares metropolitan cities across the region to see just how much housing has been built near their centers since 1990.

Tough nut to crackThe Seattle Times discusses the challenges facing Seattle for affordable housing and some of the ideas out there to tackle the issue ($).

Toronto fail: The City of Toronto had an opportunity to finally be rid an unsightly and unhealthy an expressway, but instead chose a hybrid option in their development plan.

Amsterdam style: Amsterdam wants to build 18,000 homes for 45,000 residents with at least 30% being affordable; to do this, they’re constructing 10 islands.

Big money, big towers: The money that’s behind all of the luxury towers going up globally.

Tower cities: Toronto is trying to figure out how to deal with the 1,200+ ageing highrise towers that house more than 500,000 residents, many of whom are low-income, by creating a mixed income and diverse districts.

Plunging homeownership: Millennials (ages 25 to 34) in King County just aren’t getting into the whole homeownership thing with only a one-quarter owning ($)–half the rate of 1980 for the same cohort at that time.

Segregation is alive: A look at McKinney, Texas where segregation is alive and well despite efforts to eliminate it.

Pulling us apart: Emily Badger of the Washington Post says that our cars, neighborhoods, and schools are pulling us part socially.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for promoting sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He advocates for smart policies, regulations, and implementation programs that enhance urban environments by committing to quality design, accommodating growth, providing a diversity of housing choices, and adequately providing public services. Stephen primarily writes about land use and transportation issues.