This week we’re doing a fundraising drive at The Urbanist. Becoming a monthly donor supports local, independent journalism that aligns reporting and editorials with urbanist values. To give readers a sense of these values, The Urbanist crafted principles for guiding city policy.

Values Of Urbanism

Successful urbanism values accessibility, equity, civic engagement, health, safety, and prosperity. We believe the following principles should guide decisions in order to achieve our values of successful urbanism:

  • Transportation Principles. Cities must allocate public resources meeting the following transportation hierarchy: pedestrians, bicycles, public transit, multiple-occupancy vehicles, and single-occupancy vehicles.
  • Housing Principles. Cities must provide access to stable, healthy, and safe housing. Housing must exist for everyone in the neighborhood of their choice. This requires reducing housing costs, diversifying housing typologies, and increasing public subsidies.
  • Land Use Principles. Cities must continuously allow growth everywhere within their boundaries. Mixed-use neighborhoods–allowing residential, commercial, and light industrial uses–are critical. Uncompetitive essential uses must receive protection.
  • Civic Principles. Cities must make explicit efforts to protect and affirm all neighbors regardless of race, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, immigrant status, ability, religion, veteran status, or income.
  • Public Space Principles. Cities must acquire and provide adequate access to a variety of vibrant public spaces in all areas of the city.
  • Public Services Principles. Cities must capture their wealth to control and provide universal access to essential services, especially in non-competitive markets or areas where the private markets don’t serve all people. Cities should maintain public assets in public control and avoid privatization.
  • Development Design Principles. Cities must regulate design to minimize negative externalities, ensure consistent and predictable process, and accommodate cultural needs in appropriate neighborhoods.
  • Environmental Principles. Cities must be leaders, passing regulations that equitably mitigate environmental threats and achieve long-term sustainability.

You can read the full extended page of our policy principles here. We’ll review these periodically and we’d love to hear your feedback.

Donating to The Urbanist supports a local, independent publication with opinions guided by the news team and the principles of urbanism outlined here.

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Article Author

The Urbanist was founded in 2014 to examine and influence urban policies. We believe cities provide unique opportunities for addressing many of the most challenging social, environmental, and economic problems. We serve as a resource for disseminating ideas, creating community, increasing political participation, and improving the places we live. The Board of Directors guide policy and decision-making of The Urbanist.