I spotted the following headline today on SF Gate: Supervisor wants S.F. to follow state on reforming initiativesÂ and it immediately reminded me that I’d been working on a recap of a number of the planning-related issues that have come up on local ballots recently. Supervisor Wiener’s suggestions make a lot of sense: they both create… Continue reading San Francisco, where urban planning meets the ballot box
Last December, SF Mayor Ed Lee announced a Mayoral Executive Directive ordering all city departments with jurisdiction over housing permitting to prioritize housing construction, particularly for affordable housing, and his state of the city address in January called for 30,000 units of new housing by 2020 with 1/3 of them built as permanently affordable.Â Come hear… Continue reading 30,000 units of housing by 2020 and James Baldwin looks at race relations in 1963 San Francisco
â€œLet the voters decideâ€ has a certain immediate appeal. It implies that the will of the people will guide public decisions and create a more just and fair city for all. Thatâ€™s the idea at least. The reality usually ends up looking a lot messier. To say nothing of the huge structural issues direct democracy… Continue reading The Unintended Effects of Direct Democracy: Say “no” to ballot box planning on Proposition B June 3rd.
Yesterday’s huge fire on a construction site in San Francisco left people with a lot of questions, some of which were circulating on Twitter as the fire was still burning. The six-story, eighty foot tall uncompleted structure burned out of control for several hours as nearly 150 firefighters fought to contain the flames and keep… Continue reading After the Mission Bay fire: Construction types explained
Thanks to everyone that came to SPUR yesterday for the forum on housing construction costs, we’ll be having more events at SPUR on this topic including one that looks reducing the costs of providing housing on February 11.Â Just a quick post with a few things I’ve been reading and looking at this week: New… Continue reading Housing links for January 22, 2014
Oh boy. There is no easy answer to this question, but protests in front of buses are certainly not going to solve the problemÂ because it’s a problem that goes beyond the boundaries of the City of San Francisco. Saying that tech companies owe a billion dollars for doing curbside pickup are completely ignoring reality and… Continue reading Why have the tech buses invaded San Francisco?
The theme of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale this year is â€œSpontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good.â€ Cathy Lang Ho, who helped to select the participants, discusses the criteria and the approach in this article over at the Architect Magazine site. This is hardly the first post about spontaneous or… Continue reading This is not Guerilla Urbanism: Architecture of resistance and capitulation
Standard Elevator It’s been a few months now, but in July I had the chance to witness the destruction of one of Buffalo’s concrete grain elevators. Written about 30 years ago by Reyner Banham, and in the early part of the 20th Century by Corbusier and other European Modernists, the grain elevators on the Buffalo… Continue reading Buffalo’s Grain Elevators: The Destruction of the Beginnings of Modern Architecture
I came across a link to a paper titled “Rating the Architecture Professors in Research: 2010 Report” by Garry Stevens, PhD from the Key Centre for Architectural Sociology this morning on Twitter by David Neustein (@dneus). Stevens compiled this report by obtaining lists of the faculty in every architecture department in a variety of predominantly… Continue reading Ranking Architectural Academics: Suspect Methodology
I spotted this article in Building Magazine about insurers threatening to pull cover for timber frame buildings.This, combined with highly publicized recent fires in London on building sites in Camberwell and Peckham. While investigations are ongoing, the whole thing seems a bit strange to me. Nearly all non-high rise apartment buildings in California are timber… Continue reading Timber Frame Construction: What’s wrong in the UK?