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Statistical Snapshot: Gentrification / Seattle is #2!

A storefront in the Ballard, one of the visibly-fastest-growing neighborhoods in Seattle. Photo via Creative Commons / Jay Cox.

Boston and Seattle are the two US cities that have gentrified the most between 2000-2007, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. I stumbled on this article relating gentrification to financial health, and it occurred to me that although gentrification is on everyone’s mind in Seattle these days, I’ve never seen a […]

How Does Airbnb Affect Your City?

Lobby of Airbnb's new diggs in San Francisco. There is a sweet, multi-story Living Wall  on one side.

Airbnb has been on my radar lately as a growing variable in city housing discussions. A few weeks ago I created an account with the service to book a room in Edinburgh as a cheaper – and hopefully more personal – alternative to a hotel. Around the same time, a friend sent me an article […]

Iwan Baan: Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places

Iwan Baan: Ingenious Homes in Unexpected Places

  As a counter to many of the projects covered thus far in, this TED Talk by photographer Iwan Baan delivers some much-needed perspective on planning, housing, design, ┬áhuman ingenuity, and normalcy.

The “End” of Suburbia Debate in the NYTimes

Suburban Sprawl outside Phoenix, AZ. Via Wikimedia/Creative Commons.

There was an article in the New York Times last week covering the current debate over the direction suburban sprawl is taking: Is Suburban Sprawl on its Way Back? It features several statistics that could probably be taken with a grain of salt (e.g. the conversion of farmland has dipped to 800,000 acres per year […]

Cubix, San Francisco: Housing Before its Time.

Cubix Micro-apartments in SoMa, San Francisco. Via Creative Commons / Dave Fayram

Cubix is an apartment complex in the Soma neighborhood of San Francisco. Developed by HausBau, It consists of 98 “micro-apartments” that were some of the lowest-priced properties on market at around $280k when introduced in 2008 when SF’s median home price was around $759k. The kicker? The dorm-style studios were – and still are – […]

Democracy at Work: Seattle Passes Pro- and Anti-Density Bills in the Same Session

A typical off-the-shelf design (this circa 2007) that CVS uses in strip malls across America. Via Wikimedia / Creative Commons.

As an example of how fickle (or consistently NIMBY-ish) people can be when it comes to zoning and density, the Seattle City Council passed two measures today – one limiting the densities of certain neighborhoods, and one requiring it. 1. For those neighbors against the construction of “monster houses” on small lots, the city extended […]