Earlier this summer, I published an article on these pages remarking on the growing scholarship on informality in the U.S. housing market.  My article was intended as an opening salvo to planning academics who, as I see it, fail to understand American informal housing from the implementation side of planning—the enforcement and regulatory standpoint. [Read more…] about Response to Comments: The Informal Housing Debate Remains Open
Today, planning scholars are examining informality in the United States housing market with the gusto once reserved for the Central Place Theory and other mainstays of planners’ education.  This surge of research is encouraging. Until recently, the subject of informal dwelling units in the U.S. housing market remained glaringly understudied. The developing scholarship builds on pioneering – though scant – research on “shadow markets”  and “accessory apartments”  in American single-family housing. [Read more…] about Converting Garages into a Dissertation: A Conversation with Jacob Wegmann
Governor Brown does not like affordable housing. But, he does like the bullet train that will connect Los Angeles to San Francisco. The first leg will connect Bakersfield to Fresno. (None of my transportation consultant friends support the high speed train or the first leg.) [Read more…] about California Needs Brown to Trade the Train for Affordable Housing
On a recent visit to Cal-Earth’s open house and interactive tour (at a colleague’s request) I realized three major benefits of such a trip: the personal benefit of often irrational actions or events, like exploring huts 60 miles away in a desert in California; the social benefit of desert living; and the potential architectural benefit of [Read more…] about Juxta-Prose: Mass Hesperia!!
Los Angeles – With the former Boyle Hotel’s renovation complete, project proponents Monday removed the black construction screen that hid the historic building from public view for the past year and let people get a gander, reported The Eastsider. [Read more…] about Public Gets a Look at the Historic Boyle Hotel
When some people learned that I grew up in Hong Kong, they expressed that my decision to become an urban planner was not surprising. After all, Hong Kong, a former British colony, is a modern city well known for its skyscrapers, high density, creative use of limited land resources, and efficient public transportation system. They were partly right. [Read more…] about A Few Thoughts on Planning in Hong Kong and California
I would like to suggest that affordable housing communities not only provide much needed housing to those in need, it can offer award winning design and provide much needed jobs in our country.
I am privileged to serve as a member of the board of directors and co-chair of the real estate committee of Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM). In its twenty-five year history, CCSM has developed or renovated over 2,000 units. [Read more…] about Community Corporation of Santa Monica: Building Affordable Housing with Award Winning Design