Talking Headways Podcast: The Missing Middle

podcast icon logoThis week on the podcast, Dan Parolek of Opticos Design talks about their new website, which explores housing types between high- or mid-rise buildings and single-family homes that cities don’t make much anymore.

We get into Austin’s development code, Cincinnati’s walkable neighborhoods, and how people are often worried by the phrase “density,” then surprised by density designed well.

Why are developers and bankers scared of “missing middle” housing forms like duplexes? And how come we don’t build rowhouses parcel by parcel anymore?

Join us in the middle and find out.


Calculating the Big Impact of Sprawl on Cities’ Bottom Line

When someone builds a new home, does it make the city stronger and more fiscally sound? Or does it drain public resources? The answer depends a lot on where it’s sited and, more specifically, where it lies in relation to other homes and businesses. Smart Growth America has developed a fiscal impact model that helps predict how developments […]

To Open Up Cities, Make Single-Family Zones More Flexible

As the number of jobs in Seattle explodes, the city is grappling with how to make room for all the population growth that’s expected to follow. The city’s “Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda” maps out a strategy to do so, focusing mainly on infill development in denser areas near transit. Most of the city, however, is zoned for single-family […]

Ghost Parcels Show How Urban Highways Squandered Valuable Land

Love that Cook County still keeps track of the parcels under the expressways punched through Chicago — Neil Freeman (@fitnr) September 22, 2015 Here’s a great illustration of how incredibly destructive and wasteful it is to run elevated highways through cities. New York City-based artist and planning consultant Neil Freeman, who grew up in Chicago, […]

Talking Headways Podcast: Don’t Talk About Professors’ Parking Spaces

This week we’re joined by James Corless, CEO of Sacramento's regional planning agency. We chat about the Sacramento area and the connections between its urban and rural economies, his past working on federal transportation advocacy, how mid-sized cities are nationally important for providing jobs and housing, and why it’s kind of ridiculous to do 30-year long range regional transportation plans.

Talking Headways Podcast: Vision Zero

The best thing about hosting a Streetsblog podcast is getting to call on other Streetsblog reporters for the lowdown on the biggest news of the week. In this case, Jeff Wood and I called Ben Fried, Streetsblog’s editor-in-chief based in New York, to provide some context for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s big announcement […]