Around Massachusetts, racial divides persist


Even when they are in the same income bracket as whites, minorities in the Boston region are turned down for mortgages at a higher rate and live in substantially less well-off neighborhoods, according to a study by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston. The average white family earning $78,000 a year in metro Boston lives in a neighborhood where the median household income is $72,400 a year, while the average black household earning $78,000 a year lives in an area where the median is $51,100 a year.

Source: Boston Globe

Open Sourcing The Neighborhood


A city’s backtalk is one element of open-source urbanism: myriad interventions and little changes from the ground up contribute to making a city. Multiple, small, inconspicuous interventions together are evidence of a city’s constant evolution. Incompleteness gives cities their long lives and lets them outlast other more powerful entities.

via Forbes.

Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think


What if in-town big box stores encourage people to drive less? That is, after all, a major policy objective of smart growth. Plenty of people who don’t want a big box store in their midst still drive 20 miles to get to one. Why not cut out those unnecessary emissions? And if you could go to a Sam’s Club once a month instead of a Safeway every week, wouldn’t that get people out of their cars more, too?

[Link to Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think]

When Dharavi grows up, it does not want to be Shanghai


These neighbourhoods are hives of building activity. The houses here have long passed the hutment stage and are now as pucca as your own homes, albeit in constrained conditions. Unlike most flat owners (this means you), these homes occupy a plot on the ground and rise to a height that will not get them in trouble with the BMC. They are built in RCC and brick masonry, finished with ceramic tiles, both inside and outside, are clean and largely maintenance-free. They have electricity and piped water running to their kitchens and toilets. This is clearly seen by the miles of running pipes over ground, on both sides of the streets. The roads outside their homes are paved with interlocking tiles, just like any other part of the city.

Despite this, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) chooses to name these localities as ‘difficult’ areas, and damn them to the eternal hell of rehabilitation.

Managing cities is often more about understanding how people that live in them use the spaces where they work and live rather than imposing an outsider view of how cities should be.

[Link to FirstPost.Mumbai]

Final Parcels Developed in Battery Park City


The completion of the skyline in Battery Park City comes at a crossroads moment for the neighborhood, which was conceived in 1968 by the State of New York as a way to redevelop a moribund shipping area. Trade Center dirt later filled in rotting piers, though it was not until the 1980s that construction really ramped up. Today the area has 34 residential buildings and a population of 13,000.

[Link to Final Parcels Developed in Battery Park City]