Author Archives: Matthew Robare

The False Mirage of Eco-Cities

Resilient cities must be real places, not techno-utopian experiments.

Why Amazon Won’t Save Your Struggling Town

Economic subsidies generally cost cities more than they are worth.

Don’t Blame Lack of Zoning Laws for Houston Floods

Too much asphalt—in roads and parking lots—is responsible for more devastation.

How Federal Policy Holds Back Sustainable Economic Growth

Overly restrictive patent law and housing regulation reward existing monopolies.

Killing the City Won’t Save the Small Town

Rural communities need the regional dynamism that metropolitan areas provide.

From Chapels to Condos

Is there still room for the sacred in the city?

The Urban Home as Fortress

Privacy fences make neighborhoods boring and subject to blight.

Why Ballparks Can’t Save Cities

Neoclassical stadiums have revitalized baseball, but don’t automatically create vibrant neighborhoods.

Does Small, Local Retail Matter?

When revitalized downtowns become dominated by chain stores, independent businesses struggle to compete.

Why Sprawl Is Not the Only Choice

The misleading “land-use trilemma” suggests that affordable housing always requires expanding the suburbs.

Can Cooperative Businesses Save Communities?

Local ownership of inner-city enterprises is helping renew depressed neighborhoods.

How to Bring Back Southbridge

A 21-year-old developer is rescuing his hometown—one building at a time.

100 Years of Jane Jacobs Down, 100 Years to Go

Advancing the great urbanist’s wisdom of recovery has to proceed organically, over the generations.

China Greenwashes Le Corbusier

Creating whole cities from scratch is neither environmentally nor socially sustainable.

American Anarchist

Noam Chomsky holds court on his political philosophy and its critique of power.