Author Archives: Matthew Robare

How to Keep Walking In a Winter Wonderland

In colder climes, pathways must be cleared of snow for pedestrians—not just cars.

Hyperlocal Zoning Can Reset London—and American Politics

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Elinor Ostrom inspired Londoners to change block by block.

A New and Misleading Story of Small Town Revival

An Atlantic correspondent visits obscure places, but avoids hard questions.

Vermont’s $10,000 Gamble

Can the Green Mountain State pay new residents to settle there?

Are Baby Boomers Excluding Millennials From Neighborhood Associations?

Economic obstacles and insular attitudes keep many neighborhoods from welcoming newcomers.

Homeownership Does Not Guarantee Middle-Class Prosperity

Real estate speculation doesn’t create wealth, it sets up a game of musical chairs–and we now know what happens when the music stops.

Self-Driving Cars and the Hostile Takeover of Our Streets

An Uber self-driving car has killed a pedestrian. But the questions go beyond the safety of the new technology.

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.

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