1. Development blogger Roving Bandit criticizes UN-Habitat executive director Joan Clos for saying that Africa is “confronted with […] the challenge of preventing the formation of new slums.” I wonder if Clos thinks that the Lower East Side was born with yoga studios and Starbucks.
2. A kidney dialysis center in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia wants to open in an abandoned industrial site, and when the City Council moved to overrule the local residents’ objections to the clinic staying open nine extra hours a week, they sued and called it an attack on democracy. The residents claim to want “peace and quiet,” which I guess you can’t get when you have people whose kidneys are failing all around you.
Edit: Commenter Terry Nicol pointed me in the direction of this story earlier this year about a locally-owned Chestnut Hill grocery store that was threatened by a local resident for selling prepared food.
3. Yonah Freemark writes about Dallas’ new and extensive, but underperforming light rail network. Apparently the new lines were built along automobile corridors and bypass the densest parts of town entirely, and so the system functions more as a glorified park-and-ride rather than as an engine for infill growth.
4. Topher Matthews lays out his proposal for “performance parking” (i.e., charging market rates for street parking) in Georgetown. This is desperately needed in this very trendy and congested area – I remember one hairdresser on Wisconsin Ave. telling me about the convoluted game of hide-and-seek she played in order to park for free on the residential streets. Unfortunately, one DC Commissioner apparently believes that, even in one of DC’s most walkable neighborhoods, parking minimums are necessary: “This is an office building. There’s no Metro, people are going to drive.”
5. Apparently satellite photos show that the average mall parking lot barely ever fills up even halfway.