Thursday, August 22, 2013

NIMBY wrap-up for the week of Tuesday, August 20th

Cheers to the New Yorker for this wonderful piece of data visualization about income inequality and New York City's subway.

This story about an upper west side development with a "poor door"--a separate door for the 55 tenants who make 60% or less of area median income--has certainly been making the rounds this week, and even solicited comments from Christine Quinn, who, in a letter to state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and state Senate Majority Leaders Dean Skelos and Jeffrey Klein, said that the building's plan “negates the inclusiveness the program seeks to create." The silver lining here is that this egregious exclusionary practice sparked Councilman Robert Jackson to propose legislation that would require that developers who get any form of city affordable-housing subsidy would be required to provide the same services — including entrances, amenities and utilities — for all tenants.

We will admit that we had never heard of the NUISANCE PROPERTY ORDINANCE until the NYTimes wrote this horrific piece about it on Friday. This is definitely worth a read.

Also from the NYTimes, here's a fascinating piece about the trials of being Hasidic in a modern metropolis. In our forthcoming book we take up this issue in essays about the ERUV, the SUKKAH BALCONY, and the AUTOMATIC ELEVATOR--all tactics that enable Hasids to stay true to their Orthodox beliefs (for example, not operating machinery or carrying things across property lines on the Sabbath)--but this article suggests more tactics, from the more or less benign (the use of well water to make matzos) to the egregious (gender-segregated buses).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

NIMBY wrap-up for the week of Tuesday, August 13th

Here's the NIMBY wrap-up for the week of Tuesday, August 13th.

First off, RIP STOP AND FRISK! Here is the NYTimes on Judge Scheindlin's 195-page decision, here is a good op-ed, also fron the NYTimes, and here is a good NYTimes editorial

Secondly, Interboro is one of ten teams recently selected by HUD and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force to participate in an initiative called "Rebuild by Design." As part of our research, we have been doing a lot of research about beach access in New Jersey. Access to New Jersey's beaches is protected by the PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE, but this doesn't stop towns from trying their hardest to restrict access, by restricting parking, not building paths, posting phony signs, and even disguising access points as front yards. Superstorm Sandy actually offers an opportunity to better enforce the doctrine: After Superstorm Sandy, State Senators Steve Sweeney and Mike Doherty proposed legislation that would force municipalities that accept state or federal aid to rebuild storm-damaged beaches to provide beach access and beach restroom facilities to the public free of charge. Anyway, in spending a few days researching, we came across some good links:

-On the elusiveness of access

-On an interesting plan for complying with the accessibility mandate

-A message from NJDEP on post-Sandy accessibility

-We had never heard of "Beachapedia" but we're happy to know about it now! Here's a handy summary of accessibility rules.

-C.R.A.B. is a good beach-access advocacy group. Check out their "Beachwheels!"

Here's an article in Huffington Post about "No Muslim Parking" Signs posted in a shopping center in Texas.

Here's another random story about a family that is trying to make their neighbors remove a handicapped ramp from in front of their home because they claim it lowers their home's property value. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NIMBY wrap-up for the week of Tuesday, August 6th

Here's the NIMBY wrap-up for the week of Tuesday, August 6th.

From the NYTimes, here's an interesting and mostly inspiring article about Richmond, VA's use of EMINENT DOMAIN to stop foreclosures and keep people in their homes. This is one of many "hacks" that appear in our forthcoming book (hacks describe weapons that are designed for one purpose but used for another). We will definitely be watching this story.

From the "land use squabbles of the wealthy" archive, here's a funny article about "shock rocker" Rob Zombie's beef with a neighborhood skate park.

From Urban Oasis, here is a downloadable, pdf copy of the 1936 FHA Underwriting Manual. We had actually been scouring the interwebs for this for a while. Thanks Urban Oasis!

A few weeks ago, we posted an excellent piece by Robert Reich on Detroit. It's excellent because it pinpoints something that has been missing in the debate about Detroit's bankruptcy, but that is absolutely central to it, namely, the fact that as a metropolitan area, Detroit is actually doing OK. From the NYTimes Sunday Dialogue, here's a back and forth about how suburbs can help cities that echoes some of Reich's points.

From Gothamist, here's a good defense of RENT STABILIZATION.

Finally, here's a really inspiring story about Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which began an initiative to identify neighborhoods on the verge of, or in the process of, gentrifying.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Arsenal on WYPR Baltimore's "Lines Between Us"

Last week, Dan had the honor of being a guest on WYPR Baltimore's amazing "Lines Between Us" program. Dan led Host Sheilah Kast and Senior Producer Lawrence Lanahan on a tour of some exclusionary and inclusionary spots around Baltimore's Penn Station.  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Archives of HOLC Residential Security Maps

Here's a veritable goldmine: an archive of 35 scanned RESIDENTIAL SECURITY MAPS, courtesy of Urban Oasis. Check out Flint's map, which reverses a familiar pattern by having blue in the center and lots of red at the periphery. Oakland's is also interesting for the stark north / south divide. But really, we're just getting started analyzing these.  

Here is another archive of 14 maps from 14 cities in Ohio, courtesy of the Ohio State University Library.