Saturday, May 17, 2014


RIP the New Haven / Hamden "Berlin Wall!" According to New Haven Independent, the 12' tall fence, which Hamden erected five decades ago in response to complaints about crimes committed by people living just over the city / suburb line, will be torn down, thanks in large part to a federal civil-rights investigation and the ensuing threat of a federal lawsuit.

Curious about the history of the wall? There's an interesting piece about it in The New Journal that underlines what a rotten thing this wall is: "Over 3,500 feet long, it assures that the one road into the projects is also the only way out. Residents hoping to buy groceries at a Hamden shopping center three miles away have to travel into New Haven to get around the fence, a 7.7-mile trip that takes two buses and up to two hours to complete. In the case of a flood or fire, emergency vehicles have to travel around the fence to help residents in the projects."

Needless to say, the decision to remove it was controversial: take a look at this New Haven Independent article from August 2012 about a "raucous" meeting of Hamdenites.

This is one of two fences we know of that suburbanites built at the city / suburb line to keep city-dwellers out of the suburbs (the other one was built around Baltimore's Hollander Ridge, which we have written about here previously). Does anyone know of any others?

NIMBY wrap-up

Playing catch-up here:

ADUs ("Granny Flats") in the New York Times

Also in the Times, The Crown Heights TENANT UNION

From Urban Omnibus, an excellent primer on COMMUNITY LAND TRUSTS

From Gothamist, a thoughtful piece on the Urstadt law

From the New Yorker, a thoughtful reflection on Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

Surely, you have heard of Tennessee's BUS RAPID TRANSIT BAN by now

Here is the Washington Post on "What happens when the government tries to help poor people move to better neighborhoods?"

Why Is NYC Destroying A Thriving Immigrant Economy To Bail Out The Mets' Owners? That's a great question, Gothamist!