Urban development and "repopulating" downtown (Re: Brown Makes His Move

Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu
Mon Jun 15 08:14:59 PDT 1998

I just read that San Francisco allows low income housing to be located in areas where businesses operate. Thus there are apartments over small groceries and video stores. Is this true? Is this what Brown wants to do?

Barkley Rosser On Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:34:43 -0700 Nathan Newman <nnewman at ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: C. Petersen <ottilie at u.washington.edu>
> To: lbo-talk at lists.panix.com <lbo-talk at lists.panix.com>
> >I know a guy who works on housing in SF, and in his opinionm Jerry Brown
> >is the anti-christ. he believes in new urbanism, where the city strives
> to
> >'repopulate' the city center after years of downward economic spiral,
> >but... isn't the city center already populated?
> In the case of Oakland (and most cities), the city center is not
> populated. In Oakland, you have lots of office buildings but few
> residential apartments, which means that while there is a lot of traffic
> and commerce during the day, the downtown essentially shuts down at night.
> This also means that the subways system (BART) is underused since few
> people live close enough to it to use it as their primary transportation
> system.
> As a policy, increasing residential living in commercial zones tied to
> transit is both economically and environmentally a very good policy.
> Years of urban renewal have depopulated commercial zones in downtown
> areas, which shoved the poor AND middle class out, the poor to peripheral
> urban areas, the middle class out to the suburbs. Repopulating the
> downtown areas is probably the best recipe for bringing both back to the
> core of city living.
> If you look at the Bay Area as a whole, you see massive housing
> construction in what was once the greenbelt of farm land, encouraging
> sprawl and highway gridlock. At the same time (and progressives bear
> partial responsibility for this), you have had very little new housing
> built in places like Berkeley and Oakland. The combination is lethal for
> rational urban development.
> If Brown actually helps reverse this trend, he will have done a good
> thing.
> --Nathan newman

-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at jmu.edu

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