Regulating for Density in the City With No Zoning

The City of Houston may be as well-known for its low-density sprawl as it is for. . . um. . . oil and the Astros? (What is Houston known for, anyway?) But even Houston has caught the density bug. City Council is considering a development code rewrite that (among other things) will allow densities up […]

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Update: Bisbee to Revise Civil Union Law

Last week, we wrote about Bisbee, an Arizona city that passed a law allowing same-sex civil unions and accompanying rights and benefits. This week, after legal pressure from the Arizona Attorney General, the Bisbee council voted to nullify the law, but the city plans to revise it to allow same-sex partner benefits while avoiding conflict […]

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Internet Advocacy ‘Uber’ Alles

Abstract:  In May 2012, the City of Cambridge charged Uber – a livery service accessed through a GPS-based mobile app – with operating an unlicensed livery service and using an unlicensed measuring device. The Massachusetts Division of Standards adjudicated the charges, ruling against Uber and issuing a cease and desist order. An August 14th post on […]

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Driverless Cars, The Law & The Future of Cities

zv7qrnb Driverless cars, like those envisioned in The Jetsons, could become a reality in our lifetimes. Autonomous cars are those capable of driving and navigating entirely without direct human input.  They currently exist only as prototypes, but a number of companies are betting that they will be sold commercial in the near future.  Google’s driverless […]

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The Future of Pittsburgh’s Police Residency Requirements

What is the value of community-based policing? Pittsburgh residents may soon find out. As Chris Potter of the Pittsburgh City paper reports in his April 3rd column, Pittsburgh’s long-standing requirement that city police officers live in the city is unlikely to be in effect for much longer. Pittsburgh police have long been required to live […]

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The City’s Drone Opportunity

Drones, or unmanned aerial systems, are not just for fighting wars or terrorists. Equipped with cameras or other sensors, they can observe and record information on areas that are expensive or difficult to survey otherwise. Unlike conventional manned vehicles, which can cost $1000 an hour for a contracted helicopter company, drones are cheap. You can […]

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New Orleans and the “Economy of the Future”

New Orleans is not giving up, and it’s not merely trying to restore its status as a “sleepy southern belle.” According to Atlantic Cities, New Orleans is choosing a “third path” by aiming to transform itself into a regional innovation hub. The city is using its low cost of living, increasing quality of life, and […]

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Arizona City Adopts Civil Union Ordinance

So what does it mean to be civilly joined in the eyes of Bisbee, Arizona? The artsy Arizona city just passed a same-sex civil union ordinance that allows same-sex couples to enjoy a City Hall ceremony that gets them a formal certificate of union, and yields such benefits as hospital visitation, family passes at the […]

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With Traditional Opponents United Behind Milwaukee Lakefront Plan, New Opposition Emerges

Milwaukee’s vision for a renewed downtown lakefront cleared a major hurdle last month, when Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Scott Walker – two staunch political opponents – announced a joint $34 million plan to move the existing highway ramps near East Clybourn Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive. Removal of the ramps, which currently occupy three […]

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For Detroit, a Crisis of Bad Decisions and Crossed Fingers

Mar. 11, 2013 Is it that simple? Is Detroit’s decay really just a matter of bad management and industrial decline? Today’s New York Times explains Detroit’s recent fiscal crisis as a result of decades of corrupt, incompetent leadership and disappearing industrial jobs that produced huge debts the city simply cannot pay. According to the Times, […]

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