Las Vegas Rolls the Dice on a New City Hall

January 1, 2010

Mayor Oscar Goodman hopes the project will set off a chain reaction of new development downtown and put an economically hurting city back to work.

Governing, January 2010


The Oddly Fascinating History of Parking Garages

December 1, 2009

An exhibit at the National Building Museum reveals the untold chapter of America’s love affair with automobiles.

Governing, December 2009

Tysons Corner, Reimagined

November 1, 2009

Can the iconic super-suburb break from its traffic-clogged past?

Governing, November 2009

Won’t Cyclists Behave?

October 1, 2009

When commuting by bike in D.C., you’ll notice two things. There are an awful lot of bicyclists on the road. And almost none of them obeys any traffic laws whatsoever.

Governing, October 2009

A Competition to Re-Think the Suburbs

September 1, 2009

A little bit of absurdity may not be a bad thing.


Governing, September 2009

Urban Harvest

August 1, 2009

For urban agriculture to work, we’ll need to stop talking about it in utopian terms. Instead, let’s talk about money.

Governing, August 2009

High Time for the High Line

July 1, 2009

The first leg of New York’s park in the sky is open.

Governing, July 2009

Recycling Recession

June 1, 2009
The things we throw away aren’t finding many buyers right now.
Governing, June 2009

Meet the Mayor

June 1, 2009

Like me, Ed Morris biked cross-country. Unlike me, he tracked down the mayors of dozens of towns along the way and photographed them.

Governing, June 2009

The Great White Right-of-Way

June 1, 2009

New York gives Broadway over to pedestrians.

Governing, June 2009

Plus: my interview with NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan


May 1, 2009

Is the icon of suburban street design bound for extinction?

Governing, May 2009

Great Park Takes Shape

May 1, 2009
Orange County’s mega-park clears one hurdle but hits others.
Governing, May 2009

Preventing Veteran Homelessness

April 7, 2009

Here’s a recording of a panel I moderated today for the Urban Institute.

A Gentler Jackhammer

April 1, 2009

How New York’s noise code created a quieter way to cut concrete.

Governing, April 2009

Road to Katrinaville

April 1, 2009

Sturdy post-disaster cottages can work as permanent housing. But they’re not always welcome.


Governing, April 2009

Lofty Goals

March 1, 2009

What exactly is a green job?

Governing, March 2009

Lighting up Broad Street

March 1, 2009

Philadelphia takes a bright idea from the Europeans.

Governing, March 2009

One Crowded Capital

January 1, 2009
Local officials in Washington, D.C., are getting ready for Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Governing, January 2009

Flakes of Danger

December 1, 2008
The one thing a big-city mayor can’t afford to do is mishandle snow removal.
Governing, December 2008

Bike-Sharing Shortfall

October 1, 2008

I really do want to like bike sharing. But the way D.C. set up the nation’s first such program makes no sense.


Governing, October 2008

Locked Up

September 1, 2008

Can we solve global warming by storing CO2 underground?

Governing, September 2008

Metro Mojo?

August 1, 2008

It’s difficult to see where Brookings’ vision of a “metro policy for a metro nation” leads.

Governing, August 2008

It’s Not Easy Being Green

June 1, 2008

Being an environmentalist used to be simpler. Clean air and water were good. Pollution and littering were bad. The new consciousness about climate change complicates everything.

Governing, June 2008

Revolution in the Stacks

June 1, 2008

To appeal to a new generation, some libraries are positioning themselves as places to create content.


Governing, June 2008

Renters’ Revenge

May 1, 2008

Let’s lay some of the blame for the housing crisis on a sacred slice of American culture: our national obsession with homeownership itself.

Governing, May 2008

The Man Who Owns Flint

January 18, 2008

Michigan’s most depressed auto town is full of vacant buildings. One local official has made their redevelopment his personal crusade.

Governing, January 2008

Plus: my interview with Dan Kildee, the treasurer of Genesee County.

Special-Needs Housing for the Frail Elderly and Homeless

January 8, 2008

Here’s audio of a panel I moderated today for the Urban Institute.

Local Warming

December 1, 2007

It’s too late to stop climate change. What we can do is plan for it.

Governing, December, 2007

Plus: my interview with two officials in Olympia, Washington, about how to cope with sea-level rise.

Shrink Rap

November 1, 2007

It’s easier to think about downsizing an imaginary post-industrial city than a real one.

Governing, November 2007

Powering Down

August 1, 2007

Can utilities make money on energy efficiency?

Governing, August 2007

WiFi Town

May 1, 2007

Cities are building out wireless networks. What will they do with all that WiFi?

Governing, May 2007

Plus: my interviews with Chris Puccio, CIO of Boulder, Colorado and Esme Vos of

The Retail Chase

April 1, 2007

Cities will do almost anything to land the store of their dreams.

Governing, April 2007

Plus: my interviews with three retail experts.

Over-the-Rhine, One More Time

March 1, 2007

Cincinnati’s most troubled and beautiful neighborhood makes a comeback.

Preservation, March/April 2007

The Insurance Disaster

February 1, 2007

How Hurricane Katrina ended up hitting Delaware, Connecticut and lots of other states.

Governing, February 2007

Toll Roads For Sale (and everything else)

January 1, 2007

State and local governments are unloading toll roads, parking garages, lotteries and other assets. Are they getting a sweet deal or is it a sellout?

Governing, January 2007

Plus: My interviews with the Treasurer of New Jersey, the CFO of Chicago and the CFO of Harris County, Texas.

The 24-Hour Rush Hour

December 1, 2006

How rush hour turned into “rush day.”

Governing, December 2006

Smart Decline

November 1, 2006

Youngstown has lost more than half its population. Those people aren’t coming back. But shrinking doesn’t have to mean dying.

Governing, November 2006

Plus: My photo essay on Youngstown, and interviews with Mayor Jay Williams and urban planner Hunter Morrison.

UPDATE: New York Times Magazine includes “creative shrinkage” in its 2006 Year in Ideas issue. Now where did they read about that?

Profile of Bush’s Homelessness Czar

November 1, 2006

Philip Mangano may be all that’s left of compassionate conservatism.

Governing, November 2006 

Honey, Our House is Historic!

October 1, 2006

Buildings from the mid-20th century are becoming eligible for landmark status. Local governments are trying to decide which are worth preserving.

Governing, October 2006

Plus: I interview three experts about preserving the ’50s. 

     * Dwayne Jones, executive director of Preservation Dallas

     * Julie Lawless, Ft. Worth planning department

     * Ron Wright, Arlington city councilman

Mississippi’s Urbanist Odyssey

September 1, 2006

The ravaged Gulf Coast has a rare opportunity to recreate itself. But it still has to decide what it wants to look like.

Governing, September 2006

Plus: A Q&A with me on what I found in Mississippi and New Orleans.

The Fuss About Eminent Domain

July 1, 2006

How a Supreme Court decision on takings unleashed a ferocious backlash.

Governing, July 2006

The Battles of Blair Mountain

May 1, 2006

One determined West Virginian keeps alive the memory of an epic miners’ struggle.

Preservation, May/June 2006

L.A. Banks on Buses

May 1, 2006

It's not 'rail lite,' say defenders of the city's new busway, one of a growing number of BRT programs across the nation.

Planning, May 2006

WiFi Free-for-All

May 1, 2006

Strategies for building municipal wireless networks are evolving fast. But are they prudent in the long run?

Governing, May 2006

Heavyweights on TV

April 1, 2006

Cable and telecom companies are slugging it out over franchises. Some localities may get hurt.

Governing, April 2006

Coal Converts

April 1, 2006

When it comes to lining up new energy sources, a number of states see plain old coal as the cleanup hitter.

Governing, April 2006

Faster Than a Speeding Turtle

February 1, 2006

New high-tech tools can make buses a lot more efficient than they used to be. Will that be enough to satisfy riders?

Governing, February 2006

The Code War

January 1, 2006

As governments move toward uniform building codes, they are being lobbied by two rival groups that offer competing sets of standards.

Governing, January 2006

A Roof to Start With

December 1, 2005

Cities are moving homeless people straight from the street into permanent housing — no questions asked. It’s controvesial, but it’s showing results.

Governing, December 2005

Rethinking the Urban Speedway

October 1, 2005

Governing Oct. 05 Cover.JPGFor decades, highway engineers focused on designing wider, straighter, faster roads. Now, moving traffic quickly is no longer the sole goal.

Governing, October 2005

Advancing Hope

September 1, 2005

For Gloria Rodriguez and her nonprofit group, Avance, preservation is a critical tool in the fight against poverty.

Preservation, September/October 2005

Blogger Power

July 1, 2005

Blogger Power

A new generation of web scribes is shaking up state capitol politics.

Governing, July 2005


My Interview on Colorado Public Radio

June 9, 2005

I was interviewed today on Colorado Matters, regarding my recent Governing article on highway HOT lanes.

Listen to the interview here.

How are Families from America’s Worst Public Housing Faring?

October 5, 2004

Here’s a transcript of a panel I moderated today for the Urban Institute.

A Bridge Too Many?

September 1, 2004

Louisville’s fight to ease traffic has been long, bitter—and very American.

Preservation, September/October 2004

D.C.’s Waterfront Revival

April 1, 2004

You need not wander far from the steps of the U.S. Capitol to find a part of Washington, D.C., that even most locals don’t know exists.

Planning, April 2004

Reinventing the District

February 1, 2004

A pro-planning mayor and his planning director set a new course for a troubled city.

Planning, February 2004

America’s Green Mayors

June 1, 2002

Building a park in Boston these days is no easy task. That’s not stopping Mayor Tom Menino.

Rails to Trails, Summer 2002

S’mores on the Green Line

August 11, 2001

At Greenbelt Park, go camping…by Metro.

Washington Post, August 22, 2001