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Feeding the Sun Corridor: Exploring Arizona’s Zero Sum Game

Perceptions of Sustainability Sustainability is the paradigm of our age.i Architects, urban planners, real estate developers, technology companies, college campuses, food distributors, nearly everyone is doing it. Regrettably, conversation surrounding sustainability is commonly directed at one, shallow resolve: proclaiming whether something is or is not sustainable.  Use these biodegradable sponges, they’re sustainable! Don’t buy a […]

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Ten Arcane Facts About New York City

1,     Beavers on New York City Seal:   New York City seal has two beavers between the arms of a windmill denoting that the city was founded by Dutch fur traders. The date on the city seal had been 1664 when Dutch surrendered the city to British. In 1974 the City Council decided to change the […]

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Is the Singapore Housing Model Right for New York City?

  Singapore is often touted as being an exorbitantly expensive place to live. It’s so recognizably pricey in fact, that the small city-state recently snatched first place in 2014’s list of Most Expensive Cities in the world. But as the Singaporean newspaper The Straits Times points out, perhaps this global Cost of Living exercise is […]

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(In)formality (In)justice

As many New Yorkers know, the rent is too damn high. The neighborhoods of New York have always been dynamic and ever-changing, and today, this continues to be true, but perhaps, on a level unforeseen in recent memory. Many are being priced out of our neighborhoods that they’ve lived in, sometimes for generations. So I asked Jimmy […]

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Brooklyn’s 1938 “Redline” Map

During the middle of the 20th-century, America’s urban cores were being gutted through fiscal attrition: tax dollars were being sent, for the first time, out and away from cities to subsidize suburban expansion. At the same time, private financial institutions were pulling their funding away from urban home-buyers, business owners and those wishing to refinance […]

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Gentrification in the Plateau, Montreal’s most famous neighborhood

By Alyssa Campbell The Plateau-Mont-Royal is arguably Montreal’s most famous neighborhood. Ranked by many publications as one of North America’s “best neighborhoods,” the Plateau has built a reputation for being a hip area with trendy bars, shopping, restaurants and cafes. Yet four decades ago life in the neighborhood was quite the opposite, on the precipice of […]

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Eminent domain, not always evil?

Eminent domain is one of those government powers that has gotten some bad press in recent years, mainly due it being used for economic development. But eminent domain doesn’t have to be all bad. Ellen Brown wrote a compelling piece on using ED as a tool to help reclaim foreclosed properties whose ownership is lost […]

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The Other Brownsville

When I searched the New York Times website recently for “Brownsville” (the one in Brooklyn, not the one in Texas), the first few search results were as follows: 16-Year-Old Is Fatally Shot on His Way Home from a Party in Brownsville New York City’s Optimistic Tone Feels Out of Reach in Brownsville Brownsville, Brooklyn, Is […]

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What’s the cap rate, buddy? How to get development your community actually wants

A brief summary/disclaimer: All too often, terms like gentrification and displacement are tossed around, community residents are treated as passive actors, and the ensuing conflict between market-rate developers and affordable housing non-profits plays out in the media, like a spinning, frustrating wheel with no clear concessions or answers. At the end of the day, market-rate […]

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Mortgage Complaints

The 2008 mortgage crisis fascinated me at the time and then last year I bought a home. Therefore, I was pretty terrified during the whole process. Plus, I felt naked having to share my entire financial life to strangers. The NY Times had a recent article on “Complaints About Closings.” It is nice to see […]

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