How the creation of a new bank could help pay for our infrastructure. (3 min read)

5 alternative city models for the future. (20+ min read)

Buffalo changed their zoning rules. How's it going? (5 min read)


Hey. What's up everybody it's Kyle. Where, on this podcast, I share and discuss the best content I've discovered each Thursday related to urban planning, architecture, and cities. What are the patterns of development?

Last week I alluded to this idea of a national infrastructure bank. This is not a new idea, we're borrowing from our forefathers. In the history of the united states we've commission banks four other times:

  1. 1st Bank of the United States. 1791 - 1811. We've won the revolutionary war now we need to build our cities, roads, bridges, and ports. We're in start up mode and we need capital.
  2. 2nd Back of the United States. 1816 - 1836. We're expanding and we need more.
  3. Nation Banking System, 1863ish, Abraham Lincoln, coming out of the civil war. How do you think we paid for that transcontinental railroad?
  4. Reconstruction financial corps 32-57, this is Rosevelt getting us out of the depression, through world war 2.

People are suggesting proposing that, we need another bank, right now to help provide a budget neutral solution to our infrastructure conversation.

What does this mean? Well you create a bank. To create a bank, you need to get capitalized. This could be public or private money. The people who put their money in own stock in the bank and you promise them some % return on their money. Then the bank loans out that money a couple of points higher. Boom you got your bank and you've paid back your investors.

The trick here is building a bank that will specifically loan money to states and local municipalities to complete infrastructure projects.

Shout out to a friend of mine, Kevin. We were just painting a mural and we were talking about this idea. Chartering a bank with a specific purpose. It almost makes too much sense. Loan on infrastructure to state and local governments that's a pretty good guarantee. And then the country gets upgraded infrastructure in return.

The intriguing part is what if this bank was able to get participation on an individual level, not just an institution level. Of course your JP Morgans or Vanguards might move some money into this. But what if the opportunity was there for people to invest into this with the ease that they invest into bitcoin? Maybe the trading couldn't be as frequent, but I'd love the opportunity to get a better return and know that my money was helping communities build better infrastructure. How democratic of an idea is that? Maybe that's just capitalistic.


Talking about the future of the cities is always a hot topic.

A paper by Thomas Saaty and Pierfrancesco De Paola discussing the various possibilities of future cities considering the various constraints and demands of society, the environment, and geography.

Dubbed the future city project, they aim to study the details of various future city models and find out which model will be best suitable depending upon the strategic criteria. The four alternative kinds of cities analyzed according to their merits are: compact city, elevated city, green house city and water cities.

They did all this analysis, and they determined that The compact city model is the best solution for design and urban planning, taking into account of urban sprawl, building transformations, and economic effects on environment.

To add a little definition to exactly what they mean when they believe they've found the wining design, quoting the article now,

"The main goal behind the compact circular city is to take advantage of its specific circular design, because all points at the circumference are equally distant from the center. The central part of a circular city would be mainly reserved for residential units (apartment dwellings and community housing). If housing units are at the center, there would be better security for the residents with good mutual social relations.

Infrastructures would be placed around the center. The outermost levels should be reserved for industrial structures (minimizing environmental pollution). On the top of buildings there would be green parks as roofs, while city would be surrounded by rural countryside (without suburbs). The major benefits of the circular compact city are less city congestion and efficient public transport systems. However, its main limitation is the poor space for further expansion, ....a network of compact circular cities would be a possible way to resolve the urban expansion problem."

Ha. Density wins again! This also sounds alittle bit like the 15 minute neighborhood. If we have the city center and design in a a circle we make it possible for everything to be accessible via multiple transportation types.

Last up an article, a quick hit. I'm not going to let a week go by with out talking about parking. Buffalo has reduced and eliminated their parking requirements and it's going well.

The article by Daniel Baldwin Hess and Jeffrey Rehler says that, "Developers of 14 sites mixing retail space and residential units incorporated 53% fewer parking spaces than required under previous zoning. Four added no parking, opting instead to share parking with other properties."