Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Archive for May, 2013

Planning Confidential: What They Don’t Teach in School Can Hurt You

Posted by Roobs on May 27, 2013

2013-apamn-spring-seminar

I originally wanted to go to law school but I changed my mind during my junior year at Berkeley.  I chose to go into urban planning instead, since it fit in more with my personal and professional interests.  My two years in UCLA’s urban planning program were fun, educational (obviously), and stressful.  I got to study really great topics in planning and even design a neighborhood around a potential high-speed rail station in Burbank (neat!)  But now that I am a year removed from graduation; I look back and think that there are things that planning school just doesn’t do well in preparing future planners.  I  believe there are a few things we can change to fix that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Planning Confidential | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Planning Confidential: Time to Embrace the Neighborhood Bar

Posted by Roobs on May 14, 2013

The other day I read an article announcing that the beloved UCLA hangout bar, Westwood Brewing Company (aka: BrewCo), would be closing this summer; to be replaced by a chain seafood restaurant.  The loss of this college-age oriented hangout is yet another loss for the student population in Westwood, and an example of the constant struggle for identity of this urban village between the wealthy homeowners and student population.  What urban planners have always been willing to argue is that street-level retail and restaurants are essential.  But what they are less likely, though arguably always thinking, is that neighborhoods need bars.  It’s time we get over our reservations and embrace the benefits and necessity of a neighborhood bar in urban planning and development.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Planning Confidential | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Planning Confidential: 4 Reasons SimCity is Better Than You

Posted by Roobs on May 8, 2013

SimCity

SimCity.  Possibly the most popular computer game among urban planners.  You get to put roads where you want them.  Transit where you want it.  Build a high-rise, high-density core, and there’s not a NIMBY in site.  Or at least none that you can’t simply bulldoze out of the way.  Yes, every urban planner loves SimCity.  Except for the ones that don’t.

It was about a year ago or so when I first read a planning-related article about the popular city simulation game.  The article was more of an attack on the game being perceived as a “urban planning” simulation, citing how it is not at all realistic to what planners do and potential graduate students in planning should avoid it (if I could find it I would add the link, but I can’t).  My response: of course it’s not realistic.  It’s a computer game!  But here’s why SimCity is better at planning than the haters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Planning Confidential | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Planning Confidential: Everything you thought about planning is true.

Posted by Roobs on May 6, 2013

urbanplanningfordummies

Welcome to my new series entitled: Planning Confidential: Everything You Thought About Planning is True.  The title is a play on the great book by Anthony Bourdain: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.  Unlike Bourdain, I lack the years of experience to create a truly entertaining “tell all” book.  However, like Bourdain, I have plenty of opinions and a willingness to share them.  Over the next few posts under this parent series, I will explore some of my favorite topics in the planning and development field.  Some may be serious.  Some may be more playful.  But it I hope it will all be fun.  For me, at least.

If you don’t like it then I’m sure there’s a permit application you could be approving right now.

Post Index:

1) 4 Reasons SimCity is Better Than You

2) Time to Embrace the Neighborhood Bar

3) What They Don’t Teach in School Can Hurt You

4) You Don’t Know Gentrification

5) Developers, Height, and Cost of Housing

6) The Moral Imperative to Build

Posted in Planning Confidential, Urban Planning | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »