Urban lesson plan

Otis White is wrapping up his run of Governing’s “Urban Notebook”:http://governing.com/notebook.htm, among the first (and still among the best) urban blogs — it seems to have predated blogging software, in fact. He leaves with seven lessons:

Lesson 1: Innovate, save money, throw the bums out and use good sense.
Lesson 2: Protect the order of public spaces.
Lesson 3: Get dense: It’s how you make residents and housing affordable.
Lesson 4: Save the property tax.
Lesson 5: Tie transportation to land use.
Lesson 6: Don’t act helpless: why local leadership is important.
Lesson 7: Have fun: Cities are funny, funny places.

For further explanation, see his concise “Best of Urban Notebook”:http://governing.com/notebest.htm roundup.

His final print column includes this:

bq. Suburbs are looking more like cities did 30 years ago: commercial, crowded, ethnically diverse, hectic, poverty-pocked and unsafe in places. Suburbs are no longer the refuges we once considered them. Meanwhile, cities are getting safer, turning into gentrified magnets for empty-nesters and young singles… [H]ere’s the vision that might help metro areas […]: the complete community. Cities that have neighborhoods with suburban [bourgeois?] sensibilities, suburbs with areas of hipness, density and transit, and places in both for all income levels.

This focus on regionalism is a refreshing change from the tired city vs. suburban tirades that certain libertarian writers keep falling into. In cities all over the country, I see exciting New Urbanism being built in both city and suburb.

Chris Swope, their best (and dishiest) writer on city governance, takes over for Otis next month.