Friday, March 8, 2013

A Change is in the Works

To my loyal readers, thanks.  This is the 143rd  post for Cogito Urbanus, and for the most part I have enjoyed the writing and the research, they go hand in hand (and I never missed a Friday). And it’s actually quite fun. But, as any blogger will tell you, it’s always there, day to day, annoying and demanding. And the simple fact is this: writing two blogs a week (the other is on writing GO HERE), trying to get a 1,000 words a day down in my novels, and still run a design and urban planning shop is, well, a bit much ( ask my CFO).

So something has to change. It’s very obvious that the development world will go on doing its “thing” with or without me, so I’m cutting back. This blog will now be written when I have something brilliant to say, or not say, as the case may be. I am concentrating my efforts on two new books that are due out this spring and summer. One, a historical novel called Wars Amongst Lovers, and two, a new Sharon O’Mara thriller called Diamonds For Death. My goals are simple: sell, sell, and sell; write, write, and write. By the way, if you go to my writing blog, you will notice that all my books are free until Saturday night for your ereader/Nook/Kobo etc. Jump on board. Let’s build momentum together.

Keep in mind these Cogito Urbanus  prophecies:

  • New home demand will outstrip supply very quickly and, due to the severe lack of forward planning and entitlements, will skyrocket in price. (huge demand + cheap money = higher prices).
  •  The lack/reduction of federal spending will free up capital for private sector development - a very good thing.
  • The greatest market for development (as a sector) will be senior housing. This will be an across the board menu of active adult urban, active adult resort, housing with medical support, short and long term care, and memory. Many will be infill projects.
  • Interest rates must rise back to their norm and this will be sooner than you think.
  •  And inflation (due to cheap money) will have dramatic impacts on supplies, land, housing and rents, be careful what you ask for.

 So Long Farewell - for now!

So my friends, it has been enjoyable and fun. Occasionally drop by, check out my latest postings, how often, remains to be seen. And I would love to hear from you.

So Stay Tuned . . . . . . . .

Friday, March 1, 2013

Noodling February

Running to Keep Up

I was not the first and I won’t be the last to point this out (see last week), but there is pressure building on the new home front. Builders are now running behind, and it will be expensive and costly to catch up.

Rent? Okay but where?

What drives people to rent versus owning and why do they chose a house instead of an apartment, it’s due to income, children, and family size. And by the way it’s also the amenities.

Now for the Esoteric

In RCLCO’s latest Advisory, the subject of form-based codes is discussed, I have followed this alternative to Euclidian Zoning, or the type of zoning 90%+ of cities use (keep like uses together and don’t allow too much mixing). Form codes use a different relationship basis and can be down right confusing and costly – the administrator has to be a genius to figure it out, but they have their place, sometimes.

For Article:


And here are five TED features (videos and talks) that discuss housing and design, take a look, but I warn you there is silliness going on (masquerading as serious thought).

The First

James Howard Kunstler trashes suburbia in 2004, it’s like, you know, like a, diatribe, that goes and on and on, like you know, whining all the way. The man has proven that he’s just mad at everything. Nice gig if you can get it – and great speaking fees.

The Second

William McDonough in 2005, rambles on and on about design and the intentions of things designed. But there you are.

The Third

Cameron Sinclair in 2006, socially responsible architecture is discussed. It is a broad reach across many horizons and frontiers of design, very little whining. Very cool. It is a very big and complicated world out there.

The Fourth

Majora Carter in 2006, how get it done with a limited budget. New York is the focus on how to deal with cities and get back the city bits that can help people. Good speaker – no whining.

The Fifth

Thomas Heatherwick in 2011, on bio-inspired design and soulfulness of design. Cool architecture unlike the usual stuff we see. The bridge is uber-cool.

Stay Tuned . . . . . . . .