What the government builds and where it builds things can have a major impact on a community and on the way generations of people live their lives. The siting of college campuses in California provides a poignant, and depressing, case study.
Maybe there is reason to hope we can get development right in the future.
That's the conclusion I draw after looking over the list of projects that the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) recently named "catalyst projects." It's largely rhetoric, the state has put its seal of approval on -- and given valuable publicity to -- some promising, progressive projects. In general, projects are mixed-use, mixed-income infill projects that attempt – to varying degrees – to de-emphasize the automobile and improve the public realm. It's nice to see the state recognize the planning behind such projects, even if the state isn't willing to attach much money to that recognition.