Councilmember Tommy Wells and DC’s Director of Planning Harriet Tregoning led a book club last night at the Shaw public library, the first stop on Tommy’s Traveling Book Club.
Wells picked Triumph of the City as the first book, a bestseller by urban economist Edward Glaeser, which seeks to prove that cities are the healthiest, greenest and most innovative places in the world.
Wells and Tregoning were joined by a well-read crowd of 40 or so, and like any good book club, there were questions, disagreements, varying interpretations and snacks. The leaders brought up many of Glaeser’s ideas and explored their implications in DC.
Some of the author’s main points:
- Health and Livability — People who live in cities are healthier and more environmentally-friendly than those who don’t, despite the leafy, running-around-in-the-grass look of the suburbs. Wells spoke about how to make DC more desirable to the inflow of citizens, including creating green space, improving schools, slowing down traffic and providing amenities like grocery stores.
- Affordable Housing — Cities need to increase their housing supply to push prices down. Tregoning brought up some idiosyncrasies in DC that would limit this theory; if the supply of housing increases in the District, wealthy Marylanders and Northern Virginians might move into town, keeping prices high and pushing them higher.
- Poverty and Mixed-Income Development People without jobs and not tied down to homes are extremely mobile. If need be, they can travel to a city that has the best social services and this, Tregoning thought, is something cities need to consider. She also talked about the importance of DC’s continued support of mixed-income housing, so that lower-income individuals have access to neighbors who may be able to help them.
- Tall Buildings — Glaeser loves tall buildings full of people, and sees historic preservation as limiting. Tregoning, however, noted that shorter, historic buildings are part of what draw people to places like DC and Paris.
- Retail — In the age of Amazon and Etsy, where almost anything can be found online, Glaeser believes that people will still pay for experiential retail (i.e. an exceptional meal or a great haircut). Tregoning and the group pondered how to use that knowledge to help local retailers adapt.
- Interaction — City dwellers benefit from their neighbors, generating new ideas and networking. Wells touted programs like Capital Bikeshare that make it easy for citizens to stay in touch with each other.
Tommy’s Traveling Book Club will meet again in April. Stay tuned for the book.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/city_living_tommys_traveling_book_club_cities/4711
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
A new residential development is on the boards in DC and the design is reminiscent of... read »
DC Council initially passed a bill to regulate short-term rentals over three years ag... read »
UrbanTurf takes a look at the neighborhoods in the DC region where homebuyers likely ... read »
The DC area is not known for the very high home prices of New York or Los Angeles. Bu... read »
A new rendering provides a better sense for how Adams Morgan's former Brass Knob ware... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Here's what you need to know about reporting profit made from the sale of your home.... read »
A final look for the year at the DC neighborhoods where home values rose the most thi... read »
A Tysons development has the area's five tallest buildings on the boards.... read »
Residential development in this jurisdiction-straddling neighborhood got a major kick... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro