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Month in Review: August, 2012: Part 1, Upgrading the brown

11 October, 2012 (15:04) | Boston, Capital markets, China, Galveston, India, Informality, Month in review, Municipal bankruptcy, New York City, Nonprofits, NYCHA, Public housing, Redevelopment, Remittances, Subprime, Vouchers, Workouts |

[Previous Months in Review available here: July 12, Jun 12, May 12, Apr 12, Mar 12, Feb 12, Jan 12.]   By:David A. Smith   Remember how much good there is in us   Amid all the gloomy economic news, it’s pleasing now and then to lead with an urban revival story that is both […]

How many square feet in a cornice? Part 2, the left brain

9 October, 2012 (14:31) | Apartments, Cities, Development, Economics, Historic tax credits, Housing, Redevelopment, Urbanization, Zoning |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post showed us that cheerful spectacle, happily reported in the Boston Globe (September 23, 2012), of the right-brain architect musing about Filene’s emotional qualities while the left-brain real estate developer wants to make sure the sums work:   Comfort, style, and luxury – all at […]

How many square feet in a cornice? Part 1, the right brain

9 October, 2012 (14:29) | Apartments, Cities, Development, Economics, Historic tax credits, Housing, Redevelopment, Urbanization, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   As the lion may now and then lie down with the lamb, and the left brain may declare a truce against the right brain, behold the cockle-warming spectacle, offered for consumption of the Boston Globe (September 23, 2012) and its readership, of gimlet-eyed developer and gauzy-eyed architect daydreaming about cornices and […]

The bio-thermostat override

5 October, 2012 (09:16) | Air conditioners, Boston, Construction, Energy, Means testing, Property management, Public housing, Rental, Tenants, Utility allowances, Windows | 2 comments

By:David A. Smith   The weakest part of an automobile, my father used to tell me, was the nut behind the wheel.  It thinks it has free will, he might have added, and even if it didn’t have free will, it can certainly make noise, as we discovered a few months back with this ain’t-it-a-scandal […]

Moving jobs to housing

4 October, 2012 (14:12) | Capital, Homeownership, Housing, Innovations, Markets, Networks, Speculation, Technology, US News |

By:David A. Smith   Which is easier to relocate, a job or a home?    The joke is told of the economist with one foot in a bucket of boiling water, the other in a bucket of ice: “On average, I’m doing fine.”   At the moment, I’m doing fine   That question came up […]