Revenge of the Small

Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver are creating strategies to encourage the development of modest, more affordable houses

Portland, Oregon. Seattle, Washington. Vancouver, British Columbia. In these three Pacific North­west cities, the progressive power of urban planning is taken very seriously, and concepts like livability and sustainability dominate the local civic culture to such an extent that to visit all three in rapid succession, as I did in October, is to drop in on another country. It’s not the United States or Canada, but a more highly evolved combination of the two.

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