Welcome to Curbed's new weekly roundup of architecture, real estate, and urban planning-related feature stories from, well, anywhere that isn't Curbed. We'll be collecting a few of our favorite longer stories of the week; please be in touch if you have a story to recommend.
1. Guardian architecture guy Oliver Wainwright unveils "the truth about property developers," namely that they are "ruining our cities" by reneging affordable housing requirements for dazzling developers from abroad:
Bullied and undermined, planning authorities have been left castrated and toothless, stripped of the skills and power they need to regulate, and sapped of the spatial imagination to actually plan places. As one house-builder puts it simply, "The system is ripe for sharp developers to drive a bulldozer right through." And they will continue to do so with supercharged glee, squeezing the life out of our cities and reaping rewards from the ruins, until there is something in the way to stop them. 2. A 51-year-old Boston businessman is renovating a neglected Massachusetts landmarks, the Graves Island Light Station. His plans for the 113-foot light house, which he bought for $933,000, are three-fold: to restore the historic property, to once again make the structure inhabitable (that is, with a functioning bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area), and to open it up to the public:
Inside the structure, floors and windows have been restored or replaced, mildewed tiles and rusted fixtures sandblasted clean, and fresh coats of paint applied to winding metal stairways. Outside, rocks from a crumbling breakwater have been moved back into place and an old, rotting dock shored up and rebuilt. 3. Writing for CityLab, economist Joe Cortright debunks the New York Times' claim that Portland has become a place where overeducated kombucha-drinking young people move to essentially retire:
The "Portland as retirement community for the young" stereotype was around before Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen lampooned it on cable. But this well-worn claim has been repeatedly debunked. As Portland State University researchers Greg Schrock and Jason Jurjevich have shown, far from retiring, young and talented people coming to Portland are decidedly entrepreneurial. On average, they're 50 percent more likely to start their own businesses. And Portland ranks third nationally among large metro areas in the fraction of its college-educated young adults running their own businesses. · Recommended Reading archive [Curbed]