Author: Joan Mooney

Joan Mooney is a longtime writer and editor who for many years was senior editor of AutoExec, the magazine of the National Automobile Dealers Association. As a freelancer, she has written about such diverse topics as the resurgence of streetcars for On Common Ground magazine, the suburbanization of poverty for Urban Land, recumbent trikes for the AARP Bulletin and water infrastructure and supply for the National Association of Realtors.

Articles by Joan Mooney

  • In Print: Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism
    Published on May 19, 2016 in Development
    In this 2014 book, now available in paperback, transit advocate Benjamin Ross highlights some of the origins of suburban sprawl in the United States.
  • Making Solar Work for Affordable Housing
    Published on March 25, 2016 in Sustainability
    How three affordable housing projects are integrating solar to keep energy costs in check.
  • In Print: Fantasy Islands: Chinese Dreams and Ecological Fears in an Age of Climate Crisis
    Published on January 04, 2016 in Planning & Design
    It is easy to paint a black-and-white picture of China’s environmental policies. But in this book, Julie Sze is able to bring a more nuanced view. The professor from the University of California, Irvine, looks at eco-cities and explores prominent examples in China that involved global engineering and design firms.
  • In Print: (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization
    Published on December 21, 2015 in Development
    When Alex Morrison, executive director of the Urban Development Authority for Macon-Bibb County, Georgia, started on a comprehensive plan for downtown revitalization, “we knew we wanted walkability and housing,” he said. “But the how and where [were] driven by the public process.” His emphasis on community engagement drove home a point in a new guidebook, (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, from Smart Growth America.
  • In Print: Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World
    Published on September 21, 2015 in Sustainability
    Jared Green started to write Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World as a much-needed effort to avoid fatalism about the future, especially the effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, and rising inequality.
  • Better Approaches Needed for Rapid Rehousing after Disasters
    Published on August 20, 2015 in Sustainability
    As urbanization spreads, natural disasters are increasingly happening in urban areas. That means “the unit is not the household anymore,” said Mario Flores, director of disaster response field operations at Habitat for Humanity, speaking at a panel at the National Building Museum in D.C. “We need to look at the entire neighborhood, by block, by city."
  • Confronting the Rise of Suburban Poverty
    Published on September 06, 2013 in Market Trends
    The "typical" suburban family with two parents and 2.5 children is long gone—if it ever existed. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, a new book from the Brookings Institution, debunks another myth about the suburbs—that of suburban prosperity: there are now more people living in poverty in the suburbs than in downtown areas.
  • “Innovation Districts” Boosting Bottom Line for Cities
    Published on August 05, 2013 in Planning & Design
    Where others have failed, triangle-based modular wood structures may achieve manufacturing economies for commercial and residential uses.
  • Housing America’s Graying Population
    Published on June 03, 2013 in Residential/Multifamily
    Housing will be the biggest challenge for the coming wave of aging baby boomers, said speakers at a recent Atlantic forum in Washington, D.C.. With neither adequate zoning nor a sufficient stock of “age-appropriate” housing, America is not prepared for the predicted surge in the number of senior citizens, panelists said.
  • Home Values Near Transit Outperform
    Published on May 07, 2013 in Residential/Multifamily
    Homes near public transit retained their value better during the recession than their counterparts in auto-dependent areas, according to a recent study. What’s impressive is the extent of it: In five metropolitan areas, residential property values performed 42 percent better on average.
  • Designing for an Aging Population
    Published on May 16, 2012 in Planning & Design
    “The attributes of the single-family house are becoming obstacles to aging in place well,” with the distance from shops and services and the lack of walkability, said Ellen Dunham Jones, architecture professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “We need to link the needs of the aging population with dead big-box stores and dying malls.”
  • Preparing for an Aging Population
    Published on May 15, 2012 in Planning & Design
    The aging of American society is not a transitory phenomenon caused by baby boomers, said Jack Rowe, professor of health policy management at Columbia University, in a recent conference at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. “It’s a permanent structural change induced by greater longevity.” Core U.S. institutions, including housing, “are not engineered for the society we’re going to have,” he said.