Randal O'Toole has one reason to be grateful for the meddling of urban planners: By limiting the city's expansion, they artificially inflated housing prices in the Portland, Oregon, suburb where he used to live, enabling him to move to a less dense town where he can safely walk his dog and ride his bicycle some 200 miles each week. "If it were in a New Urbanist area," he says, "I wouldn't be allowed to own a dog and I'd probably get hit by a car on my bike." O'Toole, senior economist at the Thoreau Institute, wrote about the folly of New Urbanism in America for reason back in 1999. In this issue he looks at how British planners influenced by New Urban nostrums have created "Crime-Friendly Neighborhoods" (page 30). The article's other author, Stephen Town, is the police architectural liaison officer for the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, in northern England. Town co-wrote the book Design Against Crime: Guidance for the Design of Residential Areas.
Coloradoan Eric Dzinski confesses, slightly sheepishly, that he's "never actually held a gun before." But the recent Whittier College grad, who just finished a stint at his home state's Independence Institute, has an appreciation of the importance of Second Amendment rights, which comes through in his review of Abigail Kohn's Shooters (page 56). Dzinski is currently applying to graduate programs in philosophy; in the interim, he's biding his time by writing about and enjoying the Denver indie music scene.
In "Doctor Sex" (page 60), Assistant Editor Julian Sanchez considers the influence of Alfred C. Kinsey, the sex investigator who recently inspired both a major motion picture and a T.C. Boyle novel. "More than anyone else," he says, "Kinsey took sex out of the realm of rumor and taboo, and turned it into a subject of scientific scrutiny, like any other human behavior. We take it for granted now that any reasonably educated teenager is going to have a basic understanding of how sex works." A resident of Washington, D.C., Sanchez is about a 1.5 on the Kinsey scale.