Most American cities paved over their streetcar tracks decades ago, deeming the services slow, rickety and inconvenient. Commuters have long preferred cars and buses. But streetcars—sometimes known as trolleys or trams—are making a comeback. Services are rolling out in at least 16 American cities, with dozens more in the works [...] The relationship between streetcars and development is not clear, say researchers funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). — the Economist
Marshall, Garrick and Piatkowski are talking about a different set of health concerns: not communicable diseases like cholera, but lifestyle diseases like diabetes. "The literature suggests," they write, "that the shift in industrialized nations toward a more sedentary lifestyle is linked to increasingly auto-dependent lifestyles, which in turn is linked to lower density developments and auto-friendly land uses." Maybe we're designing places, in other words, that make it harder to be active. — washingtonpost.com
Brad Buchanan spends his summer weekends, and some predawn mornings, atop an ATV checking on his cattle along Kiowa Creek. [...]
But each weekday, Buchanan shifts gears... The weekend farmer who's also a longtime architect ... is five months into his job as Denver's head city planner.
That juxtaposition — an Eastern Plains rancher responsible for making key decisions about Denver's increasingly dense urban footprint — has some critics of the city's building bonanza grumbling. — denverpost.com
In that ancient fable of localized identity, a city-dwelling mouse and his country-dwelling cousin try out life in each other's shoes. There are countless versions of this story, found in civilizations from all over the world. Invariably, when each mouse visits his cousin, he feels uncomfortably...
current conventional wisdom embraces density, sky-high scrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. [...]
Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and “human scale” neighborhoods. — washingtonpost.com
In cities around the country, the geographical hubs of gay culture — so-called “gayborhoods” — are changing. Amin Ghaziani, author of a new book, There Goes the Gayborhood?, says this subtle cultural shift holds enormous significance for the gay community in urban America and beyond. [...]
Yet while positive social and legal shifts have led to this change (from the Castro to Chelsea), we haven’t quite evolved past the point of needing them. — nextcity.org
The intensive militarization of America’s police forces is a serious menace about which a small number of people have been loudly warning for years, with little attention or traction. “The blurring distinctions between the police and military institutions and between war and law enforcement, police militarization” as “the process whereby civilian police increasingly draw from, and pattern themselves around, the tenets of militarism and the military model.” — THE INTERCEPT
I see nothing wrong with replacing the hegemony of cars with the hegemony I am proposing, of bikes. Those who need buses would be no worse off than they are now. But a problem would come if a city like Amsterdam had a bike modal share of 90 percent, as could achieved if end-of-trip strategies were built into all buildings to eliminate the problem of bike theft, and if shelter removed the inequity of cycling being the one mode remaining where people get wet. — cycle-space.com
From buckling sidewalks to potholed thoroughfares to storm drains that can’t handle a little rain, the infrastructure that holds [Los Angeles] together is suffering from years of deferred maintenance. Bringing pipes that deliver water to 3.9 million people up to snuff could cost $4 billion [...] The bill for repaving streets will be almost that much, according to estimates from a city consultant, and patching or replacing cracked sidewalks will require $640 million. — Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Hanoi has faced the same population pressures as other Asian cities. But thanks to vague and informal conventions, the state has been able to avoid extreme levels of disservice, even to the most impoverished new urban areas. And the construction of homes themselves has remained at least loosely connected to the regulations of the more formal suburbs. Together these factors have prevented the formation of slums as they are typically defined. But how has this come about? — theguardian.com
When somebody comes to make your city smart, he never comes by himself...billions in growth doesn't come without standards and industry alliances. I have never seen so many standards and industry alliances as I am seeing in 'Smart Cities' and 'Internet of Things', and foundations too. — YouTube
The American Community Survey is a massive annual effort by the Census Bureau to measure various aspects of American life. Among many other things, respondents are asked if they speak a language other than English at home, and if so, what language is spoken. Using this data, as explained in more detail at the bottom of this post, Business Insider was able to map out New York City's most popular non-English languages. — Business Insider
China’s visible impact on urban development in Africa is substantial. One need only take a virtual bird’s-eye tour on Google Earth to catch a glimpse of some of the most impressive changes brought to Africa by Chinese constructors, developers and designers. Not far from the Angolan capital of Luanda lies arguably one of the most impressive examples: Kilamba New City. A massive housing development designed to accommodate 500,000 people [...]. — gowestproject.com
Flooded with politicos and political junkies, Washington, D.C. often comes off as a city steeped in raw ambition. But the nation’s capital deserves to be known for something else: coolness. While “cool” might not be the first word that comes to mind when contemplating the latest standoff in Congress, D.C. nonetheless has a lot to offer those who call it home. — Forbes
Today, Forbes released its most recent ranking of American cities, this time based on the vague, unscientific, and seemingly ridiculous category of "coolness." What, you may ask, are the determining factors of coolness?Pay attention high school students:Entertainment optionsBars and restaurants...
As prices rise in Brooklyn, brokers in Bedford-Stuyvesant have been breaking sales records left and right since March [...] Nine of Bed-Stuy’s top 15 residential sales in the past five years are from 2014 [...] Meanwhile, the median sales price during the second quarter rose to $630,000, up from $425,000 in the second quarter of 2013. In June of this year, the median asking price was even higher, according to StreetEasy data: $895,000, a 50.4 percent increase from June 2013. — The Real Deal
Central Atlanta Progress, a nonprofit corporation of Atlanta business leaders, has released the documents from a recent assessment of Downtown Atlanta parking. They include reports on the existing parking situation and recommendations for “improving the customer parking experience in Downtown Atlanta.” [...]
The first sting was felt when I read this nugget from the report:
A person’s first and last impression of a city begins and ends with parking.
Ouch! I beg to differ. — ATL Urbanist
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