If Mr. Ratti’s projections are correct, and self-driving cars can radically reduce traffic without cannibalizing existing mass transit—the hypotheticals pile up—it is possible that self-driving cars will make many cities livable in a way they aren’t now. Imagine if every U.S. city had a hybrid public-private mass-transit system on par with those in New York City or Washington, D.C., comprised entirely of self-driving vehicles. — wsj.com
Last month, the journal Science published a special issue examining the challenges and opportunities of an urbanizing world. Titled “Urban Planet” and featuring an image of clouds wafting across skyscrapers in Dubai, the issue opened with an eye-catching statistic: “More than half of the world’s people now live in cities.”
Of course, that number would be even more impressive if it were actually true. — UNDark
The Information notes that building a city could allow Sidewalk Labs to “rethink government, social policy, and data-driven management.” [CEO Dan] Doctoroff explained that “thinking about a city from the Internet up is really compelling,” while also noting that “cities are hard. You have people with vested interest, politics, physical space…But the technology ultimately cannot be stopped.” — 9 to 5 Google
A rising number of daredevil stunts such as scaling skyscrapers and parachuting from tall structures is being fuelled by competition for online acclaim, according to “urban explorers”, who warn more people are dying as a result.
The immense popularity of online videos of people climbing the world’s tallest buildings, including the London Shard, had turned urban exploration, which traditionally involves surreptitiously exploring the off-limits corners of towns and cities, into an extreme sport — the Guardian
The seven American cities that made the shortlist in the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Smart City Challenge are now deciding their strategies for winning the $40m prize fund...Transportation is the focus, so judges will be interested in self-driving and 'connected' cars, as well as 'smart streets' fitted with sensors. The aim will be to cut accidents, reduce pollution and increase commuter convenience. — Global Construction Review
The DOT shortlisted seven finalists instead of the originally planned five. They are:Austin, TexasColumbus, OhioDenver, ColoradoKansas City, MissouriPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPortland, OregonSan Francisco, CaliforniaThe winning city is expected to be announced in June.More related to transportation...
Cities around the world have only one generation to meet the twin challenges of climate change and a rapidly growing urban population, the head of a global engineering firm has warned.
Gregory Hodkinson, chairman of the Arup group, said that with more than half the world’s population already living in cities, and the proportion set to rise to 70% by 2050, city leaders need to take urgent action. — The Guardian
China has detailed its urban planning vision, which has been designed to make its sprawling cities more inclusive, safer and better places to live.
[...] policymakers pledged to transform urban development patterns and improve city management.
The last time China held such a high-level meeting was in 1978, when only 18 percent of the population lived in cities. By the end of 2011, in excess of 50 percent of the population called the city their home. — chinadaily.com.cn
The question is especially important now, given the world’s rapidly increasing population and the accelerating drift of people from countryside to cities. Should we tinker or somehow revamp existing cities to cope, or should we build new places to dwell? — BBC News
When fully built, [the New Urbanist, corporate development] Lavasa intends to consume 100 sq km...and will cater to a total population of up to 300,000 in five 'towns' built on seven hills...[But] how does it turn itself from a quirky weekend getaway into a fully fledged 'smart city' where people live and work full time? — The Guardian
This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country’s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future.
Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa. — qz.com
Cities can’t win. When they do well, people resent them as citadels of inequality; when they do badly, they are cesspools of hopelessness. In the seventies and eighties, the seemingly permanent urban crisis became the verdict that American civilization had passed on itself. Forty years later, cities mostly thrive, crime has been in vertiginous decline, the young cluster together in old neighborhoods [...] —and so big cities turn into hateful centers of self-absorbed privilege. — newyorker.com
at least some part of architectural practice needs to move on from having buildings as the only output. The answer to every urban question cannot always be a building, clearly. Whilst buildings may be part of some solutions, there are broader, deeper questions in play—good architects see this, but the practice (from education up) is still not exploring this implied question broadly enough. — cityofsound
Created by graphic engineer Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, the animated map gives a sky-high view of the city's hustle and bustle, capturing cars cruising along streets and lights buzzing on and off in buildings. Vivo, who created the project for open source mapping lab Mapzen, applied mathematical functions to street data to create the animated scene. — The Real Deal
With real estate prices soaring so high and so quickly, a lot of us are questioning if we even want to live in New York anymore—not to mention if we can. According to NeighborhoodX‘s latest map the price paid for a Bed-Stuy or Harlem apartment could get you a pretty sweet pad in the South of France or even trendy Paris. — 6sqft.com
We suspect the city’s notoriously bad traffic and general “aloofness” of the people contributed to its low ranking, as well as its culinary scene, which was also ranked dead last in this year’s poll. — Travel + Leisure
When Travel + Leisure compiled a survey of the places its readers love to visit, it also collected data on the 30 locales they loathe. While Moscow, Russia tops the list of the world's unfriendliest cities, a significant number of the top 10 are located in the United States (including Los Angeles...
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