Gilles Vesco calls it the 'new mobility'. It’s a vision of cities in which residents no longer rely on their cars but on public transport, shared cars and bikes and, above all, on real-time data on their smartphones...'Multi-modal' and 'interconnectivity' are now the words on every urban planner’s lips...This model of denser, less car-dependent cities is becoming the accepted wisdom across the developed world. — The Guardian
Writer Stephen Moss talks to urban planners and transportation authorities around Europe to get a glimpse into how cities worldwide continue to wean themselves off car dependency and explore new forms of mobility, all while city density increases.
Today, Uber is announcing UberPool, a new feature that will let you pick up other riders on the way to your destination and split the bill.
While the feature should do a lot to cut costs for passengers, not everyone will want to ride with a stranger in addition to the driver picking them up; Uber notes that the new feature also serves as a kind of “social experiment.” [...]
Starting August 15 a public beta will launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. — techcrunch.com
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
Cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. [...]
While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, [a study] found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work ... arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. — thedailybeast.com
A new video by doctoral student and an associate professor at Arizona State University visualizes the expansion of LA's roads, starting in 1888 and running all the way up to 2010 [...]
Variations in color denote the age of the thoroughfares, with green being the oldest roads and red being newest. Watch as the map blooms with color in the fifties and the trend carries on through the eighties to the present. — la.curbed.com
"Growth of the Los Angeles Roadway Infrastructure, 1888 - 2010", by Andrew M. Fraser and Mikhail V. Chester, Ph.D., of Arizona State University:Compare with the following video of Los Angeles' overall growth as a city during the 20th century, from NYU's Stern Urbanization Project:
According to a recent report from PeopleForBikes and Alliance for Biking & Walking, protected city bike lanes can actually encourage local business success. As trends show workers moving into U.S. cities (rather than out into suburbs), and businesses catering to a younger workforce that...
The city of Los Angeles is cracking down on pedestrians who sneak across streets when the traffic signal says “don’t walk.” But when you put a price on bad behavior, like being in a public street illegally, you see clearly what a city values.
The cheapest parking ticket in Los Angeles (pdf) is $58, and the one most commonly issued for parking in a prohibited zone is $73. Jaywalking—the term of art for a pedestrian crossing against the light—will cost you $197. — qz.com
Apple is actually taking a site that is now parking lots and low-rise boxes and making it worse for the community. Yes, it will be iconic, assuming you think a building shaped like a whitewall motorcycle tire is iconic, but it will reduce current street connectivity, seal off potential walking routes and, as I wrote some time back, essentially turn its back on its community. With a parking garage designed to hold over ten thousand cars, by the way. — Switchboard
Kaid Benfield, staff member at the Natural Resources Defense Council, slams Apple on it's proposed new HQ in Cupertino. Before you run off to return your idevices, though, consider that the new Archinect iPhone app will be released shortly ;) Related: Apple's new headquarters lacks vision Plans...
One study says we’ve built eight parking spots for every car in the country. Houston is said to have 30 of them per resident. In “Rethinking a Lot,” a new study of parking, due out in March, Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of urban planning at M.I.T., points out that “in some U.S. cities, parking lots cover more than a third of the land area, becoming the single most salient landscape feature of our built environment.” — nytimes.com
“Voiture Minimum: Le Corbusier and the Automobile” ($49.95) focuses on Le Corbusier’s design for a “minimum car,” a two-seat, bare-bones people mover with a sheer, angled front. His design existed only in drawings during his lifetime, but became probably the most famous of all automobile designs contributed by architects. — NYTimes.com
"It's a bug," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, "that cars were invented before computers." So Ingels reimagines city streets and highways crowded with tight-packed, auto-piloted cars, taking up one-quarter of the road space and allowing for precision guidance alongside people and other vehicles -- all of which would together reboot the city's streets as vibrant public spaces. A smart transport grid, in essence, in parallel with the rise of smart energy grids. — Chris Turner, Mother Nature Network
In BIG's competition, entry for Audi's AUDI Urban Future Award, they call for a future city where driverless cars give the streets more plasticity by removing the need for barriers and other concrete-like features by utilizing the relatively new concept of swarm theory. Objects, from people to...
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