National Links: Scary Buildings, Sinking Buildings, and More

Every day at The Direct Transfer we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Buildings of fear: Gory costumes make for good Halloween fright, but what about architecture and city design? Here’s a list of eight movies where the featured buildings and urban design will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Got any scary building stories yourself? Share them in the comments! (Fast Company Design)

Social justice in design: In much of the US, wealthy neighborhoods have been getting infrastructure upgrades like plazas and bike lanes while areas with less economic and political power still need sidewalks and basic safety features. How can we make our investments more equitable? Partly by understanding the different needs of different riders, but also by advocating for others. (Momentum Magazine)

Which road does the future take?: In the future, will people ditch their own cars and share vehicles, or will individual ownership continue to be the norm? Having the former would mean convincing people to forego the most immediately appealing option, which is a tall order. (Transport Politic)

That sinking feeling: San Francisco’s Millennium Tower is sinking, but the reason why isn’t so clear. Some residents blame the construction of the Transbay Terminal, which is next door, but others wonder why the tower only went up on a concrete foundation rather than going into bedrock. After all, this is earthquake country. (San Francisco Magazine)

First transit, then higher prices? Since the Green Line light rail recently started running between Minneapolis and St. Paul, real estate prices along the corridor have slowly gone up. One bedroom apartments that used to rent for $550 per month now cost over $800. This isn’t the neighborhood’s first go-round with transportation infrastructure being related to displacement, and while affordable housing is going up, it doesn’t seem like it will be enough to stem the tide. (Pioneer Press)

Quote of the Week

University of Southern California urban planning professor Lisa Schweitzer sharing her thoughts on how nobody is doing enough to make climate a priority in land use policy:

“Ever notice that you don’t generally see big developers necessarily advocating for broad land use changes, despite being packed on many a city council and zoning board? Instead, they seek variances for their own individual projects. That’s because they, too, get a nice rent boost from the constrained housing supply when their projects luck into variances and other developers are kept out.”

Jeff Wood

About Jeff Wood

Jeff Wood is an urban planner focused on transportation and land use issues living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeff blogs at The Overhead Wire and tweets @theoverheadwire. He also shares news links daily from around the country on issues related to cities at The Direct Transfer