National Links: Suburban Poverty, Opportunity Zones, and Sustainability

Every day at The Overhead Wire 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 that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Volvo Cars and Uber join forces to develop autonomous driving cars

Suburbs and the rise in poverty: Poverty has begun to sneak into the suburbs, as immigration flows change and more residents experience downward mobility. Suburban poverty is particularly difficult to address, since residents have neither the jobs, transit, and social services of cities, nor the tight-knit community of rural areas. (Slate)

Autonomous vehicle fatality and the future of place: The news of the first death attributed to an automated vehicle has sent shockwaves around the world. Death on our roads is tragic, and the discussions about this technology that happen now are important to what cities of the future look like and how they protect their people. (Brookings)

How will Phoenix survive?: In the desert, Phoenix continues to sprawl outward without regard to where new water will be found. Continued droughts and increased use are drying out the main source of water that culminates in Lake Mead in the Rocky Mountains. When the water does dry up, scholars worry how resources will be distributed between the rich and poor. (Guardian Cities)

Shrinking eastern and Midwestern suburbs: Talk of migration has been a major discussion point during many decades of shifting demographics and shrinking cities. But in many suburbs, rich and poor, attention is turning towards the rising instances of birthrates dropping below death rates, leading to shrinking populations. (New York Times)

Economic development incentive hidden in tax law: The new tax cut bill passed in December contains a little-known incentive to create “opportunity zones” in every state. Governors choose low income tracts for the program (at least 25 in every state), opening them up to investment for 10 years while sheltering gains made by investors. (Urban Institute)

Quote of the Week

“…his tweet promoting the article engages in a common, but aggravating, rhetorical framing of the issue by construing a move to allow transit-oriented development as being an effort to “force” people out of their cars. Personal liberty and the concept of freedom are, rightly, important to Americans and to American political culture. And in the case of proposals for high-density zoning, nobody is trying to force anyone to do anything.”

Matthew Yglesias in Vox discussing the framing of a recent New York Times article discussing CA SB 827.

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