Study says COVID-19 doesn’t favor cities: A study published in the Journal of the American Planning Association found that coronavirus does not not favor dense cities, as the pandemic spread is instead related to metropolitan size and connectivity. The findings challenge the conventional narrative and researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health believe that continuing to focus on building compact places will lead to better general public health outcomes overall. (Robert Preidt | US News and World Report)
How Uber discarded JUMP: Shared bike company JUMP’s mission of creating a bike friendly world has failed in multiple ways after the company’s purchase by Uber. Employees were fired in the hundreds and bikes were destroyed in the thousands instead of being repurposed. There was a hope that being purchased by a large company would change transportation but it ultimately led to JUMP’s demise as initial cooperative instincts were lost in Uber’s culture. (Aaron Gordon | Vice Motherboard)
Lawsuit supporting racial equity in planning could change New York City process: Land use changes proposed for the Inwood neighborhood in 2015 aimed at building more housing have instead led to debate from locals, annulment by a Supreme Court justice, and a study to expose whether changes in the racial and ethnic composition of neighborhoods should be included in impact reports. While the study and the court decision are facing pushback from the developers, the discussion could ultimately lead to a shifted paradigm in how rezonings are conducted. (Caroline Spivak | Curbed NYC)
Role of police in traffic safety: As Black Lives Matter protests have grown across the country, a mobility justice debate has been revived about what is traffic safety and what role should police and fee based enforcement play in it. As such, transportation advocacy groups are pushing to reduce the number of police on streets and oppose using them to enforce traffic safety laws instead depending on education and design approaches. (Bill Lindeke | MinnPost)
Cities offering cash to compete for remote workers: As more and more workers are opting to work from home as pandemic and contagion fears continue, cities—which once offered monetary incentives to employers to move whole companies to cities—are instead offering up to $15,000 to remote workers in order to get them to relocate to small cities and spend thier salaries. (Jared Linzon | Fast Company)
Quote of the Week
“We know [sitting on the porch] is going to cost something. But we don’t know what the cost is. Is it going to be time? Am I going to get into a relationship that I don’t want? Some of us worry that no one will show up; some of us are worried that everyone will show up and they’ll stay too long.”
Kristin Schell in Curbed talking about the tension of sitting on the front porch knowing we can’t control what interactions happen.
This week on the podcast, UPenn’s Jonathan Barnett joins us to talk about his book Designing the Megaregion.