National Links: Under Japan’s Railways

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 D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Climate migration will reshape America: As climate change continues unabated, millions of Americans could be forced to leave where they live because of extreme heat, more severe weather events, and increasing numbers of megafires. These events will not only destroy housing, impact crime rates and the food supply, they will also increase stress on communities that do not have the resources to move. (Abrahm Lustgarten | New York Times)

Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Life under Tokyo’s elevated train tracks: In many cities in the west, the land and property underneath railways is considered undesirable, dark, and dangerous. But Tokyo Japan has embraced the spaces and redefined their functionality with restaurants, shops, and productive spaces. Limited space in the city meant elevated railways were built with an intention of leaving usable space underneath for economic activity and now are part of the character of the area. (Max Zimmerman | Bloomberg CityLab)

Coronavirus and Transit in Spain: In an attempt to assuage fears and increase ridership, Spanish transit authorities are emphasizing that public transit is  safe from contagion risk of coronavirus due to improved ventilation systems, frequent disinfection and the use of face masks. Studies also have shown that transit is rarely a hotspot and has extremely low risk. Instead, the increasing use of cars which is increasing pollution is a greater worry for facilitating transmission. (Miguel Angel Medina | El Pais)

A prototype for a new SRO: Single room occupancy (SRO) housing is slowly disappearing across the country as housing markets heat up. But in Portland Oregon, a newly opened development called Argyle Gardens hopes to provide an example of community oriented affordable housing that can help bridge the gap between homelessness and traditional apartments. The units are prefabricated to reduce construction costs and were built as four buildings instead of one large monolithic structure. (Brian Libby | Metropolis Magazine)

Voters to decide on merger of shrinking cities: Three cities on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River next to St. Louis are quickly losing residents and those that remain will decide in November whether they wish to merge into one municipality. A large percentage in all of the communities live below the Federal poverty line and since the allocation of federal dollars for public services are closely tied to the population of cities, merging could facilitate aid and boost local economies. (Deasia Paige | Belleville News Democrat)

Quote of the Week

“We’re not saying don’t sell. We’re not saying don’t entertain. But we’re saying make sure you educate yourself.”

Tia McCoy in WABE NPR talking about her meetings educating older homeowners in Atlanta about the dangers of speculators preying on them.

This week on the podcast, we chat with the Port Authority’s David Huffaker about how Pittsburgh transit is dealing with the pandemic.

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