Streets Sidewalk

National Links: New Ways of Measuring Travel

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 streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

The case for investing in public infrastructure: For decades the United States has underinvested in civic infrastructure from parks and playgrounds to child care and housing. To reverse the movement towards privatization of civic assets, infrastructure must be a part of a 21st century civil rights agenda argues K. Sabeel Rahman. And there’s no better time than now as cities and states grapple with budget crises and consider pulling back from public infrastructure. (K. Sabeel Rahman | The Atlantic)

Paris mayor says ‘forget crossing city by car’: Since her re-election, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has kept her promise of ensuring that the capital city evolves and is rapidly creating cycleways to beat car culture. The plan includes doubling bus, taxi and EV lanes as well as more cycleways. Motorists are not happy with her decision but Hidalgo continues her mission to ecologically transform the city and fight climate change. (Carlton Reid | Forbes)

Google’s grand vision for downtown San Jose: California based Google has been purchasing properties around future high speed rail stop Diridon Station in downtown San Jose for several years. And just last week the company released images and plans for 4,000 housing units, 7.3 million square feet of office space, and park space on 30 acres of land. The company also hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing car trips and building a local microgrid. (George Avalos | San Jose Mercury News)

Looking at new ways to measure travel behavior: A new report by Brookings uses new methods to measure travel such as digital tracking technology to detail connections between trip types and distances. In looking at six metro areas, they found that the average trip is seven miles, but in more urban places that number drops to four. The findings show that longer trips are common in suburbs around the country and how urban form is very linked to trip lengths. (Jennifer Vey, Joseph Kane, Adie Tomer | Brookings)

Long term benefits of climate investments: A new report commissioned by the South Florida Climate Compact found that spending money on preventative climate adaptation measures in Miami could reduce the fiscal impacts of climate change. If the region doesn’t adapt, they could be facing a $38B pricetag by 2070. Authors of the report hope that businesses will start paying more attention to climate change impacts to thier bottom lines. (Alex Harris | Miami Herald)

Vanya Srivastava contributed to these summaries.

Quote of the Week

“…our project highlights the essential role of architects in drawing up new cartographies that can represent new ways of thinking about our cities and also change the current model of the city that has so far prioritised economy over health. As architects, we must redraw cities to make their complexity visible; we must include what is invisible, including the negative of what was built: the air, an apparently empty space invaded by human action and filled with atmospheric pollution that endangers the survival of our species and non-human species.”

Spanish architect Olga Subirós in Forbes discussing why they are using data to visualize air pollution.

This week on the podcast, Stephanie Gidigbi of NRDC joins the show to talk about federal transport policy, race, and the importance of performance measures.