National Links: Better Urban Planning

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.

American suburbs could look more like European ones: Because of the pandemic, suburban dwellers could turn thier commuter oriented neighborhoods into around the clock destinations. This change would make them more like thier european counterparts with access to community assets, transportation, and amenities. (Nate Berg | Fast Company)

How urban planning could change future of Dallas: Good urban planning is all about asking the right questions. Given choices with clear language about bus service, people in Dallas chose this year to support more frequency on thier bus lines instead of a sprawling system. The good planning hypothesis will come up again when consultants are chosen for a downtown freeway project. Whether they get it right will depend on who is hired and how they ask questions. (Peter Simik D Magazine)

The rise of ugly buildings: Ugly buildings have always surrounded us but we continue to get more of them because of modern building techniques and architects that seem to be designing within a spreadsheet. To get better results, modern architecture must be challenged through economic and cultural lenses. In a profit driven world pushing design and construction to lower costs, architects, developers, builders and planners must do better. (Rowan Moore | The Guardian)

Once friends, oil and auto companies are becomming enemies: The current administration supports laws and regulations that would roll back fuel economy standards and pollution regulations far past what auto companies support. And now with electric vehicles on the horizon and the diminishing clout of oil companies, new lobbying efforts for electric utilities and electric vehicles are likely to set a new agenda, boxing out oil interests for good. (Robinson Meyer | The Atlantic)

Health car companies see importance of grocery stores: Food deserts in disadvantaged neighborhoods are especially detrimental to the health of vulnerable populations and research shows that access to a grocery store has innumerable health benefits to residents. Health care systems are starting to understanding this and are opening their own stores when grocery chains say “it’s not in our business model.” (Barbara Ray | Next City)

Vanya Srivastava contributed to these summaries

Quote of the Week

“We really lost one of his generation’s, my generation’s stars. And we’re gonna feel it. But I hope that there’s a group of people that can take his legacy and continue on with it.”

Josh Whitehead in the Memphis Commercial Appeal discussing the passing of Tommy Pacello, a tireless advocate for the Memphis he loved.

This week on the podcast, Kyle Rowe SPIN Global Head of Government Partnerships discusses how bike share went from Docked to Dockless in Seattle.

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