National Links: The Weight of an EV

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.

Is there a housing bubble?: Around the country there is a growing sense of unease about housing as we start to come out of the pandemic. Bidding wars that never end for some buyers and stress over rising rents represent an unsustainable, unstable, and unhealthy market. And that stress that in some instances was last felt during the Great Recession looms large over the current situation which some wonder is another bubble. (Jerusalem Demsas | Vox)

Austin’s I-35 mess gains national attention: Austin is refocusing attention on its Palm District in order to try and sort out the mess of streets proximate to I-35, the city’s “gnarliest” highway, and several redevelopment projects. At the same time, the highway is being reimagined in an attempt to try and undo and prevent further social and economic damage that represent its creation and current configuration. (Mike Clark Madison | Austin Chronicle)

Connecting built environments to our mental and physical health: The built environment is directly linked to our health and happiness, and urban environments often are detrimental for people because they fail to put people in calm or balanced states. But as Professor Justin Hollander points out, humans are programmed to look for faces and buildings with anthropormophic features and places with good design are less likely to cause cognitive stress on pedestrians. (Justin Hollander | ASLA Dirt)

The problem with weight of electric vehicles: Electric vehicles are heavier than their gas powered counterparts because of the weight of their batteries. The new Hummer, for example, weighs three times a Honda Civic but that extra weight could also mean greater potential for death when people walking or biking are hit by drivers. It also means more road wear and tear which could lead to new road design issues and maintenance concerns. (Peter Valdes-Dapena | CNN)

Deinfrastructuring the 15 minute city: “De-infrastructuring” means to break down the large scale infrastructure systems to more closely connect supply with demand, and with the popularity of the 15 minute city gaining more acclaim, Steven Baumgartner discusses why that means disconnecting the neighborhood from larger transportation infrastructure and systems. The process could allow for a more collaborative, cooperative infrastructure system. (Steven Baumgartner | Urban Land Institute)

Quote of the Week

“The most important thing is that these places are not driven by one agenda. They can’t be owned solely by the council or just by developers, who often see them as an easy way to tick the public consultation box. One really has to resist that.”

Diane Denver, Chair of the Urban Rooms Network in The Guardian, discussing the idea of creating storefront spaces where people can go and discuss local plans and development.

This week on the podcast, we’re joined by L’erin Jensen and Josh Cohen, hosts of The Movement Podcast at TransLoc.

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