National Links: Sprawling Across America

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.

America’s metros sprawling continuously outward: Most major development in the US is happening on the fringes of major metro areas. In this interactive piece, maps show where cities have expanded from their original footprints into a 14,000 square mile area roughly the size of Delaware. Analysts explain that this growth is happening as coastal cities become more expensive and people look for less expensive places to live. (Zach Levitt and Jess Eng | Washington Post)

What’s in and out in the infrastructure bill: The infrastructure bill that just passed the Senate has changed significantly from earlier discussions. As bipartisanship ramped up to cut transit and focus only on roads, bridges, broadband, and the electric grid, many components of the bill were shifted to the coming budget reconciliation. This piece shows in detail what was cut and by how much in colorful graphics. (Aatish Bhatia and Quoctrung Bui | New York Times)

Barcelona embraces doughnut economics: Models of infinite growth are unsustainable from an environmental and economic standpoint. To address this issue, cities such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen have embraced a new model called doughnut economics. Following in their footsteps, the City of Barcelona is starting the process of planning for a system that realizes social benefits while protecting the planet’s ecological ceiling. (Doughnut Economics Action Lab)

Nashville establishes new department for multimodal transportation: Nashville has established a new department focused on multimodal transportation. The department was a campaign promise of the mayor and will be working on numerous active transportation strategies. It will manage traffic management, bikeway planning, sidewalks and many other right of way management strategies. (Smart Cities World and City of Nashville)

Self storage laws an equity issue: Self storage companies in many cases have the ability to confiscate belongings if customers are late on payments, but a run of bad luck means they can’t retrieve items such as those needed for health care reasons. A new law in Minnesota protects vulnerable people from losing important belongings at a time when they are most in need. (Peter Callaghan | MinnPost)

Quote of the Week

“There are three reasons why tiny houses are really a huge problem for society: they cost too much and help too few; they don’t end homelessness, they sustain it; and they advance the idea that homeless people are subhuman.”

Josh Kruger, a formerly homeless city staffer in the Philadelphia Citizen, discussing why he believes tiny houses won’t end homelessness.

This week on the podcast, Andrew Salzberg of the app based trip planner Transit discusses their report “Guide to Open Mobility as a Service.”

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