A train station in Italy

National Links: Dying Airlines and Incorporating Cities

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.

Preserving the planet through cities: Liam Young, an architect and production designer, has reimagined how to house people on planet earth by designing cities that house 10 billion people on just .02% of the land. The idea was created more as a critique of our current settlement patterns than as a plan for the future, and a way to show how existing technologies are enough to solve the issue of a warming planet. (Nate Berg | Fast Company)

Where the suburbs end: In California the prospect of accessory dwelling units is giving neighborhoods across the state a different face. Areas that once were walled off from changes are now open and builders all over the state from families to developers are thinking about the possibilities while neighbors are fearful. In 2020 13,000 permits were issued for ADUs, 10% of the state’s total new units when 8 years ago they were just 1%. (Conor Dougherty | New York Times)

High speed rail killed Italy’s airline: Italy’s national airline Alitalia will shut down on October 15th. The air carrier was once the main connection between northern and southern cities in the country, but now 2/3rds of trips that would have been by plane are now by high speed rail. Because it is easier to travel between city centers on trains than city airports, many believe the death of the national airline is due to more convenient rail travel. (Julia Buckley | CNN Travel)

Spain paying young people to leave home: In order to entice young people to leave their parents homes, Spain is offering a 250 euro a month subsidy for low income earners on top of rent controls in a new law. Spain has one of the highest home ownership rates in the EU, but also many young people are forced to live with parents because of low wages and high unemployment. Spanish children on average leave home at 30 while the EU average is 26. (Ruby Lott-Lavigna | Vice)

The Woodlands Texas an invisible city no more: The Woodlands Texas, a suburb of Houston first designed by famed Landscape Architect Ian McHarg and known for it’s dense tree canopy will vote on incorporating as a city. The initial formation of the master planned community was by a one of a kind special district created by the State of Texas in 1974 and now houses over 113,000 residents. By not incorporating in 2014, The Woodlands has missed out on pandemic aid and the ability to bond for roads. (Matt Dulin | Kinder Institute Urban Edge)

Quote of the Week

“An awful lot of [communities] have either disregarded their obligations under the ADA or made it the last priority. There’s a culture throughout America of not taking the needs of people with disabilities seriously.”

Tom Stenson, a lawyer with Disability Rights Oregon in a Time Magazine article discussing why so many cities are getting sued for inaccessible sidewalks.

This week on the podcast, Dr. Megan Ryerson of UPenn joins the show to talk about her work on cycling and cognitive workload.