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.
Billionaire’s dorm design causes architect to resign: An architect on UCSB’s design review committee has resigned after a dorm designed by Berkshire Hathaway billionaire Charlie Munger to house 4,500 students moved through the approvals process towards construction. Outrage ensued online as drawings of the 11 story project were released with designed rooms having no natural light or natural ventilation. (Maria Cramer | New York Times)
What big tech gets horribly wrong on transportation: University of Virginia professor Peter Norton is following up his seminal work Fighting Traffic with a new book called Autonorama. In this excerpt he warns everyone that cars driving themselves won’t solve the problems cars created in the first place. And ultimately we have the technology and know how to save lives and move efficiently today, there’s no reason to wait on a perfect solution that will likely never come. (Peter Norton | Fast Company)
Qatar’s desert metro: Doha opened its mostly underground metro in 2019, connecting 37 stations over 47 miles. The fully automated system has three different cabin classes including a gold level and the project Is expected to be the main transportation conveyance for next year’s World Cup as the country expects 1 million visitors. (Dimitris Sideridis | CNN Travel)
Denver developer says affordable housing too complicated: A Denver developer who once boasted about their affordable and market rate transit oriented projects believes those types of projects are now too difficult and require too many hoops. He has since decided to focus away from multifamily and build luxury single family as there is less bureaucratic hassle. (Kyle Harris | Denverite)
Vienna Austria’s visionary flood management: Catastrophic flooding in Germany and Belgium in July ensued after record rainfall across Europe. But Viennese flood managers weren’t worried as the city had built a flood system in the 1980’s to protect from 10,000 year flood events. The city has flooded throughout history and engineers knew that to protect the city in the future, the vision needed would have to be big. (Denise Hruby | Washington Post)
Quote of the Week
“Children wanted fantasy books. Adults wanted novels and the classics, particularly stories about viruses and the apocalypse. There has been a newfound enthusiasm for buying locally and supporting independent bookshops; it’s seen as the virtuous thing to do.”
Rural French bookshop owner Anne Helman in The Guardian discussing France’s focus on promoting local bookshops over online retailers such as Amazon.
This week on the podcast, Roland Stimpel of the German Pedestrian Association Fussverkehr joins the show.