National Links: Selling Omaha

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.

Omaha plans the future of downtown: Omaha has big plans for downtown, including room for 30,000 more employees and 30,000 more residents over the next 20 years in a push to attract more talent and grow the region. The Chamber of Commerce’s Urban Core Strategic Plans lays out a vision of new housing, redevelopment, a highway turned into a boulevard and better transit access. (Henry Cordes and Jessica Wade | Omaha World Herald)

Why Boomers tell Millennials there’s no housing crisis: John Elledge writes that one reason why older Brits think housing isn’t that expensive for younger people is because they compare it with other housing options instead of incomes. The lowest-end home for 300,000 pounds might look good when everything else in the area is at least 600,000 pounds or more, but if your annual income is one-sixth that lower price point, it’s still unaffordable. (John Elledge | New Statesman)

Your sense of direction comes from your youth: People who grew up outside cities and in areas with unorganized street grids are better at directions later in life, according to new research out of University College in London. After gathering a database of 4.3 million responses, the researchers posit that developing a sense of direction is like developing language, which is easier earlier in life. The findings could have value in diagnosing dementia in its earliest stages. (Benjamin Mueller | New York Times)

Colorado could soon allow Idaho Stops: The Colorado State Legislature has voted for a law that would allow Idaho Stops in the state. If enacted, the law would allow bike riders to slow down to under 10 mph without coming to a complete stop at intersections. Additionally, at intersections without cars a red light would become a stop sign and a stop sign would become a yield sign. It soon will be sent back to the House and then to the Governor’s desk. (Hannah Metzger | Colorado Politics)

New buildings change neighborhoods for the better: New research from the Urban Displacement Project found that new buildings increased what is known as churn in existing neighborhoods, or more people moving in and out based on need. But one surprising finding was that when more new buildings were built, people of lower incomes moved into the neighborhood more than stagnant areas. (Henry Grabar | Slate)

Quote of the Week

“So when do the kids ever get to see something other than the concrete jungle that surrounds them? I think it is our moral responsibility to provide that.”

L.A. Unified School District’s superintendent Alberto Carvalho discussing in the Los Angeles TImes why the district should change its concrete school yards to create green space.

This week on the podcast, Jeremy Levine, an assistant professor of organizational studies and sociology at the University of Michigan, talks about his book Constructing Community: Urban Governance, Development, and Inequality in Boston. We have both Part 1 and Part 2.

Photo at top of story courtesy of Owen Davis on Unsplash

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