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.
China’s many metro systems: Between 2000 and 2022, China built metro systems in 41 different cities, covering over 4,500 miles. Metro systems in China can be built quickly in part because they use five different standardized train types and are able to design tunnels and bridges in bulk without individualized designs. But the massive expansion might not get to every city as rising costs and questions need might slow down ambitions. (Alistair Baker-Brian | That’s Magazines)
A liberalism that builds: Our focus on procedures and deference to markets seems to keep us from actually building things in big ways. Whether that’s housing or transit lines or renewable energy. Ezra Klein argues that we have created a government that too often makes it too hard to build things in part because of procedures rooted in our litigious system. To move forward again, we need a government that is structured to build, not for process. (Ezra Klein | New York Times)
Creating a sustainable Berlin: Berlin like many other cities around the world is looking for ways to become more sustainable in this time of climate crisis. The city has been looking inward at its own ecosystem and testing potential solutions, like allowing goats to graze the hills of an old stadium to create more biodiversity or planting seeds of plants that thrive in slightly warmer temperatures than exist now. (Timothy Schuler | The Nature Conservancy)
Rotterdam’s green roof network: In 2008 Rotterdam, Netherlands began giving building owners subsidies for retrofitting roofs into green spaces and parks. Years later, an experiment began connecting these rooftops into an elevated park network. As more and more cities are looking to mitigate the impacts of the heat island effect, could connected roof parks be a cooling solution for cities in a warming world? (Ryan Waddoups | Surface Magazine)
Cities need a department of care: In an interview with The Architect’s Newspaper, Urban planner Justin Garrett Moore believes cities should have a department of care. He says that while we chat about building new buildings and infrastructure often, we don’t talk about maintenance and care of our neighborhoods over the longer term. (Catherine Chattergoon | The Architect’s Newspaper)
Quote of the Week
“It’s something that makes San Diego unique — when you come into San Diego, you see less billboards.”
Gary Geiler of the City of San Diego discussing the city’s strict billboard rules which have become a national model.
This week on the podcast, Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins, of NRDC and North Star Strategies, and Helen Chin, president of the Communities First Fund join the show.