Union Station in Denver

National Links: Colorado Transportation Changes Course

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.

Colorado changes transportation course: The Denver Regional Council of Governments is set to vote on a transportation plan that would take $900 million away from highway expansions and put them toward active transportation projects. The program would cut two expansions and other road widenings for this purpose. The move follows the state’s mandate to reduce transportation emissions, which has led to larger discussions about the role of highway expansions in the region. (Nathanial Minor | Coloradio Public Radio)

Stuttgart’s green corridors bring the city fresh air: In 1938 the city planners of Stuttgart, Germany hired a climatologist to design a way to pull fresh air into the notoriously air-polluted valley in which the city sits. Since then the city has been nurturing corridors of trees and water to bring fresh air into the valley and cool down the city, which runs hotter than the surrounding areas. The result is 79 square miles of green space, nearly half of which is an urban forest. (Michaela Haas | Reasons to be Cheerful)

Benefits of urban density to neighborhoods: For centuries people have been drawn to the hustle and bustle of cities teeming with people. But at the start of the pandemic, many started questioning whether crowds of people were safe. Over time opinions of cities in the popular imagination have gone from awe to disdain, but this notion of urban density is still a powerful force and should be harnessed to help solve many problems we see in the world. (Max Holleran | Aeon Magazine)

A mega-flood is coming to California: In the journal Science Advances, researchers make the case that climate change could induce a mega-flood in the central valley of California that will wipe out agricultural resources and cities. Atmospheric rivers from the Pacific Ocean could drop rain for weeks, and the resulting flood could cost $1 trillion in damages. An 1862 flood did something similar, leaving Sacramento under 10 feet of water for months. (Payton Major, Judson Jones, Brandon Miller | CNN)

Bathhouses making a comeback: Bathhouses have been in operation for over 2,500 years and have been recently making a comeback in cities around the country. And while the pandemic knocked them out for a period of time, business is again picking up. Although some research has shown health benefits, many tout the social connections that come from the bathhouse experience. (Jonathan Smith | Mic)

Quote of the Week

“Delightfully, a neighbourhood structure and layout that’s head and shoulders better on all the important things – for local businesses, for healthier and happier kids and old people, for long-term relationships, for biodiversity, for resilience, so on and so on –- also happens to be exactly the structure that’s low-emissions.”

Isabella Cawthorn in Stuff NZ discussing a new regional emissions cap in Wellington that will cut out sprawl

This week on the podcast, David Andersson of the Art and Culture team at Bloomberg Associates chats about the implementation and safety characteristics of asphalt art, how communities work on these projects and the character of public art.

Photo at top courtesy of Francisco Bahena on Unsplash