Cyclists on the Stone Arch Bridge

National Links: How to Have a Happy Commute

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.

Happiness in a transportation choice: Yingling Fan, Ph.D., a professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, wanted to research whether happiness can be one of the emotions you feel on your trip to work. Using a smartphone app to survey 400 people, they found biking and walking are best for happy commutes, with short transit trips next; longer car trips are stressful and definitely make people unhappy. (Andrew Hazzard | Sahan Journal)

A tale of two skylines in North Carolina: After four decades the results of two paths for two North Carolina downtowns has become clear. Charlotte, now a banking center, and its tall skyline were influenced by an architect mayor and bank owner. Raleigh, the state capital, stayed low and grew more organically and targeted eight centers outside of downtown in a plan spearheaded by former planning director Mitchell Silver. Whether Raleigh will follow Charlotte’s height remains to be seen. (J Michael Welton | The Assembly)

Importance of pink in Latin American architecture: Pink is an important color in Latin America and especially Mexico, with Rosa Mexicano seen in crafts and textiles and even on taxis. Because buildings were constructed mostly out of stucco, color helped enliven them and elicit emotion. Local materials play a huge part in how places create their own identity, and as things become more mass produced the local character can fade. (Sandy Sanchez | Architectural Digest)

A city’s footprint: How big is a city’s footprint? How much regional planning is necessary to create sustainable systems that keep people fed, the power on, water flowing and emissions down? Specifically, planning efforts like Northern Manhattan Climate Action Plan (NMCA) need to be part of bigger visions, because creating a bio-regional governance system could be the answer to these questions and more. (Lena Greenberg | Earth Island Journal)

75 years of development made Hurricane Ian worse: Hurricane Ian is shaping up to be a devastating storm, wiping out houses and infrastructure all along Florida’s coast. Making that problem worse was the specific way that southwest Florida was developed through wetland reclamation and engineering. Over decades, “man” and machines reformed it into a dangerous area that will likely flood more often with stronger storms. (Zeke Baker | Washington Post)

Quote of the Week

“Maybe there’s a tiny bit more delay for a few drivers during peak time, but when you stack that up against the more than 10,000 people who ride the bus routes on this corridor, we’re perfectly happy to accept a little bit more delay for private cars if it means that 10,000 people have a few more minutes back in the day.”

Boston’s chief of streets Jascha Franklin-Hodge discussing in Governing the changes the city kept after the Orange Line shut down.

This week on the podcast, Broward MPO Executive Director Greg Stuart talks about Broward County, its connections to the rest of south Florida, the historic MAPS transportation plan, sea-level rise and the effects of the pandemic.

Photo at top courtesy of weston m 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