A cul-de-sac in winter with newly built houses.

National Links: A 30-Year Trap!

Every day, The Overhead Wire collects news about cities and sends the links to their email list. At the end of the week they 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 or absurd but often useful.

Overcoming urban car dependence: In Europe and around the world, the fundamentals of good cities are incompatible with car orientation, mostly due to the large amount of space occupied by vehicles. But the fights over transport are also tricky politically, and changing to a more city-centric transport policy will hinge on perceptions of fairness, argues Philipp Rode. When a policy can be framed by opposition as “unfair”, it makes implementation much harder. (Philipp Rode | LSE Cities)

America’s weird mortgages: The 30-year mortgage as we see in the United States isn’t standard around the world, and it’s causing some of the problems in the current housing market as people stay put to keep their interest rates low while prices continue to rise on short supply. The system as it has been enacted where people can refinance when rates are low is beneficial to incumbents and creates demand, but a similar stimulus on the supply side doesn’t exist, leaving a shortage. (Ben Casselman | New York Times)

When London’s mayor took on cars: London Mayor Sadiq Khan came to the climate fight late, but after the death of a young girl from asthma and his own bout with it, he’s pushed hard to reduce pollution from vehicles in the city. But the push for ultra-low emissions zones has also come with political backlash and the fraying of alliances. The world will be watching what happens in London and what it means for cleaner air in cities around the world. (Karl Mathiesen | Politico EU)

Motor emissions could have fallen more: A report by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative found that between 2010 and 2022 global auto emissions fell 4.2%. But if cars had stayed the same size and not increased that number would have been more than 30%. SUVs are now 51% of the new car market and the increasing size of vehicles means more energy is needed to propel them. (Helena Horton | The Guardian)

Mayo Clinic unveils health neighborhoods plan: The Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN is planning a $5B campus that creates “health neighborhoods” for linking different types of services together so people aren’t traveling between multiple buildings for care. Instead of individual floors being created for services like testing and blood work or surgery, the areas would be flexible based on patient care needs. The program is also a part of Rochester’s 20-year medical center economic development plan. (Catharine Richert | MPR News)

Quote of the Week

“What we see is that folks oftentimes are very interested in the rural landscape, the rural aesthetic, and at the same time, we have fewer and fewer farmers.”

Cari Watkins-Bates, director of land conservation for Scenic Hudson in Fast Company discussing how the farmhouse craze is hurting actual farmers.

This week on the podcast we’re joined by Danielle Arigoni, Managing Director for Policy and Solutions at The National Housing Trust. We chat about Danielle’s new book “Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation.”

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