Transportation officials across the country agree: Several minor traffic corridors in America are overbuilt and unnecessarily unsafe. So they’ve started to adopt European-inspired designs that change how drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians use the road in order to reduce speeding and encourage safety for everyone. It’s called a “road diet.”
For another short film from Vox and Jeff Speck click here.
Will Chilton and Baird Bream, vox.com, Jul 19, 2017
Off-street parking requirements, really, spread throughout the United States faster than almost any other urban planning invention. They arose partly because of the lack of management of on-street parking. If you can’t manage the on-street parking properly you need off-street parking requirements or everybody will say, ‘How could you let this building be built when there’s not enough parking?‘
To boil an 800 page book down into three bullet points, I have three basic recommendations:
Remove off-street parking requirements.
Charge the right price for on-street parking. By which I mean the lowest price the city can charge and still have one or two open spaces on every block, so nobody can say there is a shortage of parking. In order to reach that price you have to vary it by location and time of day.
But you have done that, make it politically popular, and spend the revenue on public services on the metered streets.
To visit Donald Shroup’s website click here, for CityLab’s profile ‘Parking Is Sexy Now. Thank Donald Shoup’ click here.
The idea is pretty simple. Take nine square blocks of city. (It doesn’t have to be nine, but that’s the ideal.) Rather than all traffic being permitted on all the streets between and among those blocks, cordon off a perimeter and keep through traffic, freight, and city buses on that.
In the interior, allow only local vehicles, traveling at very low speeds, under 10 mph. And make all the interior streets one-way loops (see the arrows on the green streets below), so none of them serve through streets.
In this way, you create a nine-square-block mini village, the interior spaces of which can be more equitably shared between cars and other uses.
For more from Vox on Cities and Urbanism, click here.
Kim Dovey & Elek Pafka, The Conversation, November 2, 2016
When we talk about “urban DMA”, we’re talking about the density of a city’s buildings, the way people and activities are mixed together, and the access, or transport networks that we use to navigate through them.
For more from The Conversation on cities, click here.
Dimitri Zenghelis and Nicholas Stern, The Guardian, 8 November 2016
The world will never again build cities as rapidly as it does this century. If we are serious about limiting global warming, tackling air pollution and promoting innovative, resource-efficient growth, there is a narrow window of opportunity.
Recent research, published in the journal Scientific Data, transcribed and geocoded nearly 6,000 years of data (from 3700BC to AD2000). The report produced a gargantuan resource for scholars hoping to better understand how and why cities rise and fall – and allowed blogger Max Galka to produce a striking visualisation on his site Metrocosm.
That survey uncovered an array of discoveries, including elaborate water systems that were built hundreds of years before historians believed the technology existed. The findings are expected to challenge theories on how the Khmer empire developed, dominated the region, and declined around the 15th century, and the role of climate change and water management in that process.
Technically, Robert Caro’s book The Power Broker is a biography of urban planner Robert Moses, but that description feels laughably inadequate on multiple counts. For more than four decades, this particular urban planner was the most powerful man in New York, an unelected emperor who dominated the mayors and governors who were supposedly in charge, and who physically reshaped the city through sheer force of will. Caro’s enormous book, meanwhile, is less a life story than an epic, meticulously detailed study of power in general: how it’s acquired, how it’s used to change history, how it ultimately corrupts those who get it.