Tower in Calgary, Alberta. By Asparukh Akanayev, Flickr

Headlines: Unlearning what we thought we knew

City geographies shift before our eyes, corporations build housing that government won't, and the "privilege" of driving demands its price

Detailed data show the value of land under homes across the country
Washington Post, January 23, 2019
It’s not just the distribution of land wealth that’s unequal, it’s the growth in that wealth. 

Broken homes
Governing, January 23, 2019
Through decades of housing and zoning regulations, cities have enshrined racial segregation in local codes.

Can corporate money and altruism fix affordable housing?
Curbed, January 22, 2019
In San Francisco and Seattle, corporations step into the gap left by government.

Stuck and stressed: The health costs of driving
New York Times, January 21, 2019
Traffic is not just an annoying time waster — there’s a case that it’s a public health issue.

‘The cars just disappeared.’ What happened to the 90,000 cars a day the viaduct carried before it closed?
Seattle Times, January 24, 2019
Since the closure of Highway 99 through Seattle on January 11, commute times have been slightly above average — but have fallen far short of the most dire predictions. And fewer cars and trucks than normal have been traveling on the region’s other major highways.

For another view in national context, see
“Seattle’s Viadoom: Another ‘carmageddon’ that wasn’t”
Streetsblog, January 24, 2019
Seattleites are finding other ways to get around—or just telecommuting. As a result, the predicted gridlock has not materialized.

 

Local News & Around the World

Boston must come to grips with its new geography
The Boston Globe, February 1, 2019
The nation’s oldest major city is still capable of tremendous growth and dynamism.

Opinion: Applying the brakes on AV technology
Korea JoongAng Daily, January 26, 2019
“The Autonom bus can’t express feelings. It operates as designed, detecting the size and type of the obstacle to make a stop. It is the humans that apply feelings to the movement of emotionless machines.“

Commentary: The answer lies in the zoning code (part 1 of 3)
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, January 10, 2019
While urban planning involves the creation of plans, from the national to the regional to the local level, it is not these plans, but rather the zoning code that ultimately determines the way that land is used.

Oakland’s vacant property tax takes effect, sparking hope—and alarm
SFGate, January 26, 2019
Oakland citizens overwhelmingly approved a new tax on vacant buildings and lots, with revenue going to homeless aid and affordable housing. San Francisco is now eyeing its own, and learning from Oakland’s sometimes-rocky implementation.

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