Downtown Nashville by Team Mantooth licensed under Creative Commons.

Star cities continue to develop their urban centers — but why are they so empty? By controlling the curb, cities can control the future. The next leader in water management could be…Los Angeles?

Nashville is not the model boomtown: As rising star cities continue to develop thier urban cores, visitors and observers find these places are not bustling with pedestrians, but rather wide streets and empty sidewalks. The question then must be asked: is America getting cities wrong again? (Justin Davidson / New York Magazine)

Recognizing the value of the curb: As private transportation companies grow and are fed billions of dollars in venture capital, they consolidate and innovate without thinking about the cities they overtake. But the city controls the most valuable of all assets: the street curb. With this asset, cities — not startups or legacy auto companies — can control the future. (Patrick Sisson / Curbed)

LA could be a surprising leader in water management: In a city that used to see stormwater and flash floods as a problem that needed to be managed, LA's thinking has changed to view it as an asset. With California's history of droughts and the potential for climate change to make them worse, the Los Angeles region has started doing the work that will ensure 100% of its water needs will come from local sources. (Matt Simon / Wired)

Scathing inspection report on Albuquerque's bus rapid transit line: A new report written by the City of Albuquerque's Inspector General recommended that in the future, the city should wait until the Federal Transit Administration guaranteed grant funding before constructing a project. It also said not to contract with companies that are untested because they pose larger risks, referencing the purchase of electric buses from Chinese company BYD. (Steve Knight / Albuquerque Journal)

RV slums grow in Seattle: As affluence grows and inequality begins to move towards levels not seen since before the second world war, cities are beginning to resemble the larger economy. The result of this is the emergence of the slum, this time in the form of recreational vehicles. (Charles Mudede / The Stranger)

What's the real cost of a subway?: Tune in to “Episode 188: The Cost of a Subway” on my Talking Headways podcast. This week's guest is transit analyst and writer Alon Levy, who compares capital costs of constructing rail systems in cities around the world. (Jeff Wood / Streetsblog)

Quote of the Week

“The video, it’s talking to you. Before, you would just get numbers. Now, we know where they are crossing. We know when they are crossing. We know how many people are driving through a red light. That’s going to help us inform a lot of our work in the next few years.”

Mark de la Vergne, Detroit's Chief of Mobility Innovation discussing the possibilities for smart traffic signals. (Daniel C. Vock / Governing)