"Middle neighborhoods" are prevalent and important — so why are they ignored? Your bus network may never change, even though changing it would make it better. During campaign season, mayoral candidates shift their focus from downtowns to neighborhoods.
Neither the little guy nor the bigwig: "Middle neighborhoods" are home to much of the US population. They aren't flashy — most residents make 80% to 120% of area median income — but they're often strongholds of racial diversity and allow people to be upwardly mobile. Despite their importance, they don't get the same attention and funding as the poorest or wealthiest places. (Kelly Regen and Stephanie Sung | Next City)
Why your bad bus network may never change: Changing a bus network for the better is hard — when plans to move a stop or run on a parrallel road are floated, a campaign usually pops up to support the status quo because someone will inevitably find it less convenient. However, this kind of reactionary advocacy doesn't support better suggestions, and those who like the changes tend to not speak up. (Jarrett Walker | Human Transit)
How politicians talk about neighborhoods: Mayors talk a lot about the importance of central business districts for tax base and for image, but when election season rolls around, the attention many times turns to neighborhoods. This raises a serious discussion in our cities of how can the benefits and prosperity of a CBD be shared equally with neighborhoods. (Jess Zimbabwe | CitiesSpeak)
Oslo is cutting down on downtown cars: Norway's capital city Oslo is expelling cars from its center city in order to give the space back to people. The plan includes stricter pricing, reducing parking by 700 spaces, and turning more streets into pedestrian-only thoroughfares. Of course, the shopkeepers who believe cars bring customers are not happy. (South China Morning Post)
Senator Warren's ambitious housing solution: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is introducing a bill that puts $450 billion over 10 years towards preserving affordable rental housing, expanding fair housing, and incentivizing cities to revisit zoning codes that impede new construction. The bill would be paid for by changing the estate tax and progressive income taxes on the 10,000 wealthiest individuals. (Diana Budds | Curbed)
Quote of the Week
"We must have a thorough and transparent investigation to determine the causes, severity, and impacts of this discovery, as well as a plan to re-open the Transit Center as soon as it is safe to do so."
San Francisco Mayor London Breed discussing the new beam cracks in the newly opened Transbay Transit Center
This week on the podcast we're joined by German architect Robin Renner to talk about his book about place typologies called Urban Being.