Mexico City is prioritizing frequent service over fancy gadgets. The voices at public meetings tend to represent the angriest and the most affluent. Responses to the trolly problem, a classic ethics question, vary widely by culture.
Mobility doesn't have to be fancy: Mexico City is prioritizing frequent service over fancy new gadgets and services. That's what a recent trip to Mexico to watch a soccer game showed writer Andy Furillo, who got around without much effort. There's a lesson here for the US: innovation is a good idea, but getting people to where they are going in a reasonable amount of time should be top priority. (Andy Furillo | Mobility Lab)
Rethinking how we do citizen engagement: Public meetings are often seen as the only way to foster democracy. But 1950s-era research by James Q. Wilson found that citizens often don't show up to make suggestions—they tend to show up to say no. A few public leaders like West Sacaramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon are finally admitting what many have known for years but have been unwilling to admit: public meetings aren't attended by a general swath of the population but rather by the articulate, the angry, and the affluent. (Alan Ehrenhalt | Governing)
Culture determines answers to the trolley problem: It's an ethics question discussed around the world: if you could save five people by killing one, would you? But in different parts of the world, responses to the trolley problem vary wildly by culture. A new study released in Nature collected 40 million different answers to variations of this question in 233 countries to determine the differences. (Karen Hao | MIT Technology Review)
Walk, don't fly at the new American Airlines HQ: American Airlines is building a new headquarters outside of the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on 300 acres of land. There are 10,000 parking spaces in garages, but driving between buildings will be prohibited and fresh air will be encouraged. Four seven-story buildings will be surrounded by other smaller buildings, and 21 acres of existing parking will be returned to green space. (Gordon Dickson | Fort Worth Star Telegram)
Have you heard of platform urbanism?: Through interconnected services, megaplatforms like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook have become powerful monopolies. Nonetheless, these platforms allow users to be producers in their own right and become even more connected with each other. That could lead to more coordinated and connected living in cities as we produce data and create interactions that are open to all, not commodified by the existing monopolies. (Mediaopolis Journal)
Quote of the Week
"The rapid increase in its population does not fully explain the expansion in ridership; most cities, including many that are fast-growing, are seeing declines. Rather, it has more to do with attitude."
Peter Harkness in Governing discussing the crisis of American public transportation.
This week on the Talking Headways podcast folks from MTC talk about the future of transit fare payment.