Our self-driving future may not be quite as imminent as you think. Millennials would like to kill cars, but most don't have good alternatives for getting around. Boomers aren't moving into senior housing as quickly as previous generations.
Not self-driving anytime soon: Waymo CEO John Krafcik recently put the brakes on the fantasy that self-driving cars will be ubiquitous soon. He thinks a few decades is a more realistic timeline, and also believes that self-driving vehicles won't be able to operate in all weather. Self-driving trucks, on the other hand, might become common in the next few years. (Shara Tibken | CNET)
Millenials would like to kill cars too: While baby boomers love driving, the younger generation does not. Less than half of them think cars are worth the cost of maintenance, in contrast with two-thirds of boomers. However, even those who wish they could get around differently stay in their cars because few of them have alternatives. The average person polled spent seven hours each week driving. (Streetsblog | Angie Schmitt)
Too healthy for retirement homes: Due to less smoking and overall better health, baby boomers aren't moving into senior housing as fast as previous generations. This means developers who didn't look at the life expectancy charts have been overbuilding senior housing in some places. When those boomers do move out of thier homes, there could be a crash because younger generations might not have the capital to purchase them. (Lloyd Alter | Mother Nature Network)
The impact of urban supply chain congestion: Several stories last week in Smart Cities Dive looked into the less-discussed topic of congestion from freight and supply chains. In the United States, freight is expected to increase 40% by 2050. Smarter logistics will make deliveries and other operations in cities like LA, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City more efficient. (Kristin Musulin | Smart Cities Dive)
The rise and fall of the French housing estate: At the end of World War II, half of the 14 million homes in France had no running water and 90% had no bathrooms. In an attempt to house people in a more efficient manner, the government built high rise housing estates on the outskirts of the city. But in the 1970s, they stopped building them and they came to represent segregation and the related issues of the country as a whole. (Florence de Talhouet | Al Jazeera)
Quote of the Week
“We're seeing urban conflagrations, and that's the real phase change in recent years. But what's remarkable is the way they're plowing over cities, which we thought was something that had been banished a century ago.”
Wildfire expert Stephen Pyne discussing in Wired how wildland fires are now consuming cities.
This week on the podcast, California State Senator Scott Weiner talks about transportation and housing processes and how to move them forward with policy.