Should NYC tear down the outdated Brooklyn-Queens Expressway? Businesses in urban areas still want a lot of parking, even as some developers are trying to reduce it. The term “smart city” may be overused, but this report clarifies what a smart city actually is.
Take down the outdated freeway: The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is an open wound on the landscape of New York City. Originally begun in the 1930s, it owes its current form in part to Robert Moses' urban highway building extravaganza. Now it again requires costly repairs, and Justin Davidson suggests that instead of repairing it for $4 billion, the freeway (which carries 153,000 cars per day) should just be torn down. (Justin Davidson | New York Magazine)
Retailers cling to parking ratios: As the urban cores of cities like Atlanta redevelop, retail leasing agents are hearing complaints about parking from businesses. Builders are still overbuilding parking urban environments, though developers in some instances have reduced parking by 20%. Many continue to build surface parking because they feel that moms with strollers fear parking decks. Ultimately, the argument for more parking is that people are addicted to cars. (Jarred Schenke | Bisnow Atlanta)
The 10 pillars of smart cities: A new research report by ESI Thought Lab conducted a survey of officials from 136 cities around the world to understand how each of them looks at the future of smart cities. If you don't understand what a smart city is or think the term is overused, this report is for you. It lays out 10 different implementation areas where technology can help cities become more efficient. Smart cities is definitely a broad term, but perhaps these pillars can bring focus. (Alice Cruickshank | PlaceTech)
Hiring managers bias against commute distance: New research shows that employers are biased against longer commutes, which has equity implications as people move away from job-rich areas looking for less expensive housing. Interestingly enough, the data seemed to show that distance was more important than the person's individual characteristics. (David Phillips | Harvard Business Review)
Your apps know what you did last night: At least 75 companies use location data from apps on 200 million mobile devices, a report from the New York Times found. The apps collect this information to target advertising. While the data is anonymized, it's easy to see how a company could find and follow you. With her consent, Times staff easily connected a teacher to her dataset and saw where she spent much of her time, down to her exact classrom. (Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, Natasha Singer, Michael Keller, and Aaron Krolik | New York Times)
Quote of the Week
“Sometimes when I read the papers of my fellow urban planners, I get the sense that they think cities are Disneyland or Club Med. Cities are labor markets. People go to cities to find a good job. Firms move to cities, which are expensive, because they are more likely to find the staff and specialists that they need.”
Alain Bertaud in CityLab discussing part of his new book Order Without Design.
This week on the Talking Headways Podcast we talk with USC Professor Manuel Pastor about a number of different subjects including rent control, community organizing, and the environmental justice screening method.