Replacing single-family homes with duplexes and fourplexes is an important step, but we also need more apartments. Why is vehicle ownership growing in the country's most transit-oriented cities? The rise of “smart cities” has also sparked deep concerns about surveillance and lack of privacy.
Eliminating single-family zones won't provide enough density: If we are going to solve America's housing affordability crisis, “missing middle” housing like duplexes and accessory apartments can only take us so far. We also need larger multi-family buildings, including apartment buildings. With an average building lifetime of 50 years, Joe Cortright argues that housing must be designed for the long term, rather than occupying sites with underbuilt density for decades. (Joe Cortright | City Observatory)
Vehicle ownership is growing in our most transit-oriented cities: Despite ride-hailing and new mobility options like dockless scooters, from 2012 to 2017 the rate of car ownership outpaced population growth in most cities, while transit ridership has been decreasing. However, notable cases like Seattle are witnessing a rise in car-free and “car-light” households, defined as having more workers than cars. (Bruce Schaller | CityLab)
Would you pick fewer potholes or more privacy? Kansas City wants to be a “living lab” where technology companies can test their tools to improve roads, school systems, air quality, traffic congestion, and more. However, for a “smart city” to function it has to collect billions of bits of data from residents, sparking deep concerns about surveillance and lack of privacy, especially in poorer neighborhoods. (Timothy Williams | New York Times)
The transit project pipeline is full again for 2019: There are 89 major transit projects in the pipeline across the continent totaling more than 830 miles of fixed-guideway transit, including heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail. From Panama City to Toronto, 23 of these projects are slated to open this year. (Yonah Freemark | The Transport Politic)
“Level of service” metric is officially out in California: Car delay will no longer be a criterion of environmental impact for development projects in California. Instead, a section of the California Environmental Quality Act was rewritten to establish that the number of vehicle miles traveled generated by a project must be used in place of level of service as a measure of a project's environmental impact. The decision removes one of many hurdles to developing much-needed urban infill housing in the state. (Melanie Curry | Streetsblog California)
Ford's “futurist” and city planners look past the conventional car: It's been somewhat of a hard sell at a company focused on people purchasing cars, but Ford's futurist Sheryl Connelly is looking at a future that shares and rents mobility. City planners see the future too, but don't want to jump too fast into changes to streets and existing mobility that might not be around in 10 years. (Michael Laris | Washington Post)
Quote of the Week
“People get in other people’s cars and sleep in other people’s beds. This is a natural expansion of the housing market in the shared economy.”
Los Angeles Developer Ken Kahan talking about a new trend in building shared housing. in the Los Angeles Times. Just don't call it a dorm.
This week on the podcast, former Houston Metro Board Member Christof Spieler talks about his new book Trains, Buses, People.