Research from cities around the world shows how to make congestion pricing work. A data-driven approach to ending homelessness has been successful in multiple cities. Why don't most cities tax land values?
Pricing strategies to decongest cities: As more people become comfortable with the idea of congestion pricing and technology makes it more feasible, cities are starting to take a more serious look at the strategy. Case studies from international cities indicate that there are multiple benefits to reducing traffic, including better access, reduced pollution, and increased revenue for alternatives. The key to success is to keep public acceptance high by correctly allocating revenue. (Rob Puentes | Eno Center for Transportation)
It's possible to end chronic homelessness: Three cities in the United States have ended chronic homelessness and nine more have ended veteran homelessness. Now 50 more cities will be using a program called Built for Zero, which uses data to catalogue and monitor homeless residents in real time so that their housing needs can be addressed by city staff. The term "zero" in the program name refers to cities' goal of having "functional zero" homelessness. (Adele Peters | Fast Company)
The land tax less traveled: Why aren't land taxes, such as the one economist Henry George advocated, implemented in more cities? Writer Rick Rybeck argues that as the land taxes were taking off, major universities began teaching that land should be lumped in with capital instead of as its own type of resource. "Investment," he says, is the creation of something new that enhances future production. What we call property investment is really just speculation. (Rick Rybeck | Strong Towns)
Color and movable chairs entice people to stay and play: In 1965, Santa Monica's 3rd Street Prominade was closed to cars and made into a pedestrian mall. A remodel and focus on movie theaters and other attractions in the 1980s making the Prominade a popular destination for shoppers and strollers alike. But lately, sales have slumped and the mall looks a bit gray. Now the city has been looking at ways to spruce up the space to entice its 19 million annual visitors to linger, including different types of brightly colored grouped chairs. (Merle Ginsberg | Los Angeles Magazine)
An airplane warning for our autonomous cars: The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded around the world, and the recent crash of the jet in Ethiopia highlights that we should be wary of driver-assist technologies in cars as well. According to some pilots, automation has made it so that there's more to learn about flying a plane than ever, since these systems need to be understood to be used correctly. Similarly, the more autonomous features in cars driven by unwary humans, the more potential there is for driving disaster. (Henry Grabar | Slate)
Quote of the Week
"For all the talk in the suburbs around being closer to nature, the nature in question is both ersatz and an ecological horrorshow."
Kate Wagner in Curbed discussing the issue with lawns, and why perhaps we shouldn't have them at all.
This week on the podcast Matthias Buehler and David Wasserman talk about how to use CityEngine to create 3D urban landscapes for movies and planning.