Virginia sees climate change as an opportunity to become the “Silicon Valley of sea level rise.” Google Maps' futuristic walking directions are about to make getting around a lot easier. “Vertical villages” contain everything you need—but what about community?
Silicon Valley of sea level rise: Virginia has one of the fastest acceleration rates of sea level rise in the country, but views it as an opportunity to lead in green infrastructure development and attract engineering and architecture firms that can help. The commonwealth is creating a first-of-its-kind coastal resilience master plan to move forward on solutions, and cites the Netherlands as inspiration. The Dutch have built skate parks that store flood water and placed water tanks in parking garages. (Gordon Rago | The Virginian-Pilot)
Google's walking directions of the future: Google is testing out its Visual Position System (VPS), designed to overcome the limitations of GPS in existing map-based wayfinding. Utilizing the camera and machine learning, a mobile device can figure out your location through the VPS and Street View data, and shows walking prompts on the phone's screen. You can be part of Alpha testing if you are one of Google's Local Guides at level 5 or above. (David Nield | Gizmodo)
Mixed-use developments you'll never leave: Nationwide, some large mixed-use developments may contain enough amenities that residents will rarely have to leave. In Memphis' Crosstown Concourse, a 14-story-high refurbished Sears warehouse, it's possible to see a doctor, buy groceries, obtain child care, and go to the gym without having to go outside. Although it's convenient, some urban planners are concerned over the potential for loss of community if the design gains traction (though similar designs have been around for awhile). Ehrenhalt argues that “Vertical Villages” should be explored, but with scrutiny. (Alan Ehrenhalt | Governing)
Transit unions take on AVs: The Transportation Trades Department, which represents transit workers, has released a policy statement outlining its plans to address autonomous vehicles. The statement notes that between 700,000 and 1.7 million workers, including about 300,000 in transit, may lose their jobs to automation. Part of the eight-point plan calls for transit agencies to give employees advance notice of any deployment of AV technology and for a human operator in all transit vehicles. Hopefully, the document creates a roadmap for human workers to coexist with automation. (Brian Merchant | Gizmodo)
Rural America's housing crunch: In the last decade, nearly a quarter of rural US counties have seen a sizable increase in the number of households spending at least half of their income on housing. Affordable housing is in short supply as residents from economically-revived areas vie for rentals, while other rural communities are seeing rents stay the same while household incomes drop. Another big factor is that federal incentives to include affordable units have almost disappeared. (Tim Henderson | Stateline)
Quote of the Week
“Using [congestion pricing] as a demand management tool that helps people have a reliable travel time is one of the best things we could do.”
Jillian Detweiler of the Oregon advocacy group Street Trust discussing congestion pricing in The American Prospect.
This week on the podcast Minneapolis Council President Lisa Bender talks about Minneapolis 2040, transportation and more!