Taking in your city in a new way doesn’t have to be a chore—here are five methods to try. Denver may be laying the foundation to get rid of single-family zoning. Bike lanes need more than paint to protect cyclists.
Five ways to experience cities differently: Rob Walker offers ways to engage with the subtleties and nuances of the urban environment, like looking for ruins or getting there the “hard way” by ditching Google maps and making getting lost the goal. While you are lost, try eating somewhere new—without relying on Yelp reviews. Walker’s full list of five small yet effective activities aims to help urban dwellers and travelers fully immerse themselves in cities, especially in a time when many of us are constantly distracted by our electronic devices. (Rob Walker | The Guardian)
Is Denver getting rid of single-family zoning? Last month, Denver approved Blueprint Denver, a 300-page document guiding future land use policy. The city has an urgent need to increase housing supply across the city, but some residents fear the plan could “homogenize” distinct neighborhoods. Vincent Carroll of The Denver Post notes that the document lays the groundwork to curtail single-family zoning, but the document’s vagueness could be setting the city up for nasty clashes over development. (Vincent Carroll | Denver Post)
Bike lanes need more than paint: Several weeks ago, bike advocates nationwide placed red cups along painted bicycle lanes. The cups were often smashed or crushed. A recent study found that drivers pass cyclists about 1.25 feet closer when they’re in painted bike lanes than when they’re on streets with no bike infrastructure. Now cities are taking steps to build physical barriers between bicyclists and cars. Cambridge, MA, recently passed a law requiring all streets under construction to add protected bike lanes. In New York City and Washington, DC, similar legislation was introduced this week. (Alissa Walker | Curbed)
Silicon Valley’s own Hudson Yards: The developer of New York’s Hudson Yards is looking to build another massive mixed-use complex in Santa Clara, California. The development, set to open in 2023, was first announced six years ago but has just gotten through the review process. When fully built, the project will have 5.4 million square feet of office space, 700 hotel rooms, more than 1,600 apartments, and a retail, dining, and entertainment district. Along with a 30-acre park, the development is a short distance from public transit and an industrial area which is being converted into 4,500 housing units. (Noah Buhayar | Bloomberg)
Fukuoka, Japan’s most innovative city: Fukuoka, long dominated by mega-conglomerates and the unavoidable pull of Tokyo, wants to become Japan’s equivalent to Silicon Valley. Fukuoka is hoping that its image as a compact, affordable city will attract a young, talented, and educated workforce. In 2014, Japan’s central government approved Mayor Sōichirō Takashima’s request to designate Fukuoka as a “national strategic special zone” for startups, allowing them to cut corporate taxes for new businesses and create a special visa for foreign entrepreneurs. The city has been rated one of Japan’s most livable cities. (Edd Gent | BBC Future Now)
Quote of the Week
“Even with a decent salary, decent credit, still my options were limited by income. So that got me to thinking: If this is a struggle for me, what is it like for those who are making a little bit over minimum wage, or even those people who are making a decent salary, something like $35,000 to $40,000? The salaries are not keeping up with the rents.”
Ashley Allen in Texas Monthly talking about her struggle finding housing in Houston.
On this week’s podcast, we share a panel from the Shared Mobility Summit in Chicago featuring MassDOT’s Stephanie Pollack, Randy Clarke of Capital Metro, and Sadhu Johnston of Vancouver.