Germany’s Green Party is pushing to end domestic flights and replace them with more trains. Cincinnati is moving ahead with plans to install 3D crosswalks, despite safety warnings. Saudi Arabia is building a $500 Billion megacity that may include robot cage fights and flying taxis.
Germany’s Green Party wants to swap planes for trains: In a recently released document, Germany’s Green Party proposed ending domestic flights in favor of using more trains to get around the country. About 16% of flights in the country are domestic. The Green Party currently has no government role but is an influential political body in the country. (Feargus O’Sullivan | CityLab)
Cincinnati installed 3D crosswalks to protect students: The Federal Highway Administration says that 3D crosswalks, which appear to be raised like a speed bump due to an optical illusion, may have the unintended consequence of startling drivers into unsafe driving. But Cincinnati already installed one to help protect students and says it’s been successful, and has plans for two more 3D crosswalks before the school year begins. (Jason Plautz | Smart Cities Dive)
Saudi Arabia’s megacity dreams: Leaked documents on Saudi Arabia’s $500B megacity project Neom highlight a proposal for robot cage fights, cloud seeding (in order to force rain in the desert climate), genetically-enhanced residents, flying taxis, and even a fake moon, possibly created by a drone fleet. Neom is Saudi Arabia’s attempt to diversify its economy to more than just the oil industry, opening up the region to tech, manufacturing, and international shipping. (James Vincent | The Verge)
2018 was a deadly year for environmental activists: A new study by Global Witness reported that at least 164 environmental activists were killed in 2018. The environmental areas with the highest death toll include: mining (43 deaths), agribusiness (21 deaths), and dams and other water resources (17 deaths). The report stated that over half of the killings took place in Latin America. (Justine Calma | Grist)
A look at housing opposition in California: By one estimate, California is short 3.5 million homes to meet projected demand, and some residents have been dividing into housing advocacy camps that do not neatly subdivide along the usual left-right lines. Both factions profess community-mindedness and love for their neighborhoods, yet both tout the other as adversaries. (Laura Bliss | CityLab)
Quote of the Week
“Moreover, there is no evidence that a traditional family and a true functional family differ in land-use effects. The fact that zoning codes allow an unlimited number of related people to live together (while limiting unrelated people) is not rational, either.”
Sara C. Bronin in the New York Times on the absurdity of zoning laws restricting the number of unrelated people that could live in a home.
This week on the podcast, Dr. Anita Sengupta joins us to talk about her thoughts on the future of local small scale passenger flight.