For the first time in a century, most of America's largest cities are growing at a faster rate than their surrounding suburbs.
"As young adults seeking a foothold in the weak job market shun home-buying and stay put in bustling urban centers," this profoundly is changing the demographic processes that create our major urban areas. "Driving the resurgence are young adults, who are delaying careers, marriage and having children amid persistently high unemployment. Burdened with college debt or toiling in temporary, lower-wage positions, they are spurning homeownership in the suburbs for shorter-term, no-strings-attached apartment living, public transit and proximity to potential jobs in larger cities." With home ownership no longer the goal and the suburbs the destination of choice, how with this affect the urban structure of or major metropolitan areas?
"The light that a city emits is like its glowing fingerprint. From the orderly grid of Manhattan, to the sprawling, snaking streets of Milan, to the bright contrast of Kuwait’s ring-roads, each city leaves its own pattern of tiny glowing dots. See if you can ID these cities based on the way they shine."
"The episode begins with Stephen Dubner talking to parking guru Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA and author of the landmark book The High Cost of Free Parking. In a famous Times op-ed, Shoup argued that as much as one-third of urban congestion is caused by people cruising for curb parking. But, as Shoup tells Dubner, there ain’t no such thing as a free parking spot."
The teeming, maddening, and indescribably charming city of Cairo has served as Egypt's capital for 1,000 years. When it emerged it was perhaps the most important cultural center in the Arab world.
But the city's days as Egypt's capital could be numbered. On Friday, the Egyptian government announced that the country will build a new capital from scratch, carving out a piece of the desert between Cairo and the Suez Canal. The project, which is being dubbed "the Capital Cairo," is slated to cost an estimated $45 billion and host Egypt's sprawling government bureaucracy, universities, tourism facilities, hospitals, and a new international airport.
"OTR A.D.O.P.T. transfers abandoned buildings to qualified new owners at reduced cost. The catch? You must commit to rehabilitating the property and returning it to productive use. You must also demonstrate an ability to successfully complete such a project. A.D.O.P.T.-Advancing Derelict and Obsolete Properties Through Transfer."
"To get to the bottom of what qualifies as 'badly designed,' we picked the brains of several urban planners to highlight the flaws of some of the world's biggest cities. In the end, that birthed a list of nine cities that, for various reasons, are gigantic messes in some way or another."
On the list: Jakarta, Dubai, Atlanta, Naypyidaw, São Paulo, Boston, Brasilia, Missoula and Dhaka.
"Although we seldom think about them this way, most American communities as they exist today were built for the spry and mobile. We've constructed millions of multi-story, single-family homes where the master bedroom is on the second floor, where the lawn outside requires weekly upkeep, where the mailbox is a stroll away. We've designed neighborhoods where everyday errands require a driver's license. We've planned whole cities where, if you don't have a car, it's not particularly easy to walk anywhere — especially not if you move gingerly.
This reality has been a fine one for a younger country. Those multi-story, single-family homes with broad lawns were great for Baby Boomers when they had young families. And car-dependent suburbs have been fine for residents with the means and mobility to drive everywhere. But as the Baby Boomers whose preferences drove a lot of these trends continue to age, it's becoming increasingly clear that the housing and communities we've built won't work very well for the old."
"Tracking changes in the shape of American cities over 10 years reveals which cities pack the most into a small space, but don't worry, sprawlers: Los Angeles shows you can change your fate."
Today’s nearly 314 million U.S. residents will expand to 401 million in less than 40 years. Wherever you fall on the cultural spectrum between country and city mouse, the fact remains that we simply won’t be able to use up resources the way we do now in sprawling suburbs shaped by car culture. See also this infographic depicting those with the worst sprawl. and CNN Money's list of the worst sprawl and a discussion of it's impacts.
Tags: density, sustainability, housing, urban, planning, unit 7 cities.
"Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations."
Austin's Mueller neighborhood is a new-urbanist dream, designed to be convivial, walkable and energy-efficient. Every house has a porch or stoop, and all the cars are hidden away.
After moving here, respondents said, they spend an average of 90 fewer minutes a week in the car, and most reported higher levels of physical activity. The poll results seem to validate new-urbanist gospel: good design, like sidewalks, street lighting, extensive trails and parkland, can improve social and physical health. Part II: A Texas Community Takes on Racial Tensions Once Hidden Under The Surface.
Tags: housing, urban, planning, urbanism, unit 7 cities, neighborhood, podcast.
"In 'How to Make an Attractive City,' a new video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design."
Many urban neighborhoods are places of concentrated poverty, and it's killing opportunity in the US.
American cities are growing, and as they grow, they're adding lots of high-poverty neighborhoods. Nearly three times as many "high-poverty" census tracts existed in 2010 as in 1970. That's unsettling on its face but even more so when you see the havoc a poor neighborhood can wreak on a resident's chances at a good life. Forget gentrification — this is a bigger problem.
The chart above tallies up the people living in these neighborhoods in 1970 and 2010. What it shows is that the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods — those with poverty rates of 30 percent or more — has roughly doubled since 1970. That's because these neighborhoods of concentrated poverty have a tendency to stay that way, even while new ones sprout up.
The purpose-built city of Naypyidaw – unveiled a decade ago this year – boasts 20-lane highways, golf courses, fast Wi-Fi and reliable electricity. The only thing it doesn’t seem to have is people, report Matt Kennard and Claire Provost
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