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6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever

6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Many freeway systems were overbuilt in an auto-obsessed era, only to realize later that cities are actually healthier, greener, and safer without them. Like freeway cap parks, which hope to bridge the chasms through severed neighborhoods—Boston's Big Dig is a great example—freeway removal projects try to eradicate and undo the damage wrought from highways, while creating new, multifunctional shared streets that can be utilized by transit, bikes, walkers and yes, even cars.

 

"Okay, you're thinking, but where do all the cars go? It turns out that when you take out a high-occupancy freeway it doesn't turn the surface streets into the equivalent of the Autobahn. A theory called "induced demand" proves that if you make streets bigger, more people will use them. When you make them smaller, drivers discover and use other routes, and traffic turns out to be about the same. Don't believe it? Check out these freeway removals in cities all over the world and see for yourself."

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Networked Intelligent Bicycles Are Transforming Urban Riding

Networked Intelligent Bicycles Are Transforming Urban Riding | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The world’s first open source piece of hardware was the bicycle, according to the Open Source Hardware Association. To be more precise, it was the draisine, introduced as a two-wheeled human-propelled walking machine in 1817.

Technologists of the day added things like pedals, chains and rubber tires, as the bicycle became one of the world’s most widely used and loved machines. Nearly two centuries and a couple billion bicycles later, entrepreneurs are applying computer controls, GPS and wireless connectivity to bikes to help save the world’s cities from automobile gridlock...


Via Lauren Moss
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Bike lanes led to 49% increase in retail sales

Bike lanes led to 49% increase in retail sales | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Back in November 2012, the New York Department of Transportation released a report called Measuring the Street: New Metrics for the 21st Century, which had some compelling figures on the way that local business benefits from bike-lanes, for the fairly obvious reason that cyclists find it easy to stop and shop, as compared to drivers, who are more likely to continue on to a mall with a big parking lot, or shop online.

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Scientific Proof That Cities Are Like Nothing Else in Nature

Scientific Proof That Cities Are Like Nothing Else in Nature | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"Luis Bettencourt, a physicist with the Santa Fe Institute, explains why we've never been able to come up with a proper metaphor for the city"

 

Bettencourt’s theoretical framework suggests that a kind of optimal city exists when we have the most social interaction – and social and economic output coming from it – with the least cost of connecting people and goods and ideas to each other. A sprawling city, for instance, isn’t reaching the full potential it could achieve if more people moved into town in denser development. Likewise, a dense but congested city loses some of the potential it could achieve with better transportation.

ddrrnt's insight:

He encourages us to look at "what cities do", the processes and interconnected relationships, not just the form.

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Austerity vs. Public Transportation

Austerity vs. Public Transportation | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Barcelona’s Bicing bike sharing program is one of the world’s most successful and famous programs. Started in 2007, it uses a membership system that allows anyone with Barcelona residency, for a small yearly fee, to use the bright red and white bikes distributed throughout the city. This makes a huge difference to the population of one of the world’s most tourist-heavy cities, and offers its 150,000 local memberss an easy way to get around the city. But this month, the state of Catalonia has decided to dramatically hike fees for Bicing, more than doubling the cost for membership. When pressed on the issue, government representatives said that if people don’t like it, they should buy their own bike.


Austerity politics always come down hard on public transit, and these cuts come down hardest on forms of transportation (bike shares, walking, etc.) that have neither powerful lobbies nor massive industries. In the US, the Federal Government’s Surface Transportation Fund only gave a measly 2% of its budget to biking and walking services, despite the fact that more and more people in America are preferring these methods of transportation. Only 2%, that is, until this summer, when the new spending bill de-funded many of these already under-funded programs, leaving struggling states, forced to balance their budgets, to go their own with the most sustainable, practical and cheap public transit projects. Unsurprisingly, many of these programs are losing out.


hat can people do to fight for these public transit institutions? With Bicing, people are organizing a petition as well as a protest campaign to fight these cuts and try and save the program. But it has become clear we will need to see solutions that go beyond both government funding and private investment schemes.


Sharable

By Willie Osterweil

03 Dec 2012

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How The New Mobility Grid Can Spark Transportation Solutions

How The New Mobility Grid Can Spark Transportation Solutions | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Imagine a day when you could enter a network of New Mobility options including buses, trains, clean fuel taxis, auto rickshaws and bike share.


Recognizing that no single solution will save the day for transportation in this rapidly urbanizing and increasingly complex world, a groundswell of transportation innovation is arising worldwide. However these innovations are too rarely linked and optimized in a way that can provide a convenient, practical, affordable and sustainable door-to-door trip for the user. The next generation of urban transportation is about connecting transportation modes, services, and especially technologies, bringing diverse innovations together in ways that favor accessibility (meeting needs) over mobility (moving for the sake of moving), and that work significantly better for people, economies, and the planet.

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Coming Soon, Twitter as a Citywide Suggestions Box – Next American City

Coming Soon, Twitter as a Citywide Suggestions Box – Next American City | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In Chicago, local developers have created apps that take advantage of public data and of the city’s efforts to roll out Open 311 — an advanced service request tracking system that went public last month.


The idea of Twitter as a citywide suggestions and complaints box came into the public consciousness over a year ago, when a group of researchers at Purdue University searched thousands of geo-tagged tweets from presumed Chicago ‘L’ train riders to gauge broad sentiment and identify common complaints. The word clouds created from their analysis show how the frequency of certain words and phrases rose and fell as trains were delayed or, for example, faced a signal fire or fallen tree.


A key discovery was that people rarely make positive comments — you’ll look long and hard before finding a tweet along the lines of “the Purple train is running wonderfully this morning!” — instead saving their energy and 140 characters for problems, delays and unexpected difficulties. This may not sound terribly friendly, but it’s ideal for municipal officials, who have little need to hear about systems running smoothly.



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Why this bus has a garden on top of it

Why this bus has a garden on top of it | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Buses have made strides in recent years to be more eco-friendly. So far it's been things like becoming more fuel friendly, but in the future we could see buses go a step further, taking unused spaces on their roofs and turning them into beautiful, rolling gardens.


The project is called "Bus Roots" and it was conceived by New York City designer Marco Antonio Castro Cosio for his graduate thesis at New York University. He calls it "nomadic urban agriculture," and a prototype has already hit the streets courtesy of the BioBus, a mobile science lab that has traveled between New York and Ohio.


via @DVICE

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Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk?

Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. New York, San Francisco, and Boston, the top three major cities on Walkscore.com, are three of the most liberal cities in the country. In fact, the top 19 are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008. The lowest-scoring major cities, by comparison, tilt conservative: Three of the bottom four—Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth—went for McCain. What explains the correlation? Don’t conservatives like to walk?

 

You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon. Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are among the nation’s ten largest cities, but they’re also among the country’s more conservative big cities, and none cracks the top 20 in walkability. All three trail smaller liberal cities such as Portland, Denver, and Long Beach. And if you expand the data beyond the 50 largest cities, the conservative/liberal polarity only grows. Small liberal cities such as Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, Ca., and Paterson, N.J. make the top 10, while conservative cities of similar size such as Palm Bay, Fl. and Clarksville, Ten. rank at the bottom.

 

http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/

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Vertical development: A dense idea

Vertical development: A dense idea | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
It turns out cramming more people into cities won’t help the environment or our health, and may even hurt the economy...
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Visualize a shorter commute — or a better job

Visualize a shorter commute — or a better job | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Seeing how our cities facilitate the commute to work reveals a lot about the benefit of investing in infrastructure.

 

If you lived at the Watergate, this is how long your commute would be around the city by car. Good news is that should you be heading to, say, the White House, you can get there in about 10 minutes...


Via Lauren Moss
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Mariana Soffer's comment, June 27, 2012 8:30 AM
very useful
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The Los Angeles Urban Laboratory of The Future

The Los Angeles Urban Laboratory of The Future | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
Los Angeles, larger than any other American city except New York, is a gargantuan urban complex living ‘on the edge’ and the city most urgently in need of a massive urban planning overhaul.

 

Los Angeles is considered by many planners as the city with the most to gain from an extensive overhauling.  Starting at the top of the transit priorities, the city should find a way to fast-track its rail-based transit by creating lines using driverless, five-minute frequency trains (like Copenhagen), where density warrants, and building an extensive BRT-only lane network on 2nd priority routes.  In Downtown and other special zones, Copenhagen-style bike infrastructure can contribute to traffic-thinning, as well as selective freeway removal, congestion pricing, and infill development.  Finally, extensive urban farming, which can be partly accommodated by repurposing the medians of the many wide and light-traffic streets throughout the city,  would reduce the emission footprint of the city by reducing the transportation of goods from hundreds of miles away.

 

 

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California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?
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Mesh Network Helps Scottsdale, Arizona Relieve Traffic Congestion

Mesh Network Helps Scottsdale, Arizona Relieve Traffic Congestion | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Firetide Inc., the technology leader in next-generation wireless mesh networking, announced the successful deployment of a state-of-the-art wireless intelligent transportation system (ITS) for the Scottsdale Traffic Management Center (Scottsdale TMC). The ITS communications platform connects wirelessly to video cameras, traffic signal controllers and dynamic message signs on arterials throughout the city so experts at the Scottsdale TMC can continuously monitor traffic activity from a central command center. The ability to view live video feeds from heavy traffic areas enables city officials to make fast, well-informed decisions on how to prevent and reduce daily congestion, improve driver information and actively manage traffic affected by special events, weather, and emergency situations.

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Gondolas As Next Generation Of Mass Transit In Big Cities?

Gondolas As Next Generation Of Mass Transit In Big Cities? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

A mass transit system composed of hanging gondolas moving throughout the city sky? It may sound a bit unlikely, but it would be a surprisingly cheap solution when compared to other options, such as subways.


The idea for a network grid of mass transit gondolas, known as “The Wire,” comes from Michael McDaniel, a designer at Frog Design. The idea is being put forward as a solution to the congestion and transportation problems in Austin, TX.


Somewhat surprisingly, there are quite a few significant advantages to such a solution, as Autoblog Green notes: “gondolas would be cheaper than subways (by a long shot – subways can cost up to $400 million per mile and The Wire could be implemented for around $3 million a mile) and they can be used in tight, congested areas. A gondola system – easy (relatively) to install and expand – could also move up to 10,000 people an hour, which could replace 100 bus trips or 2,000 car rides.”


There are some problems that are worth noting, though — issues with wind and with how strange the solution seems to people, being the primary ones.

Here’s a full, nearly 15-minute presentation on the idea by Michael McDaniel.


ddrrnt's insight:

I dreamt of something like this recently.   Would be nice to fly above the traffic with a system like this -- exciting!

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Can we bypass global gridlock?

Can we bypass global gridlock? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Forget jet-packs experts say that car-share schemes and electronically governed 'smart autos' are the answers to ever-increasing city congestion...


In an effort to map out the implications of such growth, the Guardian, in association with Ford, assembled a panel and audience of experts to discuss the future of sustainable transport. The seminar was streamed live on the internet so remote viewers could follow the discussion.


The panel discussed a number of questions, such as: can society possibly function with so many people driving so many cars?; is global gridlock inevitable?; will the transport of basic items such as food and medicine become a fraught and unpredictable challenge? Audience members were invited to participate in the discussion and ask the panel questions of their own.  (...)


Sylvain Haon, secretary general of Polis, a network for European local authorities focusing on transport policy, noted, the use of cars in cities may already have peaked. Researchers have measured drops in journeys over the past decade in several European cities such as London, Stockholm, Vienna and Zurich. The same trend is evident in Australian cities and even in the US, with Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco showing declines from very high levels of car use in the mid-1990s.


In the case of London at least, the change has come about partly through improved alternatives and partly through policies that make urban driving even less inviting than it might otherwise be. As the seminar heard, putting control of city transport under a single authority was vital, allowing the funds from congestion charging to be ploughed into alternatives to the car.


The resulting increases in walking and cycling also promise health benefits beyond better roads and cleaner air. Robin Stott, an audience member, cited medical studies that predict the world will contain a billion obese people by 2030 – a trend that might be countered by just a little more exercise.

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Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability

Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

When it comes to walking in the city, our smartphones provide us with pedestrian sat-nav, reviews of the best places to visit and even measure how many calories we’re burning. In fact, recent research suggests that our phones are encouraging us to even explore more places.


Now, a new mobile app provides an essential tool for the walkable lifestyle. It enables people to check the walkability of the street they’re standing in, as well as discover new walkable streets in other areas and add their own reviews.

The free app uses over 600,000 street ratings from Walkonomics.com, covering every street in San Francisco, New York and England. But unlike other walkability apps, which only measure how many destinations are within walking distance, the Walkonomics app provides 5-star ratings for 8 different categories of pedestrian-friendliness:

  • Road safety
  • Easy to cross
  • Pavement/Sidewalk
  • Hilliness
  • Navigation
  • Fear of crime
  • Smart & beautiful
  • Fun & relaxing


The Walkonomics mobile app provides a crowdsourcing tool for events, allowing more people to be involved, add reviews and post suggestions. With more cities to be added, the app has the potential to become the new ‘must-have’ app for not only discovering and enjoying walkable streets, but also transforming and making streets more pedestrian-friendly...


Via Jandira Feijó, Lauren Moss
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State-mandated planning, higher resident wealth linked to more sustainable city transportation

Transportation practices tend to be more environmentally friendly in wealthier metropolitan areas located within states that mandate comprehensive planning, new research suggests.


Ohio State University scientist Anna McCreery analyzed the effects on what she calls transportation ecoefficiency, which is an index of four scores: percentage of commuters driving alone to work (fewer is better), percentage of residents taking public transit and percentage walking or riding a bicycle to work (more of both of these is better); and population density (more people per square mile reduces driving distances). (...)


"For alternative transportation options like public transportation or infrastructure for walking and cycling to get funding, they have to fight a little harder. That's why they're alternative. The norm is using a car," McCreery said.

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How 'guerilla urbanists' made Raleigh more walkable with cardboard signs and QR codes

How 'guerilla urbanists' made Raleigh more walkable with cardboard signs and QR codes | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

While we're all great fans of modern technology, there's something to be said for simply getting away from the screens and getting outside to walk. That's the mindset of the "guerrilla urbanists" behind "Walk Raleigh" — back in January, Matt Tomasulo and his friends placed 27 signs at three intersections around Raleigh that simply pointed to a local landmark (like Raleigh CIty Cemetary) and said how long it would take to walk there, along with a QR code that could be scanned for easy directions. According to Tomasulo, his project was "just offering the idea that it's OK to walk." He further clarified that "people just don't even think about walking as a choice right now," and that he wasn't necessarily trying to get people to change their behaviors, just to think about the alternatives.

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The Emergent Clustering of America’s Top 50 Bicycling Cities

The Emergent Clustering of America’s Top 50 Bicycling Cities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Bicycling Magazine has once again released its bi-annual ranking of America’s top bicycling cities. Highlights include Portland reclaiming the top spot from Minneapolis, Miami jumping an impressive 10 spots to #34 (was top 3 worst in 2008), and the introduction of Tulsa as #50.

 


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Jaime Lerner sings of the city | Video on TED.com

TED Talks Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.


From building opera houses with wire to mapping the connection between the automobile and your mother-in-law, Jaime Lerner delights in discovering eccentric solutions to vexing urban problems. In the process he has transformed the face of cities worldwide. Full bio »

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Mariana Soffer's comment, July 5, 2012 6:56 AM
very cool
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Why the Places We Live Make Us Happy

Why the Places We Live Make Us Happy | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In an article titled "Understanding the Pursuit of Happiness in Ten Major Cities," the authors concluded that good urbanism contributes positively to happiness:

 

"We find that the design and conditions of cities are associated with the happiness of residents in 10 urban areas. Cities that provide easy access to convenient public transportation and to cultural and leisure amenities promote happiness. Cities that are affordable and serve as good places to raise children also have happier residents. We suggest that such places foster the types of social connections that can improve happiness and ultimately enhance the attractiveness of living in the city."

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Mariana Soffer's comment, June 25, 2012 7:01 AM
I really like your work dd, it's great