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Next American City 2013-12-06 16:18:50
live stories around the architectural blogosphere...
A transponder that’s part of a crash safety system in Europe. Credit: Halász István on Wikipedia
Before four people died on Sunday when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in the Bronx, many thought a federal mandate to install advanced signaling technology by 2015 would be delayed until 2018 or 2020. The Association of American Railroads, representing the largest freight railroads, has been …
Next American City 2013-12-06 15:40:21
A SEPTA airport line train. Credit: Scott Sherrill-Mix on Flickr
The Friday after Thanksgiving I landed at Philadelphia International Airport, my mind hazed from a night spent on an airport bench and Lufthansa?s generous drink policy. After the customary rituals of reentry, kissing the ground of my ancestral home and so forth, I turned to more practical matters. How was I going …
Next American City 2013-12-06 14:58:00
Credit: Flickr user Bytemarks
A modest, dare we say promising, jobs report today says that unemployment dropped to 7.0 percent from 7.3 percent in November, with the economy adding 203,000 jobs. The trend of steady growth continues, despite the government shutdown. There was an uptick in transportation and warehousing, health care and manufacturing employment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But as …
Next American City 2013-12-06 14:24:11
Credit: Brian Herzog on Flickr
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon and a staunch transit booster, introduced a bill on Wednesday to raise the gas tax by more than 80 percent, from 18.4 to 33.4 cents per gallon. Such a drastic increase likely won’t happen for the same reasons that the fuel surcharge hasn’t been raised since Bill Clinton’s first year …
Next American City 2013-12-06 14:09:54
A rendering of the highway, which is expected to be completed in two-and-a-half years.
Getting from one side of Beirut to the other normally takes about 15 minutes. Rush hour, on the other hand, is an entirely different story. With around two million people working in this 20-square-kilometer city, which boasts a joke of a public transportation system, the trip across town …
Next American City 2013-12-06 12:50:38
Talk all you want about ?cultural capital,? but it turns out art has a real, tangible impact on the national economy. On Thursday, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released their prototype estimates of what they call the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account.
In 2011, arts and cultural production (ACP) accounted for 3.2 …
Next American City 2013-12-06 11:00:36
Credit: Fons Heijnsbroek on Flickr
Urban trees are overachievers. Their skills range from purifying air to preventing crime to boosting your mood. But to what extent can these stars of the street have an impact beyond their neighborhoods, helping to mitigate global climate change? And how can we maximize their potential to do so in the most cost-effective manner?
These are urgent questions, …
Next American City 2013-12-05 18:38:16
Credit: Lux Research
With the recent uptick in hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” for shale gas in the U.S. and abroad, some renewable energy advocates have worried that cheaper natural gas could harm solar’s competitiveness. Not so, says a widely cited report out by Lux Research, a multinational research firm focusing on emerging technologies.
According to the report, unsubsidized solar power could compete …
Next American City 2013-12-05 17:00:53
The Knight Foundation has published a new report that maps the state of "civic tech," a catchall term that here encompasses everything from the election-education hub Project Vote Smart to the room-rental platform Airbnb. The field is, to be sure, growing — Knight, assisted by data analytics firm Quid, found that while there were just 34 civic tech-related firms and non-profits …
Next American City 2013-12-05 16:06:15
A crowd of people in Madrid. Credit: Flickr user Doug
It?s no shocker that the world is rapidly urbanizing. The World Health Organization estimates that 70 percent of the global population will live in cities and towns by 2050, up from just 50 percent today. Predicting exactly where and when those urban migrations will occur, however, has proven difficult in the past, …
Next American City 2013-12-05 14:43:09
New York and Chicago are fond of fighting about trivialities such as which city has the better crop of skyscrapers. But both should pay more attention to what happens under their feet ? particularly the alarming state of aging pipes in the U.S.
If all of the estimated 2.1 trillion gallons of expensive, treated water that leaks from the country?s outdated systems …
Next American City 2013-12-05 13:51:57
Louisiana’s wetlands are disappearing in part because of efforts to save the region from flooding. Credit: Louisiana Sierra Club
Scientists use cancer as an analogy to describe the erosion of the Gulf Coast ? it aptly captures the pernicious process of degradation, as well as its ability to elude cures. When scientists describe the ?Gulf Coast? in Louisiana, they are not referring …
Next American City 2013-12-05 13:00:19
Mark Zuckerberg. Credit: Robert Scoble on Flickr
There is a good chance that you’ve heard how Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg — in the form of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Facebook founder’s nascent Startup:Education organization — have contributed to a $9 million investment round in EducationSuperHighway, a San Francisco-based non-profit whose goal is to "upgrade the Internet access …
Next American City 2013-12-05 12:00:35
Credit: Boston Public Library
Blacks are happier at work than whites, according to a new study in the December issue of Social Psychology Quarterly. Researchers found this despite minorities being overwhelmingly outnumbered in the workplace and oftentimes holding lower-ranking jobs.
Lead author Melissa Sloan and her fellow researchers worked with more than 1,300 state government employees in Tennessee to arrive at their …
Next American City 2013-12-05 11:00:04
Credit: Regional Plan Association
New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named his first three hires on Wednesday. The headline pick was his first deputy mayor, Anthony Shorris, most recently a top executive at NYU’s Langone Medical Center but with a long history in local government. On the housing side of the urbanist equation, Shorris was a key architect of Ed Koch’s …
Next American City 2013-12-04 19:55:26
Credit: Boston Public Library
This week?s Forefront story explores Oakland?s changing demographics as Mayor Jean Quan vies for reelection next fall. The city has changed drastically, especially in the last few years, and is starting to experience what many cities do when they begin attracting new residents: Displacement, widening inequality and quality-of-life improvements only in the neighborhoods where newcomers have settled.
Next American City 2013-12-04 17:30:33
In the spirit of that inveterate observer of urban behavior, William "Holly" Whyte, New York City’s Project for Public Spaces took to the streets recently to see how actual humans use some of the 300-plus Citi Bike stations. In brief, PPS found that, "People ? not just bike-share users, but everyone passing by station docks ? are adopting the bike-share system …
Next American City 2013-12-04 17:27:22
A man walks his dog along one of the river’s current 10-meter embankments. Photo credit: “nakimusi” via Flickr
When August came to Tokyo in 1910, it began to rain unusually heavily. Between August 8 and 10, almost 400 millimeters of rain fell in the Chichibu Mountains to the west of the city. It rushed into one of Tokyo largest rivers, the Arakawa, …
Next American City 2013-12-04 16:58:31
A Wheelmap view of Chicago.
When OpenStreetMap began in 2004, creator Steve Coast’s simple ambition was to access a map of his neighborhood. (He lived in the U.K., where maps were held by the government’s Ordnance Survey.) In the intervening years, OpenStreetMap has evolved into the Wikipedia of the world’s geography — anyone can edit it, and both its map tiles …
Next American City 2013-12-04 12:59:33
A panel takes audience questions. From left: Rockefeller’s Michael Berkowitz, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Medellin Vice Mayor Claudia Restrepo, and moderator Ed Crooks
“If you’ve ever had a near-death experience? it clarifies your mind like nothing else.”
That was New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu speaking at The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2013 Innovation Forum. Held in …