What We’re Reading: Future Cities

Future City by The Black Azar on Flickr.

Stop the violence: Mayor Murray released a detailed plan for how to reduce Seattle gun violence this week in the wake of a serious rash of citywide shootings.

Innovative and dramatic transit: Wanna know if there’s a seat available upstairs on your double-decker bus? In London, you soon can. This week, the Seattle City Council outlined options to save Metro service in the city, but not all options are fair and equal. Pierce Transit is planning to create day passes for their system exclusively. We’ve fawned over Denver plenty in the past, but City Lab talks about just how awesome their public transportation expansion is.

Tear down this highway: Seoul rips out its viaduct and opens up a new public-oriented waterway. Sounds familiar…Of course, Mayor Murray apparently thinks that if finishing the SR 99 tunnel isn’t possible, just do cut and cover

Rezoning and an appeal: The Seattle City Council voted to approve the rezone for the Mount Baker area on Monday. A Central District group wants to have a say in the future rezone process of the large southeast corner of 23rd Ave and Union St. Smart Growth Seattle lodges an appeal against text amendments to the Seattle land use code that would lower height limits in Lowrise zones.

This week in bikes: Northgate kids shame speeding drivers, the Federal Highway Administration reports that bike and pedestrian improvements pay dividends in traffic relief and health benefits, a study suggests that bike lanes result in motorist giving cyclists more room when passing, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey wants to kill federal funding for bikes and pedestrians, and Amtrak will soon welcome your bike onboard long-distance train service.

Open up a map (in a new tab): See how 12 American cities sprawl while Greater Greater Washington shares a handy new map that tells you if it’s faster to walk, bike, ride, or drive.

Alley activation: Alleys can create community and the central rallying point for Seattle-based World Cup fans has been Nord Alley. SDOT also talks about the success of another alley in Chinatown. Speaking of the World Cup, see the “ghost town effect” that it is having in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Development and design: Tacoma is looking for its first transit-oriented development next to Tacoma Dome Station. A profile on the unique New York City market of building supertall, superskinny buildings explains the challenges and potential of building these cool structures. Chuck’s parklet gets eighty-sixed after landlord opposition.

Death in 7 photos: In the course of less than 50 years, we see the decimation of Detroit in these photos. But it’s not just Detroit with tanking population in the Great Lakes region.

Future cities: Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer argues that the plutocrats would do well to raise wages to maintain our democracy and they’re very own success. Hayward, California has planned the first community health clinic integrated into a fire station; it poses a new model for primary care for walk-in, lower-income patients over visits to the expensive and overburdened emergency room. San Francisco’s pilot program for real-time on-street parking pricing is reducing circling, traffic, and emissions while opening up more available spaces. And Sightline outlines the ingredients for how cities can be pro-kid.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.