What We’re Reading: Cars Are Very Expensive, Basic Cities, and Toyota’s City Visions

Historic Thomas Fallon House juxtaposed by new highrise San Jose.
Historic Thomas Fallon House juxtaposed by new highrise San Jose.

Division Transit Project: Portland is breaking ground on the new Division bus rapid transit project.

NY transit sagas: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has a big skeptic in his LaGuardia Airtrain-to-Nowhere project. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar is still on track and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying a tri-borough subway circumferential line.

Cars are very expensive: A study suggests that Houston housing prices are actually just as expensive as New York’s.

Rewilding: In New Orleans, Catholic nuns are planning to turn a convent into restored urban wetlands to fight climate change.

Bloomberg’s infrastructure plan: What’s inside Michael Bloomberg’s $1 trillion national infrastructure plan?

Inequitable outcomes: Redlining appears to have contributed to more extreme heat for poorer people.

Mobile voting: King County is trying out mobile online voting for the King Conservation District.

Basic cities: Former Mayor Mike McGinn opines in defense of tech-lite, “dumb” cities.

Keys to success: Bus ridership is surging in some parts of New York thanks to car restrictions and transit priority.

Facial recognition ban: The European Union is weighing a potential five-year ban on facial recognition technology in public spaces.

Blitzing the environment: The occupant of the White House continues his attacks on the environment by opening up waterways to more degradation and destruction and reducing fuel efficiency standards.

Improving enfranchisement: Odd-year, low-turnout elections could increasingly become a thing of the past in Washington if a proposed bill passes.

Affordability crisis: A new Central District affordable housing project has 74 spots, but 850 people submitted applications.

Toyota’s city visions: Toyota wants to build a “smart”, modern utopian city, but can it become a reality?

France’s eco-socialist mayor: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is running for reelection and wants the city center to go 100% bike and covert office space to housing among other green and progressive ideas.

National housing policy: Could duplexes and triplexes become more widely allowed in Washington cities? Meanwhile, other states are working to free up urban housing regulations, but Virginia does not appear to be prepared to make duplexes easier to build this year.

Infrastructure imbalance: Drivers apparently pay four times more for their mobile phone bills than they do for roads.

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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.