A New Mayor Inherits the Ambitious Task of Kicking a City’s Car Habit
Here are a few things you probably think you know about Los Angeles: It is a freeway-riddled, car-dependent traffic jam where nobody walks past their driveway. This is the cartoon version of L.A., a cheap shorthand of stereotypes and decades-old perceptions that the city has struggled to shake.
In two years the world’s biggest event on water will take place in San Francisco. But, like many other mega-sporting events, the 34th America’s Cup is expected to have no small impact on land.
With an expected draw of hundreds of thousands of spectators, San Francisco is already contemplating plans to capitalize on the crowds and prestige of the America’s Cup. While it’s no Olympics or World Cup in terms of scope, the event does present the city with an opportunity to bring about long-term changes. San Francisco was named as the host of the event on December 31, and its plans – both short- and long-term – are already unfolding.
[Subscription required to read the entire article.]
The road to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been long for the 32 national teams that have made the final cut of the world’s most-watched international sporting event. But that road has been longer, rougher, and much more expensive for the Republic of South Africa, which was chosen as the host of the 2010 event back in 2004. In the intervening six years, South Africa has laid out a strategy for using the multi-city soccer tournament as a catalyst for local economic development and countrywide infrastructure investments.
Those preparations are underway, and the country has made broad physical and institutional improvements since being chosen to host the tournament. But with less than three months until kickoff on June 11, South Africa still faces many challenges and unanswered questions – not the least of which is what happens after the World Cup is over.
It is a confusing time for cities and the people who work for them. On the one hand, the recent election showed a groundswell of support for new investment in infrastructure. At the same time, cities are facing mounting fiscal problems as the wave of the mortgage crisis hits home. How are cities making the tough decisions?
Americans passed $75 billion in funding for public transportation, from a bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles to an elevated commuter rail system in Honolulu. Voters also overwhelmingly elected a presidential candidate that is promising to invest attention (and hopefully, dollars) in cities through the new Office of Urban Policy. He’s also supported creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to the tune of $60 billion over the next 10 years.
Cars dominate cities, especially in America. But as many cities in other countries have found, removing cars can turn busy streets into lively public places. Now the U.S. is starting to catch on.
Public space has a loose definition. It can be sidewalks, government buildings, or even streets, which account for nearly a third of the land area in an average city. But in people's minds, "public space" is a park or a forest or a beach – places associated with recreation, the out-of-doors and that "nature" thing we tend to divorce ourselves from. Making a connection between the idea of public space and the mundane reality of potholes and rush hour can be difficult.
As part of a monthly series, we present a summary and analysis of some of the most interesting news to appear on Planetizen over the month of November 2006. This is the transcript of an audio segment that originally aired on the nationally syndicated radio program "Smart City".
In an effort to reduce traffic, cities across the globe are considering charging drivers to enter their most congested areas. Cities like London have implemented Congestion Pricing, which imposes a daily fee on drivers who enter certain high-traffic parts of the city. The New York Times reports that environmental and community groups in New York are pushing to impose congestion pricing in lower Manhattan during the busiest times of the day...
As part of a monthly series, we present a summary and analysis of some of the most interesting news to appear on Planetizen over the month of October 2006. This is the transcript of an audio segment that originally aired on the nationally syndicated radio program "Smart City".
Last month, the United States reached a demographic milestone. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 300 millionth American was born sometime in the middle of October. How the country handles its expanding population will become increasingly significant as the weight of this population growth stresses the country’s housing supply, its infrastructure, and the global environment. With researchers predicting that the next 100 million will be added to the population by 2050, long-term planning will be critical.
As part of monthly series, we present a summary and analysis of some of the most interesting news to appear on Planetizen over the month of September 2006. This is the transcript of an audio segment that originally aired on the nationally syndicated radio program "Smart City".