This week, California attempts to usurp zoning control from cities to increase affordable housing, rivers used to catch on fire in pre-EPA America, Melbourne’s trees get email addresses, and what does the term ‘Orwellian’ actually mean?
In a legislative session marked by chaotic, partisan showmanship, transit has emerged as a strong bipartisan issue. A grand coalition of urban and rural politicians from both parties have put regional transit funding in Atlanta on the precipice of reality. Enter Cobb County, the obstinate killer of transit momentum.
This week, College Republicans join other young Americans in the quest to get politicians to confront urgent problems. Also, trailer parks can teach us something about good urban planning, Atlanta gets serious about transit, and a beautiful video showing the impact of light pollution on the night sky.
An abundance of asphalt and concrete increases air temperatures locally, which can exacerbate the effects of heat waves and generally cause unpleasant conditions. This is known as the urban heat island effect and it can be true for both sprawled suburbs and dense cities. Savannah’s beautiful green spaces offer a prime example of how the benefits of dense development can be achieved while mitigating or eliminating the urban heat island effect.
Weekly Links: Westerners Love Their Public Land, An App to Track Tsunamis, and Ride-Sharing is Increasing Traffic Congestion
This week, fixing the misleading election result maps, traffic congestion increases as people choose Uber and Lyft over transit and walking, only 26% of residents in Mountain West states support increased mining on public land, and a potential app to detect and monitor tsunamis.
Georgia law has long allowed juries to find a landlord liable if they fail to take necessary steps to keep a tenant safe. It’s a basic legal protection given to tenants, particularly those in higher-crime areas. The Georgia Court of Appeals, though, is okay scrapping the whole jury thing if the judge thinks the tenant should have known not to get harmed. So no more juries, even if the landlord’s botched security job may have contributed to the tenant’s harm.
Weekly Links: Watch Wildfire Smoke Move from California to England, Visualizing Time with Isochrone Maps, and Cities Strengthen Airbnb Regulations
This week: NASA’s visualization of smoke and dust moving thousands of miles through the atmosphere, why Atlanta’s weather is relatively predictable, some Airbnb regulations now require routine building inspections, and laser imagery showing the Mayans had raised highways.
Weekly Links: Icy City of Stilts in Siberia, Germany’s Free Transit Experiment, and Tolkien-Style National Park Maps
This week Steeve Iuncker could only shoot Yanunsk, Siberia in 15-minute sessions to prevent his film from freezing, international satellite data confirms that seas are rising at an accelerated pace, Germany looks to follow Chattanooga in providing free transit to reduce pollution, and cool Lord of the Rings-esque maps of UK National Parks.
Dedicated pay-to-use lanes do alleviate traffic, but the benefits are significantly skewed towards the wealthy. We continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on HOT lanes while endlessly debating the funding of an actual necessity: transit.
Weekly Links: The EPA Loves the NHL, Snow Leads to Better Urban Design, and Atlanta’s World-Class Traffic
A weekly roundup of interesting stories from around the country. The National Hockey League is not just one of the biggest buyers of green energy among sports leagues, but among all US companies. Philadelphia created better designed streets simply by looking at where cars drive in the snow. And a stress-relieving simulation of traffic moving through various types of intersections.