Any city can push itself to be better, but they usually go through this learning curve first.
One of the most common questions I get asked is “what are the best cities in the world?” I have a few different answers, but I usually look to shift the conversation to a question I think is more interesting: Which cities out there are doing remarkable things to get much better right now?
Since most of my work around the world advising cities on what I call “advanced urbanism” is in its simplest sense about helping cities get better, inspiring examples of recent successful urban change can be worth their weight in gold.
Brent Toderian is a global thought-leader on cities, an acclaimed city planner and urbanist with Toderian UrbanWorks advising cities and progressive developers all over the world, and the former chief city planner for Vancouver. Follow him on Twitter @BrentToderian.
Adam Tranter @adamtranter · Jul 13
What might our cities look like if we prioritised people, not cars? Here’s a visualisation of what Marble Arch, London’s 5-lane mega-roundabout, could look like if we did just that. Visualisation: @jan_kamensky for #ShimanoFutureCities project
Labour faces a big internal row over the scheme
Sadiq Khan has earned a fierce rebuke from a senior Labour colleague over his plans to build a new road tunnel between the Greenwich Peninsula and west Silvertown in East London. Left-wing Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz has shared a statement from the project’s most ardent opponents claiming that Mr Khan is ‘lying’ over the impact of the tunnel, which critics say could lead to more traffic on London’s roads at a cost of £2.2bn to Transport for London (TfL).
The Silvertown Tunnel is being designed, built, and maintained under a TfL contract with the Riverlinx consortium, with tunnelling due to start in August. It is meant to slash congestion through the Blackwall Tunnel, with plans to impose a toll on both tunnels when it opens in 2025. The contract for construction was awarded in 2019 but recent months have seen some Labour figures step up their opposition to the scheme over fears it will only encourage more traffic and air pollution.
Milan’s Piazza Aperte (“open squares”) program is big into ping-pong.
Campaign to restrict car use and you’re dead in the water, politicians once feared. Not so much now, as demonstrated by mayoral elections in London, Paris, Bogotá, and many other world cities, including Milan.
Business executive Giuseppe Sala won 42% of the vote when, in 2016, he became Mayor of Milan, promising to transform Italy’s second most populous city for the better. He took space away from cars and handed it instead to people. During the pandemic, his administration added cycleways to main travel corridors and, through the Piazza Aperte (“open squares”) program, starting in 2018, it created 38 pop-up community plazas.
Sala was re-elected last year, increasing his share of the vote by nearly 20 points. Taming car use is popular, Sala and other mayors are proving.
What can you say about governments that, in the midst of a global food crisis, choose instead to feed machines? You might say they were crazy, uncaring or cruel. But these words scarcely suffice when you seek to describe the burning of food while millions starve.
There’s nothing complicated about the effects of turning crops into biofuel. If food is used to power cars or generate electricity or heat homes, either it must be snatched from human mouths, or ecosystems must be snatched from the planet’s surface, as arable lands expand to accommodate the extra demand. But governments and the industries that they favour obscure this obvious truth. They distract and confuse us about an evidently false solution to climate breakdown.
Deniz Huseyin13 July 2022
Rural councils face barriers to providing a good bus network
The competitive nature of Government funding for local transport is disadvantaging rural councils and failing rural communities, according to new analysis from Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).
Getting local transport authorities to compete against each other for funding is “consistently producing the same winners and losers”, says the transport charity. The Government’s most recent funding, intended to transform local bus services, further compounded the problem with…
:excerptstart Rhodri Clark 13 July 2022 The revised WelTAG (Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance), due out later this year, will shift emphasis in appraisals from time savings to wellbeing and the environment, states the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the 20mph default limit.Where a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) is required, the revised WelTAG will require it to be… [Read More]
The sound of tires squealing was the first indication something was wrong.
As I was walking past the Rite-Aid near the Capitol Hill light rail station, I looked behind me I saw a minivan swerve too fast down East Olive Way. The driver veered left in the direction of a crowd of pedestrians waiting to cross, then right toward the preschool on the corner, then straight into a line of motorists waiting for the light to change.
Three loud bangs, and it was over.
When Chris Visions began painting a ground mural in Richmond, he had no idea his street art might help save lives.
Since the painted crosswalk — which highlights the Jackson Ward neighborhood’s Black culture and legacy — was finished in September, the intersection became safer for pedestrians and motorists, with episodes of cars braking quickly to avoid pedestrians and other close calls reduced by eight incidents, a decline of more than 56%t, data shows.
Jon Burke FRSA @jonburkeUK
Google bought Waze for $1 billion to make money from sending drivers through your neighbourhood to avoid the overloaded main roads they’ve created. The Councillors that delivered LTNs have been vindicated again. Now we need 100% LTNs, and Road User Pricing for the main roads.