"A study last year found that driving by young people decreased 23 percent between 2001 and 2009. The millennials don’t value cars and car ownership, they value technology — they care about what kinds of devices you own … The percentage of young drivers is inversely related to the availability of the Internet [research found]. Why spend an hour driving to work when you could take the bus or train and be online?"
- The End of Car Culture - NYTimes.com
"The technology industry, by sequestering itself from the community it inhabits, has transformed the Bay Area without being changed by it—in a sense, without getting its hands dirty… Technology can be an answer to incompetence and inefficiency. But it has little to say about larger issues of justice and fairness, unless you think that political problems are bugs that can be fixed by engineering rather than fundamental conflicts of interest and value."
- How the Tech Industry Is Quietly Changing the Face of American Cities (quote from The New Yorker)
"Google’s urbanism, on the other hand, is that of someone who is trying to get to a shopping mall in their self-driving car. It’s profoundly utilitarian, even selfish in character, with little to no concern for how public space is experienced. In Google’s world, public space is just something that stands between your house and the well-reviewed restaurant that you are dying to get to. Since no one formally reviews public space or mentions it in their emails, it might as well disappear from Google’s highly personalized maps."
- Google Maps personalization will hurt public space and engagement. - Slate Magazine (via iamdanw)
"New York City Transit (NYC Transit) is viewed as the world’s most expansive subway system due to its 468 subway stations, the most of any transit system in the world. It is also one of the world’s busiest subways, transporting 1.6 billion passengers annually. While the system emits 2 million tons of greenhouse gases each year, it prevents approximately 17 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, ‘making it one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas avoidance in the United States.’"
- World’s Most Energy-Efficient Subway Systems (via Smarter Cities)
Video Maps Of The World’s Bike Lanes Let You Preview Your Ride | FastCo.Exist
Another cycling innovation is making its way from the Netherlands to this side of the Atlantic. Cyclodeo is a bike-focused mapping website that pairs videos of bike lanes with Google maps.
A Beautiful Vision Of An American High-Speed Rail Map
Imagine if the country was linked by a network of 220-mile-per-hour trains.
"San Francisco’s fundamental problem is that it’s a big city that likes to think of itself as a small one. The city proper is about 46 square miles in area. That’s 40% larger than Manhattan. But even with recent growth, there are only 812,000 people in San Francisco, which is half as many as Manhattan. San Francisco’s population density is about 17,000 people per square mile. Manhattan and Paris have more than 60,000 people per square mile.
How do those international capitals manage to house so many more people? Their skylines make it obvious: They’ve built large commercial and residential office buildings, and they’ve built public services — transportation systems, especially — to make density inhabitable. Now look at San Francisco. Other than a cluster of new buildings in the South of Market area, this city is defined by, and reveres, its famous Victorian houses. Those houses are very pretty. They’re also very inefficient. Collectively, they take up a lot of space, but don’t house very many people."
- San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself
The Urban Country Bicycle Blog: Americans Work 2 Hours Each Day To Pay For Their Cars
Imagine you could work 500 hours less every year. That works out to be an extra 12.5 weeks of vacation. Alternatively, imagine you got paid for an extra 500 hours of work each year, without having to work those extra 500 hours.