Prefab affordable housing for backyards

Excerpt from Quartz, Aug 2019 Seattle-based startup Node sees an urban future for housing built in a factory. Node wants to be the Ikea of the home industry. The modular homes it is making can be flat-packed—the ultra-efficient technique popularized by the Swedish retailer—and then assembled in a matter of days on site. Shingles fasten into place. Walls snap together in metal …

Roughly 20 percent of all vehicle trips in the United States are under a mile

One thing you can do: Drive smarter The New York Times | Eduardo Garcia and Lisa Friedman Transportation creates more greenhouse emissions than any other sector of the United States economy. That’s in part because the number of cars on the roads keeps increasing. […] “Good driving behavior can help increase the efficiency of your vehicle by between 20 and 30 …

Could Barcelona’s plan to push out cars and build superblocks work in the US? A few US citiesmight have the infrastructure and civic will to follow in Barcelona’s footsteps.

By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Apr 12, 2019 This is part five in a five-part series about the comprehensive urban plan being implemented in Barcelona, Spain, which would reclaim more than half the streets now devoted to cars for mixed-use public spaces, or “superblocks.” This reporting project was supported by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, where the author, David Roberts, is …

Densification to respond to affordable housing, transportation, and air quality needs, as well as climate threats

What is a GND for cities?  The passage of the Minneapolis 2040 plan, which will upzone the entire city, and a new effort to pass a statewide transit-oriented development proposal in housing-starved California—may, without meaning to, provide glimpses of what that kind of vision may resemble.  As cities confront climate change, is density the answer? Plans to increase urban density may foreshadow how cities respond …

Density: Learning from Europe: It is indeed possible to have a city full of low-rise buildings that is still compact enough for excellent transit service—but only if most side streets are used for mid-rise buildings instead of houses.

By Michael Lewyn | July 3, 2018 A.Savin Wikimedia Commons Many urbanists, especially those who dislike tall buildings, are eager to point out that a city can have dense, transit-oriented development without having lots of tall buildings. And when I visited Europe last month, I saw some excellent examples of low-rise yet compact places. Most of central Paris, for example, is dominated by four- and five-story buildings, …

Kansas City boosts job access by 17% in one year through transit and 2.2 sq mile “smart area”. New York City leads on job access via transit, study says

By Jason Plautz, July 2, 2018, Smart City Dive Dive Brief: New York City has the highest job accessibility by transit, with 31% of the city’s commutes being made by transit, according to a new study from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota. Kansas City, MO showed the greatest improvement in the annual survey, with a more than 17% increase in its transit …

Children are an “indicator species” of a healthy downtown

By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Jun 21, 2017Young families typically leave cities for the suburbs. Here’s how to keep them downtown. Urbanist Brent Toderian explains how Vancouver held onto its families. Elementary school and playground in downtown Vancouver. (Brent Toderian) In North America, we take it for granted: When couples have kids, they move out of the city to the suburbs. The trend has only …