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  • 11 U.S. cities honored as ‘walk-friendly’: Seattle ranks first

    Seattle got the “platinum” ranking for its efforts to make the city more walkable.Photo: chrissudermanCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. After evaluating applicant communities in several categories related to walking — including safety, mobility, access, and comfort — the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) last week announced the selection of 11 Walk Friendly […]

  • Why the ‘coming housing calamity’ shouldn’t have to be calamitous

    The housing market is changing. It’s time to move on from sprawl development.Photo: jcbonbonLast week, I wrote about the mind-bending case of a developer who is giving away cars in order to convince people to buy houses in a far-flung exurban development. It’s kind of like giving away cigarettes to sell funeral plots. The absurdity […]

  • Detroit mayor celebrates demolition of 3,000th building

    Who's ready to party like it's 12/12/2012? Detroit mayor David Bing, that's who! In an announcement made via Twitter, his office proudly declared that the city had demolished its 3,000th building of 2010. That's 10 times the rate at which the city demolished buildings in 2009. Bing's stated goal is the erasure of 10,000 blighted, […]

  • The solution to the parking problem is charging through the nose for it

    Normally, when a resource is scarce, we let the market set its price. So why not do the same with parking? That's what the city of San Francisco has decided to to, because it is populated with geniuses who own iPads and still manage to get a tan. By using “demand pricing” — in which […]

  • Desperate sprawl developer gives away cars with houses

    Desperate measures.My head nearly exploded at the breakfast table on Saturday morning. I was reading a piece in The New York Times about an Illinois developer who has finally found a way to unload the new houses he has built some 50 miles from downtown Chicago, in a place he has seen fit to dub […]

  • How the bicycle economy can help us beat the energy crisis

    This is the fifth column in a series focusing on the economics of bicycling. Libya. Bahrain. Iraq. Afghanistan. Canada. Fukushima. North Dakota. The Gulf Coast. Pennsylvania. Each of these stories stands alone as an urgent parable about our increasingly fragile reliance on affordable, plentiful energy. Take them together, and the myth of abundant fuel that our […]

  • Bloomberg wants to cover New York City’s landfills with solar panels

    New York City's mayor Michael Bloomberg puts birds on things, if by "birds" you mean solar panels and "things" you mean the city’s myriad defunct landfills. The so-called greening of brownfields is a nationwide trend, since landfills and other plots of ruined land close to or even within cities are often not suitable for other […]

  • Suburbs and cities: Stop the name-calling, already

    What’s in a name?Photo: Ryan BowmanWhat is the difference between a city and a suburb, anyway? It’s an important question because so many times, the debate about the allocation of resources in our country is framed this way, as if there were some kind of obvious dichotomy between suburbs and cities, some bright line that […]

  • Sci-fi skycrapers of the future

    The cities of the future could combine dense living arrangements with energy innovation, according to the winners of architecture mag eVolo's annual skyscraper design competition. This design collects lightning and uses it to power hydrogen fuel cells. Some of the other winning skyscrapers are habitations, but others are recycling centers, turbines, and water purification facilities […]

  • Resilient Tokyo: commuters learn to love the bike

    There’s more of this in Tokyo these days.Photo: Byron Kidd Shortly after last month’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we posted a dispatch from Tokyo by Bike blogger Byron Kidd (@tokyobybike) about how more people were biking to work in the quake’s aftermath. Today, The New York Times has a story about how the […]