Greater City Providence

News & Notes

EU could ground short-haul flights in favour of high-speed rail [Guardian]

Short-haul flights across Europe could be replaced by high-speed rail under ambitious European Union proposals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from transport by 60% over the next 40 years.

True urbanism must come with a big tent [Greater Greater Washington]

Many urbanists seek greater density by revitalizing the built environment. These urbanists advocate for multi-use, human scale developments and multimodal transportation options, taking for granted that the in-migration and density that follow are good.

While density by itself naturally appeals to younger, more footloose residents, such architectural determinism casts a blind eye to those excluded from the benefits of city life when nothing changes but the built environment.

Processing process []

The headline in the Wall Street Journal read, “Enough with Jane Jacobs Already” – above an essay decrying the extensive public process that projects in our cities must go through today. George Thrush, chairman of the School of Architecture at Northeastern University, could sympathize. For him, public participation in the development process has become more of an airing of grievances than an opportunity to rationalize projects in a larger, regional context – how they might impact commuting patterns, for example, or carbon emissions, or energy use.

The Ultimate Country of Cities [UrbanOmnibus]

This, my tenth and final entry for a Country of Cities on Urban Omnibus, is in essence a highly personal love letter to Japan. For over a year, the wonderful readers of the Omnibus have cheered and jeered as I have relentlessly argued that the United States faces a series of deeply connected challenges: economic decline, energy dependence, oil wars, terrorism, xenophobia, protectionism, mounting debt, and spiraling health care costs. These challenges, while vexing when taken together, are surmountable with the silver bullet of the city. The combined growth of the skyscraper and the subway, I continue to posit, is the best path to keep our nation and our developing planet economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. The recent catastrophe in Japan has shaken me into remembering, however, that the real trailblazers in truly dense urban living have been the Japanese, for which they have largely prospered, and because of which they will overcome the unthinkable triple tragedy they now face.

‘Developer fiefdoms’: How they benefit Washington’s emerging neighborhoods [New Urban Network]

Washington, DC, is sprinkled with mini-neighborhoods that blossomed during the past decade, a period in which the city gained nearly 30,000 additional residents. But how, exactly, did those sections of DC manage to do so well?

Lydia DePillis, who writes the interesting “Housing Complex” feature in Washington CityPaper, says one of the critical factors has been the willingness of certain developers to invest in multiple real estate projects all within close proximity.

Greater City Providence

Promoting the smart urban growth of the Greater Providence region.

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