→ DC Streetsblog: Obama Takes Another Swing at $50 Billion in Infrastructure Spending
President Obama is pressing for infrastructure investment again as part of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The president kicked off talks calling for an end to the debt ceiling, the extension of middle-class tax cuts, and $50 billion in infrastructure spending — a proposal that first arose last year as part of his ultimately unsuccessful American Jobs Act.
The Wall Street Journal called the President’s proposals “a particularly expansive version of the White House’s wish list” and “a potential starting point for negotiations.”
See also: Our favorite Obama quote from 2009
→ The Atlantic Cities: 10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable
In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.
→ USA Today: American cities to Millennials: Don’t leave
The hot pursuit of young professionals has been at the core of American cities’ urban revival for more than a decade. It worked. They came, they played, they stayed.
An urban renaissance unfolded as the number of people living in America’s downtowns soared, construction of condos and loft apartments boomed and once-derelict neighborhoods thrived. In many of the largest cities in the most-populous metropolitan areas, downtown populations grew at double-digit rates from 2000 to 2010, according to the Census.
Now, cities face a new demographic reality: The young and single are aging and having children. If the pattern of the past 50 years holds, they might soon set their sights on suburbia.
→ Fast Company: A Mass-Transit Proposal To Connect A City Using Aerial Gondolas
For many, aerial mass transit – either by way of tram or gondola – is an idea best left to ski resorts and World’s Fairs. But for a growing number of urban planners and designers, aerial transit represents an alternative for cities where traditional transit options are limited. At PSFK’s recent conference in San Francisco, Frog Principal Designer Michael McDaniel unveiled an ambitious plan called the Wire, which proposes a network of gondolas over Austin, Texas.