Free Public Transit in downtown – With lots of reasonably dense suburbs surrounding the CBD, having free transit through the center encourages commuters to stay out of their cars when they have short trips thereby reducing the need for parking and reducing congestion. [Read more…] about 5 Things that make Portland Work…
“Smart growth,” i.e. the densification of development in both new and established communities, especially along transportation corridors, is not only a worthy objective, it’s a necessity. Sprawling development has many established negative impacts. The infrastructure to support it is disproportionately expensive to build and maintain. Its environmental footprint is disproportionately large and wasteful. It has been shown to create negative impacts on the social and physical quality of people’s lives. [Read more…] about When Smart Growth is Not and the NIMBY Is
Turn the freeways into solar collectors and at the same time mitigate noise, pollution, blight, and open space encroachment. This is a fascinating idea from architect Måns Tham of Sweden. He also proposes that the solar canopy capture auto exhaust for feeding algae ponds to create bio fuel. While it seems at first glance to be ‘pie in the sky,’ upon further reflection it may not be so far fetched. It could help resolve the controversy regarding solar arrays in the desert and possible effects on fauna such as the desert tortoise. Freeways typically involve vast sun exposed stretches of real estate that would seem ideally suited for solar panels. Read more on the architect’s blog.
This post is the first of a multi-part (but irregular) series about the conflicting relationship between U.S. transportation policy and urban renewal efforts, and what some communities are doing to “take back the streets” from cars for people. This post features a video by COAnews (published on YouTube), which gives a little history of the rectangular or square street grid patterns so common in U.S. cities, especially in the west. Then it goes on to talk about a project in Portland, frequently a leader in urban planning, to make neighborhood intersections more community oriented.