Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 23, 2017

Elite Cities Should Share The Wealth (And Crowding) With Others

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

As Seattle ascended into the club of superstar American cities, its housing became expensive and its streets congested. That’s the price of success. These factors helped prompt Amazon.com to announce plans to build a second headquarters somewhere else in North America.

This move could herald a neat solution for cities seeking choice jobs and for those burdened by crowding and astronomical rents. In this vast continent of ours, it’s crazy to shoehorn so much ambition, innovation and technical prowess into New York, San Francisco and a handful of other coastal cities.

For the “elite” cities, sharing the growth would reduce pressure to tear down their beloved neighborhoods to build forests of soulless towers — all in the name of improving affordability.…

Read More

Rethinking The ‘Infrastructure’ Discussion Amid A Blitz Of Hurricanes

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

 

The wonky words infrastructure and resilience have circulated widely of late, particularly since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck paralyzing, costly blows in two of America’s fastest-growing states.

Resilience is a property traditionally defined as the ability to bounce back. A host of engineers and urban planners have long warned this trait is sorely lacking in America’s brittle infrastructure.

Many such experts say the disasters in the sprawling suburban and petro-industrial landscape around Houston and along the crowded coasts of Florida reinforce the urgent idea that resilient infrastructure is needed more than ever, particularly as human-driven climate change helps drive extreme weather.…

Read More

Houston Officials Hope Harvey Convinces Congress To Fund Coastal Barrier

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

This story was co-published with The Texas Tribune.

HOUSTON — Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes.

Though such a barrier system would not have guarded against the unrelenting and unprecedented rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on the area, Turner — one of the region’s last leaders to endorse the so-called “coastal spine” concept — said at a Tuesday news conference that he believes it is crucial.

“We cannot talk about rebuilding” from Harvey “if we do not build the coastal spine,” he said.…

Read More