Mike Lydon's blog

Mike Lydon is Principal of the Street Plans Collaborative and co-author of Tactical Urbanism: Short-term Actions for Long-term Change (Island Press, 2015).
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The Global Transit Space Race: China's $272 Billion Advantage

This morning I was reading through my daily dose of planning related blogs and dropped in on The Overhead Wire, Jeff Wood's excellent transit soapbox. One of Jeff's most recent posts links to an October 25th Reuters article announcing China's $272 billion dollar investment in new rail infrastructure. Yes, you read that correctly. 272 billion. Can't you see president Hu Jintao bringing his pinky to his lips, à la Dr. Evil?

Of Songs And Cities: Listening To NYC's Columbus Park

Jane Jacobs once said, “Songs and cities are the best things about us. Songs and cities are so indispensable.”

For a long time I thought Mother Jacobs was speaking, as only she could, about two separate, but vital human necessities. Yet after another weekend exploring New York City, I am convinced the two—songs and cities—are inextricably linked. That is, truly great cities play their own songs, and after one listen you can’t get them out of your head.

Rewiring America's 'Energy Crisis'

In a much discussed speech, ‘A Generational Challenge to Repower America,’ Al Gore challenged America to hit the off-switch on foreign oil and re-power itself with home-grown carbon-free energy– namely wind, solar and geothermal.

The predicted outcome Gore said would be a bold, energy independent nation ready to lead the world into the 21st century. However, such an effort, he asserted, would require “commitment to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And Laws will only change with leadership.”

The Bicycle Network

Basic Elements

On Bicyclists

There are three types of bicyclists: Advanced Bicyclists, Intermediate Bicyclists and Beginner Bicyclists. We need to plan and build facilities to accommodate all of them. Those cities that do are experiencing ridership numbers far above the national average.

On Pride

Cities are sized-up, measured and analyzed in countless ways. The Economist uses statistics to indicate how New York’s financial sector is faring against its London counterpart. Richard Florida measures the extant of the creative class. Allan Jacobs carefully records intersection densities and Jan Gehl simply counts pedestrians. Some, like Peter Calthorpe, go beyond the city line and take stock of the whole region.

Miami Moves Forward With Bicycle Planning

If you think of the most bicycle-friendly cities in America, surely you do not think of Miami. In fact, if you have ever been to the "Magic City," or perhaps live here, you probably shudder at the idea of using two wheels instead of four. That may be changing.

Dublin Disappearing?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anne Street, Dublin City Center: A mixture of uses prevail
in this pedestrian friendly, human-scaled street.

A Manual For The Future

The Wacker’s Manual of the Plan of Chicago: Municipal Economy, first written in 1911 as a way to educate Chicago students about the City’s Plan of 1909, provides remarkable insight into America’s diminished socio-cultural ambitions.

 

Developing A TND Ordinance

When I opened my email this morning I was delighted to see that the City of Flagstaff unanimously approved a SmartCode based TND ordinance. The ordinance, created to make a recent Dover Kohl designed project called Juniper Point legal, allows a more compact, pedstrian friendly urban pattern to be established within the City. This is a crucial step in providing alternatives to business as usual sprawl development. Fortunately, more and more cities - From Jamestown, Rhode Island to Miami, Florida, to Montgomery, Alabama - are making smart growth a legal and easy choice.

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