Mike Lydon's blog

What A Difference A Year Makes

In late 2007, it was with increasing frustration that I penned and op-ed entitled "Make Miami a Bicycle-Friendly City." Appearing in the December 13th edition of the Miami Herald, the article implored City officials to make the city more amenable to bicycling (It was no surprise in the spring of 2008 when Bicycling Magazine named Miami one of the three worst cities in America in which to bicycle).

The City's response exceeded all of my expectations.

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.”

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.

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