Germany

Chicago Commuter Rail

Alternative Railroad Electrification

Rather than building costly overhead electrification infrastructure to convert a Chicago-area commuter rail line from polluting diesel power to emission-free electricity, the Metra Board of Directors chose a far less expensive and quicker route.

August 28, 2022 - Metra

Liquid natural gas tanker in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Europe's New Energy Infrastructure Begins to Emerge

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to quickly redraw national boundary lines in Eastern Europe. The region's energy infrastructure, particularly pipelines carrying natural gas, may change sooner.

May 24, 2022 - POLITICO Europe

Moscow, Russia

Banning Russian Oil, Part II

Part I occurred when President Biden banned the importation of all Russian fossil fuels on March 8. A month later, Congress passed legislation to codify the embargo. Getting the European Union onboard is proving cumbersome.

May 12, 2022 - Politico

Gazprom building in St. Petersburg, Russia

Energy War Comes to the European Union

When President Putin ordered Gazprom to turn off the valve on pipelines carrying Russian gas to Poland and Bulgaria, he effectively expanded the Russia-Ukraine war to the European Union, threatening their economic well-being and way of life.

May 3, 2022 - The New York Times

Drilling rig at a gas field in the North of Western Siberia

Hooked on Russian Gas

The EU relies on Russia for 45% of its natural gas imports and 27% of its crude oil imports. Germany's dependency is a major reason why it won't ban these imports despite Russia's war in Ukraine. Two natural gas pipelines explain part of the problem.

April 21, 2022 - The New York Times

Oil extraction pumps in winter landscape in Russia

European Union Takes Initial Step to Ban Russian Energy Imports

After a second day of talks in Brussels, ambassadors to the European Union agreed to ban coal imports from Russia as evidence of widescale atrocities committed by Russian troops in Ukraine surfaced after their withdrawal from the outskirts of Kyiv.

April 11, 2022 - The New York Times

pallets of green oil barrels stacked

Banning Russian Oil

President Biden announced a ban on the importation of Russian energy on Tuesday in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine. He warned that gasoline prices will go even higher as a result. Europe will not be joining the ban.

March 10, 2022 - The New York Times

Gas Pump

The Missing Sanctions on Russia

President Biden took aim at Russia in his State of the Union address for the war it has started in Ukraine, vowing that they will "pay a price" which so far has yet to extend to their oil and gas exports.

March 6, 2022 - The Associated Press

Public Health

The Pandemic Is Not Ending—But Restrictions Are

The science hasn't changed but the politics have, and policymakers are responding appropriately. Transmission of the coronavirus during the Omicron wave remains at an all-time high, although infections are decreasing globally.

February 20, 2022 - Bloomberg Prognosis

Magellanterassen at HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany

Living With Flooding in a German Port Town

A riverside neighborhood in Hamburg embraces flooding as part of its resilience planning, using old techniques to protect modern communities.

December 24, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

Coronavirus

Update: Coronavirus Vaccination Litigation against Biden Administration

The U.S. Justice Department filed its appeal on Nov. 23 before the 6th Circuit Court to reinstate the large private employer vaccination status requirement that the 5th Circuit had stayed after Republican governors and state attorneys general sued.

November 28, 2021 - The Washington Post

COVID-19 Test

Global COVID Death Toll Reaches Another Grim Milestone

The official death toll due to COVID-19 since the first recorded death in Wuhan, China, on Jan. 10, 2020, passed 5 million on Nov. 1, although The New York Times stresses that's a vast undercount. The WHO points to Europe as the latest hot spot.

November 10, 2021 - The New York Times

Public Transit

Pandemic Watch: What's Going on in Europe?

A coronavirus resurgence is spreading across much of Europe, forcing Italy into a new lockdown a year after it became the first Western country to resort to the drastic measure. The coronavirus has returned in the form of more transmissible variants.

March 18, 2021 - The New York Times

Düsseldorf Stadtbahn

Germany Locks Down to Protect Healthcare System

Beginning Dec. 16, all of Germany will be subject to stricter coronavirus restrictions to reduce infections following a meeting with the chancellor and the 16 state governors. Schools will close and restaurants will be confined to take-out service.

December 15, 2020 - Associated Press

Building Trades

New Market-Rate Housing Lowers Rents for Everyone, According to New Research

A study published by a German researcher adds ammunition to the cause of improving housing affordability by legalizing and building new supply.

December 15, 2020 - City Observatory

Coronavirus Social Distancing

Coronavirus Success Stories

While the U.S. leads the world in COVID-19 infections and deaths, a small group of nations defied the odds and has shown remarkable success in containing the coronavirus. NPR investigates what they share in common, with a focus on New Zealand.

June 8, 2020 - NPR

Drive-Through Coronavirus Testing

U.S. Needs to More Than Triple Testing Before States Can Open, Study Says

The United States currently tests about 145,000 people daily. A Harvard study calls for a minimum of 500,000 daily, but that's on the low end if the country wants to prevent shutting down again due to a second wave of the coronavirus.

April 20, 2020 - The New York Times

Berline, Germany

Berlin Caps Rents as Anti-Gentrification Measure

The capital city, known for its artists and party scene, is aiming to reduce gentrification by capping rent prices for a period of five years.

February 3, 2020 - The New York Times

Sports Utility Vehicle

The Case for Banning SUVs

Global SUV ownership is skyrocketing, with consequences for carbon emissions and traffic safety. A few voices are now calling for bans on the large vehicles.

October 26, 2019 - Fast Company

Chicago Commuter Rail

What's Hindering Regional Transportation in the U.S.?

Public transportation that serves regional areas makes sense, but the United States has been slow to pursue strategies and policies that foster these types of systems.

September 29, 2019 - the transport politic

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.