Category Archives: urban planning

Why Do Many Self-Driving Cars Look Like Toasters on Wheels?

As progress slows toward putting self-driving cars on the road, it’s looking like the vehicles may first be put to use schlepping things rather than people. Packages, after all, don’t complain when the robot takes the longer way around because it’s uncomfortable making left turns across traffic. The nice thing is that both people and packages can comfortably fit into cubes. Zoox, despite its new Amazonian overlords, insists that it’s still focused on robotaxis, though Levinson says “a lot of things are possible with our platform.”

https://www-wired-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.wired.com/story/self-driving-cars-look-toasters-wheels/amp

How the pandemic changed sustainability goals for Uber and Lyft

The ride-hailing companies have for years touted their services as alternatives to car ownership that could help reduce traffic, car accidents, and emissions. But as the popularity of the services grew, the companies instead worsened congestion in many cities, in some cases accounting for more than 13% of vehicle miles traveled, according to a 2018 study commissioned by the companies. With a large majority of drivers using gas-powered cars, more vehicle miles traveled means more greenhouse gas emissions.  

https://fortune.com/2021/06/22/uber-lyft-sustainability-covid-pandemic/

Singapore is building a ‘forest town’ with abundant green spaces and underground roads

In an area of Singapore once home to a brickworks and military training facilities, a vision of the future of urban living is taking shape.

The country is building what it calls its first smart and sustainable town, promising 42,000 homes in an environment where people can be “at home with nature”.

The Tengah project will consist of five residential districts on the 700-hectare site in Singapore’s Western region. Named Garden, Park, Brickland, Forest Hill and Plantation, the areas are designed to improve residents’ health and wellbeing and give them a better quality of life.

How? With smart buildings, greenery everywhere and a prioritization of walking and cycling that routes motor vehicle traffic underground. Read more (WeForum)

The Future of Space 2021

It is clear that we leveraged technology to our benefit during COVID-19 lockdowns. Tech was a welcomed lifeline that we will continue to engage to augment our lives or lean on as a crutch as we begin to hesitantly re-enter public spaces. Our fears will turn toward each other as we gauge who we can trust. How that will play out in a world that continues to be raw and divided needs to be understood. What remains unknown is the role of alternate reality spaces and how it will interplay with our lives. Read more

Death to America’s Manicured Lawns

Nevada’s legislature is considering banning decorative grass. But really we should be banning most lawns in the country. The movement to ban unnatural turf lawns, particularly in America’s arid regions, has been around for a while, and for good reason. The Nevada policy would not actually affect most private yards, but many environmentalists would argue that it should.  Read more (TSB)

The Rise of the Private City-State: In Nevada desert, a technology firm aims to be a government

He wants Nevada to change its laws to allow “innovation zones,” where companies would have powers like those of a county government, including creating court systems, imposing taxes and building infrastructure while making land and water management decisions. The prospect has been met with intrigue and skepticism from Nevada lawmakers, though the legislation has yet to be formally filed or discussed in public hearings. Most in the Democratic-controlled Legislature are eager to diversify Nevada’s tourism-dependent economy, but many fear backlash against business incentives as they struggle to fund health care and education. Read more (Las Vegas Sun)