How Cars Divide America


We see the same basic pattern where we look at metros that are knowledge and tech hubs. Driving to work alone is negatively associated with the innovativeness of metros (measured as patents per capita), whereas the share of commuters who use transit or bike or walk to work is positively associated with innovation.

America is an increasingly polarized and politically divided nation, and the car both reflects and reinforces those divisions. Car-dependent places are much more likely to have voted for Trump in 2016. Although the associations are stronger for Trump votes, the same basic pattern holds for Romney votes in 2012. On the flip side, metros that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012 have much higher shares of commuters who use transit or walk or bike to work.

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Richard Florida — CityLab

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How Seattle Fell Out of Love With Amazon


The article tries to bring issues from both the sides. Interesting read.

But now we know that, despite the millions that have flowed to local governments in the Seattle area from Amazon, that money isn’t believed to be enough to pay for all the problems the company’s growth caused. Constantine is saying Seattle will need much more of it if we want a chance to solve our housing shortage and public transit crisis. And that’s not happening: Since a senior Amazon executive told a tech conference that the Seattle region had a snowball’s chance in hell of winning HQ2, we’re going to have to admit that it’s really time to wean ourselves off our Amazon addiction.

The complete article

Carolyn Adolph — CityLab

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Is Tesla Really Making Progress?


This needull presents both sides of the argument. Some look at Tesla as game changer while others are not that impressed.

Because that scenario seems like a real possibility, a car that doesn’t need fossil fuel to run does feel like a game-changer, contrary to Cowen’s argument. Even when accounting for the environmental impacts of manufacturing a Tesla and running it on electricity from a coal-fired grid, its zero-emissions feature still counts as progress, given it will help reduce both future climate impacts and localized pollution from urban traffic, which disproportionately affect communities of color.

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Brentin Mock — CityLab

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How to Support Mental Health Through Urban Planning


I never knew that mental well-being could be supported through urban planning.

Living in a city is both good and bad for mental health. There are economic, cultural, and educational opportunities in cities that you might not find in more rural areas. But there are also theories about how living in an urban area negatively affects mental well-being. One has to do with sensory overload. You’re encountering many people, and your brain is being very stimulated. Some scholars argue that this is problematic for mental health in the long term. We’re still waiting to see how this research plays out.

The complete article

Mimi Kirk — CityLab

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Cyclists Are Winning Commuting


Cycles are green and clean option for short distance commute. I have been witness to the empowerment it has provided to girls in Indian villages, who use cycles to go to their school. Today’s needull discusses why cycling is the better option.

Cyclists and walkers were less likely to report having their commute negatively affect their work attendance, though a snowy day will set pretty much everyone back. Bus riders were especially more likely to have difficult commutes, which correlated to long wait times.

Travel time might not be the best measure of how much a commute sucks

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Andrew Small — CityLabAndrew Small — CityLab

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