Gridlock resulting from vehicles and pedestrians “blocking the box” at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 57th Street in New York City. Photo by Rgoogin (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Worse Gridlock, More Inequality? 3 Ways Self-Driving Cars Could Change Cities: “Cities could be caught off guard by a new traffic crisis, and be forced to step in to regulate how many AVs they’ll allow on the road. They could also regulate the cost of these luxury rides to help pay for ride access in lower-income areas. Either way, the point is clear: Cities will need to be prepared to step in as this tech radically shifts the carefully planned “calculus” of urban transit.”

The Streets of Tomorrow: “Whether or not autonomous vehicles will allow for utopian cities of tomorrow depends on careful planning and policies today, says writer Brian Barth. And the future of autonomous vehicles might not look as green as we’re imagining. A new landscape by Ki Concepts on Honolulu’s Ford Island—site of the Pearl Harbor attack in World War II—weaves the richly layered history of the site into a sleek, cohesive design. And a new streetscape redesign by CRSA in the Sugar House business district of Salt Lake City turns a large thoroughfare into an inviting multimodal streetscape.”

Sight and Insight in the California Desert: “In our era of rapidly shifting domestic arrangements, nearly everyone — young people living alone or aging couples in communal compounds — seems badly served by architecture designed for the increasingly vestigial nuclear family. The cultish Marie Kondo’s admonitions to cast out the nonessential seems ripped from Zittel’s playbook; the conceptual underpinnings for the swelling phalanx of tiny, modular dwellings that evade byzantine zoning regulations and create a more mobile society can be found in Zittel’s experiments as well.”

A Controversial Plan to Drain Water From the Desert? Go for It, Trump Administration Says: “The publicly traded Cadiz Inc. — which has a market value of nearly $300 million — owns 34,000 acres in the valley, land that is surrounded on all sides by the Mojave Trails National Monument. You’d never know to look at it but underneath the arid land lies the Fenner Basin, a massive aquifer that holds between 17 million and 34 million acre-feet of water, about as much water as in Lake Mead. Cadiz currently uses the water for its 500 acres of farmland. But no one gets rich growing lemons in the desert.”

The Economics of the Office: Why Do We Still Commute? “There are many reasons to believe commuting is stupid. It wastes resources. It’s bad for the environment. It’s unproductive time that we’re not paid for. It costs us money. It’s stressful. It’s associated with higher rates of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, divorce, death, and a whole host of other maladies. We report we hate it more than anything else in our routines and that we’re happier when we get to more regularly work from home. Why, then, must office workers continue to do it?”

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