Meet the Former Angelenos Living in a Rent-Free, Ramshackle Desert “Town”: Slab City: “The last hour of the 190-mile drive inland from L.A. to Slab City is a sensory-deprivation dash through frowning, scrubby nothingness where humans go only to escape or to hide, or because they’ve simply been priced out elsewhere. Beyond manicured Palm Springs and the featureless fields of the Coachella Valley, the increasingly toxic Salton Sea forms a dying mirror of the vast Colorado Desert sky, State Route 111 a thin thread of civilization between its apocalyptic abandoned resorts and the distant Chocolate Mountains.”
Ridership on Metro fell to the lowest level in more than a decade last year: “Despite a growing population and a booming economy, the number of trips taken on Los Angeles County’s bus and rail network last year fell to the lowest level in more than a decade. Passengers on Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and trains took 397.5 million trips in 2017, a decline of 15% over five years. Metro’s workhorse bus system, which carries about three-quarters of the system’s passengers, has seen a drop of nearly 21%.”
Everyone Deserves the California Dream. It’s Time We Build Enough Housing to Provide It: “Unfortunately, this rail infrastructure is massively underused, largely because we have failed to capture the value of new transit by not building housing around them. By having so much exclusionary single-family housing around these stops, everyone has paid for something that only a select few can easily access.”
Architecture Books You Can Borrow (For Free) From The Internet’s Largest Library: “Have you registered for your free library card? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on some serious perks! The Internet Archive has a lending feature that allows users to electronically “borrow” books for 14 days. With over 2,000 borrowable books on architecture, patrons from across the globe can read works by Reyner Banham, Walter Gropius, Ada Louise Huxtable and Jonathan Glancey. There are also helpful guides, dictionaries and history books.”
Promising New Ways to Finance Urban Nature: “A few start-up organizations are trying to figure out to how to make it easier for cities across the country to turn the carbon stored in urban forests into credits and offsets. If well-designed, implemented, and monitored, these new models have the potential to provide new revenue streams for strapped urban parks systems, protect existing green spaces from development, and bring more greenery to our cities and suburbs.