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Links on Cities


2010.07.23

The Nimblest City
Tom Vanderbilt, Slate
With cities projected to be home to 3/4 of the world’s population, Tom Vanderbilt looks at the top 5 reader suggestions for improving urban transport.

Tax revenue from downtown mixed-use outperforms big-box superstores and malls
Kaid Benfield, Natural Resources Defense Counsel
Due to decreasing property values, public budgets suffer from a loss of tax basis: 
  • In Sarasota, Walmart and Costco produce just slightly more tax revenue than a single-family house on a per acre basis.
  • The high-end mall produces $22,000/acre annually. 
  • A downtown mixed-use development earns a $800,000/acre each year.

Bridging the Gap Between Preservation and Transit
Affordable Housing News
A National Housing Trust study of 20 US cities reveals nearly 70% of the 250,000 subsidized apartments within a half-mile of transit have expiring federal contracts. In an effort to maintain the subsidized housing supply, state and local governments have created local TOD Funds or included transit provisions in state Qualified Application Plan (QAP) for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

Libertarianism on the Road
Matthew Yglesias, Think Progress
Matt Yglesias takes issue with Randall O’Toole for failing to acknowledge the government’s role in subsidizing automobile usage while lambasting government operation of public transit.

Amid Montgomery cuts, planning agency to go dark for a week to save money, jobs
The Washington Post
My former employer is shutting its doors for two weeks in an effort to save energy and maximize furlough savings.

Tiny Transformer Kitchen Occupies Less Than 10 Square Feet When Closed
Treehugger
Unlike the article’s title, the kitchen is compact and quite cool.

The Transforming City Seen From Above
The Wall Street Journal
This is a fascinating way to spend an afternoon. City cartographers have added aerial photos from 1951 to NYCityMap, a tool that lets users find city services and information about buildings. Maps are also available from 1924, 1996, 2006, and 2008.