It’s a Feature, Not a Bug: Inequality in Liberal Cities

At the November 10, 2015 Republican presidential debate, candidate Rand Paul said that inequality in cities -- the gap between the rich and poor -- "seems to be worst in cities run by Democrats." His comment received rousing applause from the audience, and much media attention. To be fair, Paul got the data right (for …

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Walkability and Transit Mean Independence in Golden Years

Most adults want to age in place; that is, grow older without the need to move from their home or community. As driving becomes a challenge, though, seniors can feel dependent upon others, or isolated and cut off from their friends or public services. Communities that have strong public transit systems and walkable amenities are …

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Energizing People to Reimagine Our Cities

Arlington County government agencies produce some pretty cool stuff. I'm not the creator of the below video, but I found it randomly, recently, and it was created during my tenure as a contractor at Mobility Lab. The time period in which this video was produced I consider a "golden period" for Arlington County, in which …

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American Cities’ Biggest Transportation Innovation is Decidedly Low-Tech

American cities are adding bus and bike lanes, implementing bikeshare systems, and creating public plazas and miniature parks at a rapid pace. Urban streets, long the domain of automobiles, are increasingly being reclaimed by and for the people, a change that amounts to the biggest transportation innovation in recent years, according to a new report …

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Transit’s Surprising Advantage is Sitting Right in Your Pocket

Metra commuters. (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion) With public-transit use riding a 58-year high of 10.8 billion trips last year, it only makes sense to ask: why? Technology may be partially responsible for public transit's record ridership, but probably not in the way you think. As smartphones and other electronic devices have skyrocketed in popularity, more people are becoming dependent on …

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What Would Make Your Commute Better?

Jeff Bezos' $250 million purchase of The Washington Post in 2014 changed the direction of the newspaper in some fairly significant ways. Among them: The Posts's focus became less local and more global, it began expanding digital access dramatically (promoted by the Kindle, of course), and started spending some serious cash on events. One of these events is the America Answers series. Begun in …

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Humans Only in Times Square

Uber’s Plan for Self-Driving Cars Will Make its Taxi Disruption Look Quaint

Uber has fundamentally changed the taxi industry. But its biggest disruption may be yet to come. The ride-hailing company has invested in autonomous-vehicle research, and its CEO Travis Kalanick (pictured above) has indicated that consumers can expect a driverless Uber fleet by 2030. Uber expects its service to be so inexpensive and ubiquitous as to make …

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When ‘To Protect and Serve’ Becomes ‘To Shame and Ridicule’

The disparity between the "haves" and "have nots" is perhaps nowhere more striking than in New York City. One end of the economic spectrum is best symbolized by the array of new condominium skyscrapers reshaping the city's skyline (top price, $95 million). Pan down 1,000 feet or so, and the economics shift just as precipitously. At …

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New Research Reveals the Cost of Sprawl to Municipal Coffers

Ever since the Roman Empire, local governments have had great control over land use. Today, this control is exerted through zoning regulations, tax policies, and infrastructure-investment decisions. Municipalities can choose to develop in an unconnected, low-density, suburban-style manner, or they can consider more compact, connected urban land uses. These decisions have enormous implications for a …

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D.C. Entrepreneurs Still Focused on Transportation

Washington D.C.-based shared-ride company Split was one of two transportation startups who participated in the Tech.Co Startup Competition last month, showing that Washington remains a prolific incubator of transportation-related startups, and that entrepreneurs believe there are additional transportation problems that need solving. Split, which has been operational since May of this year, is an app-enabled …

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