Links for urbanists No. 2

Assorted links to some of the useful, the informative, the interesting, and sometimes even the slightly weird sources I stumble across from time-to-time:

  1. A free copy of Sophie Cunningham’s new book, Melbourne, is up for grabs at The Melbourne Urbanist (hey, that’s here!). Entries close on Saturday,13 August, at midday. Virtually no effort involved, just enter. Damn good odds too!
  2. 18% of streets in London (2,800 km) have a 20 mph max speed limit. That’s 32 kph. The trend is upwards.
  3. World parking rates – Sydney and Melbourne are towards the top of the pile.
  4. The Washington DC Metro Authority is shortening unwieldy station names. They’re also looking at naming stations after landmarks only if they’re within walking distance. At present, some stations are more than an hour’s walk from the destination they’re named after.
  5. Cyclists can now run red lights legally in Virginia. Maryland is looking at a law which would allow cyclists to occupy a full lane of traffic. Conditions apply.
  6. Classic bicycle designs of the last century. Love the Eddie Merckx Corsa Extra Special Edition from 1990. Love those thin steel frames – can’t help feeling bike aesthetics have gone downhill since the advent of carbon.
  7. If we’re talking cycling we’re talking Cadel – Chiara Passerini.
  8. Mel Campbell praises the virtues of big box and superstore shopping. The chief virtue of Borders was its size and banality – the feeling that nobody is watching you. “I’ve felt scrutinised by staff in smaller bookstores”, she says.
  9. Kay Hymowitz explains why in the USA the gender pay gap will never go away. Ever. It’s got  more to do with being a mother than with being discriminated against, she says.
  10. Why are uncles weird?
  11. The amazing architecture of Yemen. And who knew Yemen has over two hundred islands? Judging by these pictures, there might be more islands than trees.
  12. A history of Melbourne’s Green Wedges, from Peninsula Inc.
  13. The mathematics of cities, by Geoffrey West.
  14. Is it time to retire Jane Jacob’s vision of the city? A review of Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City.
  15. Glaeser reviews Anthony Flint’s book, Wrestling with Moses: how Jane Jacobs took on New York’s master builder and transformed the American city. The book is a couple of years old now but this has always been one of the most fascinating stories about cities
  16. A crash course in the potential of driverless cars.
  17. The New Urbanist playlist. Songs that evoke the spirit of new urbanism.
  18. Sprawl’s greatest hits. A history of urban protest songs. There’re a dozen more nominations in the Comments, including Ben Folds, Rockin’ the Suburbs; Storyhill, Paradise Lost;  Descendents, Suburban Home;  REM, Don’t go back to Rockville; and The Eagles, Last Resort. I’d add WA’s Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs for Just a Suburban Boy.
  19. What are the best Green Books? Cambridge academics have compiled a list of their top 50 books on sustainability. Embarrassingly, I’ve only read Collapse, Natural Capitalism and An Inconvenient Truth.
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