Tim Umphreys

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'Urban’ Means More Than Just Cities: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the past seven days.<p><i>Tweet us your favorites with #CityReads.</i><p>“Cities Are Not as Big a Deal as You Think,” Courtney Humphries, <i>Undark Magazine</i><p>Last month, the journal Science published a special issue examining the challenges and …

Urban Design

What the Newest Hate Symbol Says About Internet Culture

This past week a group of anti-Semites and racists co-opted the simple punctuation mark of parentheses and converted it into an anti-Semitic meme. It …

Why solving homelessness is stupidly easy

In the fight against homelessness, Central Florida has quietly achieved a remarkable victory over the last few years.<p>As recently as January 2014, …

Homelessness

In the Ultimate Coup, Uber Takes Over City's Mass Transit | Inc.com

At TED, Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick called parking lots a terrible waste of space and car ownership an equally wasteful practice--most of the time our vehicles are sitting somewhere parked, not actually being used.<p>Now Uber is using its considerable political influence to test its vision of a …

Urban Design

Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.<p>It’s a common sight on Japanese mass transit: children troop through train cars, singly or in small groups, looking for seats.<p>They wear knee socks, …

Criminology

Infrastructure & Sustainability

The infrastructure of our city is key to the overall long-term well-being of Baltimore. From our transportation systems to parks and water, we must …

What rich countries get wrong about poverty

It’s astounding just how unequally wealth is distributed around the world. in 2015, according to calculations by Oxfam, just 62 people had the same amount of wealth as the poorer half of humanity – 3.6 billion people. Those 62 people are incredibly rich, to be sure, but it’s also the case that the …

Income Inequality

How People Sometimes Just Can't See Poverty When the Poor Look Too Good

<i>Dr. Jane showing that smiling isn't bad on the beds at a Vietnamese Orphanage</i><p>My cousin Mara and Andy Cohen's daughter, Alana, contacted me through text while I was in Vietnam last week visiting the programs of WWO. She is a junior in college studying graphic design in London and she has traveled …

Your City Could Be The First To Embrace The Future Of Transportation

A new contest offers $50 million to the city with the best plan.<p>No one is sure what a "smart city" is, exactly, but a new contest will offer $50 million to the city with the most compelling vision of what this concept could be.<p>The Department of Transportation will provide $40 million dollars of the …

Smart Cities

8 Things Top Bike Cities Have Done to Promote Safer Cycling

There’s a lot we can learn from these triumphs in safe city design and bike advocacy<p><b>Salt Lake City, Utah,</b> has the first protected bike intersection.<br>Intersections are where most car-bicycle collisions take place, so this year Salt Lake City built one of the nation’s first “protected bike …

The City That Works - Curbed Chicago

A psychologist told us why 'creating a village' is so important for being happy in cities

At the last place, where I lived for three years, it was all sorted out: best burrito spot is there, comfy cafe over there, and yes, I'd love to meet for a beer at the beloved local bar.<p>In my new neighborhood, I have a shorter commute and a nicer morning jog, but I'm no longer a regular at any …

In the shadow of France’s busiest airport sits the world’s quaintest ghost town

GOUSSAINVILLE, France – From the vantage point of the low-flying planes that thunder over the 14th century church every few minutes, Goussainville is still a quintessential French farming town.<p>And that’s how 74-year-old artist Pierre Murillo, who has lived next to the village church since 1968, …

France

The Housing Boom Is Not a Bubble

A housing bubble brought on the Great Recession, but the current boom may not be a prelude to another. Yet.<p>“This time, the executives say, will be different.”<p>Dreadful words to hear under any circumstances, really. But it’s especially worrying to see this line crop up in a story about housing. The</i> …

Housing

A New York Writer's Take on How His City Has Changed

A New York Writer’s Take on How His City Has Changed<p>With wonder and dismay, Pete Hamill reflects on 72 years of transformation as his hometown is continuously rebuilt.<p>By <b>Pete Hamill</b><br>Photographs by <b>George Steinmetz</b><br>Published November 15, 2015<p>Long ago, as an eight-year-old boy standing on the roof of a …

World Trade Center

Berlin Models How Cities Can Push Back Gentrification And Keep Housing Affordable

Crazy thought: What if non-rich people could comfortably live in cities?<p>Ten years ago, Berlin’s housing was dirt cheap. So cheap that you could rent an entire, huge apartment just for yourself. Then word got out, the city got cool, and the influx of hipster migrants drove rents up, pushing locals …

Housing

What Do Starbucks Locations Really Say About Income and Diversity in America?

Eater used U.S. Census data to analyze the economic and racial makeup surrounding every Starbucks location in the country as of October 2015. This map pinpoints five cities in which Starbucks plans to open in low-income and minority neighborhoods. <b>Select a city to see where Starbucks locations fall</b> …

What If Cycling Became a Whole Lot More Popular?

A new report calculates how much the world would benefit—especially the environment—from a global shift to more riding.<p>About 1 percent of all urban trips are made by bike in the U.S. It’s a tiny share, especially when compared to stand-out cycling countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, China, …

Cycling

11m children at risk of starvation, disease and water shortages, Unicef warns

Experts call on European leaders meeting in Malta to direct aid towards mitigating effects of extreme weather in poor countries "intertwined" with migrant crisis<p>At least 11 million children in east and southern Africa face hunger, disease and water shortages because of the latest episode of the …

5 Reasons Why Community Gardens Are Good For Your Neighbourhood

I'm in!<p>“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? …

High-speed rail belongs in Liberals’ infrastructure discussion

Groups are eagerly lining up to spend the infrastructure cash promised by Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.<p>One of the first out of the gate is Via Rail Canada Inc., the government-owned passenger rail provider. The company said last week that it plans to ask the incoming government to back its …

Topics Planners Don't Often Think About, But Should

There are a number of areas of planning that offer planners a role, but are not necessarily at the front of our minds. At the Association of …

How Urban Designers Can Get Smaller Cities Walking

A new study identifies two important street features that draw pedestrians—outside of New York City.<p>Earlier this week, my colleague Eric Jaffe wrote about the three design traits shared by New York City’s most walkable streets, according to a recent study.<p>After counting pedestrians on hundreds of …

Urban Design

Homelessness Is a Symptom of Racism

<i>[This blog is the second in a series about the intersection of race and homelessness. Click here to read the first installment.]</i><p>The United States faces a deeply troublesome, maddeningly persistent racial gap in income and wealth -- a gap that is growing, not shrinking. According to McKernan and …

What It Takes to Build a Successful Music City

Insights from America’s first Music Cities Convention.<p>The Music Cities Convention, a global conference on the vital relationship between (you guessed it) cities and music, held its inaugural U.S. event last Sunday in Washington, D.C. The convention brought together policymakers, local …

Tech Industry

America's Most Dangerous Cities: Detroit Can't Shake No. 1 Spot

Although Detroit’s crime statistics, like its finances, appear to be headed in the right direction, the Motor City once again tops Forbes’ list of America’s Most Dangerous Cities.<p>There were 298 murders and intentional homicides in Detroit in 2014, the lowest number in 47 years, according to …

Criminology

The True Costs of Driving

Car owners don’t come close to covering the price of maintaining the roads they use.<p>A report published earlier this year confirms, in tremendous detail, a very basic fact of transportation that’s widely disbelieved: Drivers don’t come close to paying for the costs of the roads they use. Published …