New York City Gets Public Realm Czar
All the city news you can use.
Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.
AAR goes deep against railroad electrification: Many of the world’s railroads are electrified including in Europe and Asia, but the threat of climate change and the prospect of greater efficiency haven’t changed the minds of American railroads. In fact the American Association of Railroads has written position papers lobbying against railroad electrification. Michael Barnard believes the railroads are woefully misrepresenting the facts and will cling to diesel for as long as they can. (Michael Barnard | Clean Technica)
New York City gets public realm czar: New York Mayor Eric Adams has appointed Ya-Ting Liu to be the city’s first public realm czar. Ms Liu will be a central contact for anyone trying to make improvements or manage public spaces in the city. The job will also begin pulling together the myriad public spaces in the city managed by many different agencies as well as soon being responsible for the city’s coming outdoor dining guidelines. (Winnie Hu | New York Times)
Belgium downtowns cutting out cars: Two cities in Belgium have seen success in reducing auto usage in their downtowns. Brussels has seen a 19% reduction in cars and a 23% increase in cyclists during the morning commute in just six months of enforcement. Ghent’s mayor who was threatened over his city’s active transportation scheme has seen great success with a doubling of cycling and 12% transit increase and peace with results. (Denis Balgaranov | The Mayor.eu and Tom Heap | Sky News)
Homes in flood zones overvalued by billions: New research in the journal Nature Climate Change has found that homes in American cities in a flood zone are likely overvalued by billions of dollars. For years the National Flood Insurance Program has incentivized developers to build in low lying areas but as more climate change results in greater flooding, more areas will be impacted leading to devalued properties. (Zoya Teirstein | Grist)
Quote of the Week
It’s incredibly expensive to litigate these cases and owners of big box commercial properties who assert these theories unsupported by the law, like dark store, are trying to pressure local governments to reduce their tax assessments.
–Claire Silverman in Green Bay Press Gazette discussing a court case in which big box stores tried to get out of property taxes by using empty “dark stores” to compare rates.
This week on the podcast, Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego, comes on the program to talk about his new report, “Fast Bus! How San Diego Can Make Progress by Speeding Up the Bus.”
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