Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

What Happened to Compact Cars?

All the city news you can use

By - Apr 6th, 2024 09:00 am
2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Photo by Sarah Larson from Ann Arbor, MI, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

2014 Ford Fiesta ST. Photo by Sarah Larson from Ann Arbor, MI, USA, (CC BY 2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

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.

Death of small cars in America: Smaller cars have continued to disappear from dealer showrooms around the US and were replaced by larger SUVs and trucks. But what happened to the “compact” car. Joe Ligo argues it’s not low gas prices, but low interest rates and inflation that led to the demise of smaller cars. With electric cars emerging and battery weights contributing to vehicle cost though, we might soon see a resurgence of smaller vehicles. (Joe Ligo | Autopian)

Fire departments bad on urban policy: Fire Departments typically have a positive image in the public’s imagination, but lately they have been advocating for bad urban policy. Recent support against better street design in LA, congestion pricing in New York, and zoning reform in Arizona are among fire department’s recent moves. Brad Hargreaves argues that their narrow mandate focused only on fire safety for buildings may cut against other issues they deal with on a daily basis including car collisions and homelessness. (Brad Hargreaves | Thesis Driven)

AI visuals generate sustainable development support: New research from MIT Sloan finds that artificial intelligence generated visuals of sustainable car free cities and transportation have the ability to influence people’s opinions on the built environment. 3,200 people were asked about a hypothetical transportation bill and shown images generated by AI and improved their willingness to support changes. Republicans surveyed had the greatest change in opinion from before they saw AI generated images. (MIT Sloan School of Management)

Can we engineer out of climate change: There are a lot of current attempts to use technology to capture carbon, some for climate aims and others to produce more oil and gas. Many technologists believe that these new carbon capture ideas and others such as geoengineering will be the answer to the climate crisis, but critics are skeptical and worried about unintended consequences. (David Gelles | New York Times)

Census changes race questions: The Office of Management and Budget has announced that the US Census will change how it asks questions about race and ethnicity for the first time in over 30 years. Previous census forms had separated out questions about Hispanic ethnicity and not asked whether someone was of middle eastern or north African descent. The new question will have middle eastern and north African boxes for the first time. (Nicole Chavez | CNN)

Quote of the Week

With two-hour commute on the way home, for example, how can anyone make time for babies? The idea is to give people more leisure time after work.

-South Korean Land Minister Park Sang-woo in Reuters discussing plans for 6 new high speed transit lines in Seoul planned to be completed by 2035.

This week on the Talking Headways podcast, Heidi Simon of Smart Growth America talks to us about working with local officials to create safer streets through quick build projects.

Want more links to read? Visit The Overhead Wire and signup.

If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Categories: Urban Reads

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us