A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
Dan Grover and Mike Belfrage have mapped transit inequality in the Bay Area after reading a New Yorker piece on the New York City subway (previously). The ways in which a widening income gap are changing the demography of San Francisco have been widely reported of late (previously, previously). The project's code is available if you'd like to try mapping your own city.
Is San Francisco The Brooklyn To Silicon Valley's Unbuilt Manhattan? Much has been said about how San Francisco should build up and become a new Manhattan. (Previously.) Similarly, much has been said about the utterly boring suburban sprawl that is Silicon Valley. (At least in San Jose.) The Awl's Ken Layne points out that there's a lot of underdeveloped land in between that isn't exactly virgin wilderness- and suggests making more out of it: an entire metropolis, in fact. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Cities mentions that Redwood City is the neighborhood of the future. [more inside]
"Eighty-seven percent of all trips are made by personal vehicle and 99 percent of those trips arrive at a free parking space." But that free parking comes at a high cost according to Donald Shoup's research. He advocates for charging the right price for on-street parking and for removing off-street parking requirements. Shoup's ideas are coming to the streets in San Francisco's new demand-responsive parking system. Loyal Shoupistas work to spread and implement his ideas.
8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
The wonderful online history journal Common-Place is presenting a special issue entitled "Early Cities of the Americas." Nineteen essays, each concerning a particular incident, person, place or encounter in the early life of a city, together provide a "worm's eye view" of what urban life was like in early postcolonial North and South America. Learn about vigilante justice and press sensationalism in 1856 San Francisco, or about a day in the life of a peasant family in Lima of the 1760s. Other essays concern the 17th-century "treasure city" of Havana, searching for salvation as a slave in 1647 New Amsterdam (New York), and capital punishment in colonial Paramaribo, Suriname. "Reading these essays cannot but help readers gain some historical perspective on the modern condition," especially as you see how many of the issues we associate with modern urban life (poverty, crime, bowling?) are not exactly recent developments.
Transitinfo.org has been around for years, but doesn't seem to have been posted here yet. It lists schedule and fare information for several dozen public transportation agencies in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. It's not too flashy, but it's one of the most quietly useful websites I've found. For those of you who don't live in and around San Francisco: are there websites like this for other regions?