Top 5 Recent Stories (August 26–August 30, 2019)

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1. What’s Wrong With This Picture?

by Daniel Herriges | August 22, 2019

Commuter rail stations in the San Francisco Bay Area should be some of the most valuable land in the region (and by extension, the world). So why are there so many parking lots and one-story buildings right next to them?

2. The Mobility Trap: Why We'll Never Fix Congestion by Speeding Up Traffic

by Daniel Herriges | August 28, 2019

Love to hate congestion? We’ll never fix it by obsessing over speed or traffic delays. We need to rethink our whole transportation debate, starting with this premise: it’s not about how fast you can go. It’s about what you can get to.

3. If Strong Towns Is Right and Cities Are Insolvent, Why Do So Many Seem to Be Doing So Well?

by Charles Marohn | August 26, 2019

The unproductive use of infrastructure has put most cities, even those that are superficially prosperous, in a position where they won’t be able to afford to maintain what they’ve built. The signs of this crisis are everywhere—if you’re willing to look.

4. Portland's Food Cart Pods Are Dead, Long Live Portland's Food Cart Pods!

by Joe Cortright | August 26, 2019

Portland diners are mourning the loss of one of the city’s largest and longest-running food cart pods. The property is being redeveloped as a 35-story high-rise. What can the death and birth of food cart pods teach us about the importance of dynamic change in cities?

5. The Most Important Planning Concept You’Ve Never Heard Of

by Nolan Gray | August 27, 2019

Our systems of planning and permitting too often give large developers an unfair advantage over local builders. And one little-discussed planning concept does a lot to explain why.