betacity


half mile maps
June 11, 2018, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Cities, Transit | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Here are some maps of cities with blue half mile circles drawn around each subway station. If you live in a blue dot, you are within a quarter mile of an affordable, low energy means of getting to your grocery store, work place, friend’s house, bank, park and gym. If you live outside of the dots, you must rely on a bus or car which makes your life more difficult and costs the municipality much much more money to support in complex subsidy schemes.

The idea is that you are well served – and you tax money well spent – if you are within walking distance of a subway train, and not well served, in terms of access and public expenditures, if you have to get into your car and drive for errands, work etc. within your city. If you live in one of the blue dots, you’re well served, if not you should stop paying your taxes because, your municipality is throwing away money by subsidizing cars which cost exponentially more per capita.

Taipei quarter mile cropped.png

Taipei: the downtown is comprehensive, with dense strings going out into the suburbs.

S Diego quarter mile cropped.png

San Diego: downtown is poorly covered, a big loop and a string going down to the Mexican border. A loop inside the loop would connect a lot of people and encourage downtown development.

Rome quarter mile cropped.png

Rome: lots of gaps to fill in, no doubt because it’s difficult to tunnel under the world’s richest archeological site.

Paris quarter mile cropped.png

Paris: comprehensive in all arrondissements and connected to regional rail to bring in the suburban folk. You can’t get better than this.

miami quarter mile cropped.png

Miami: two lines and a toy train loop in downtown. Sad for the hub of a region that has eight million inhabitants. A proper subway would solve Miami’s horrible traffic problems inexpensively, but the resistance and misinformation surrounding transit is a massive barrier to change. Lots of underused existing rail already in place which could be incorporated into a more comprehensive system.

LA quarter mile cropped.png

Los Angeles: they’ve built dozens of stations in the past 20 years, but they’re far flung, like the original town. Most places have two systems: regional and metro. LA is all regional. Four or five more lines to fill in the gaps would make it easier to get around the city and save the municipality a large fortune in subsidies for other wasteful transportation infrastructure.

berlin quarter mile cropped.png

Berlin: well served downtown with dense spokes radiating into the suburbs – a good system.

Bangalore quarter mile cropped.png

Bangalore: two dense lines that radiate into the neighborhoods. If filled in with three or four more lines, the system could have better coverage and radically reduce the traffic gridlock and air quality in the rapidly growing city.

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5 modes
August 22, 2016, 2:58 pm
Filed under: density, streets, Transit | Tags: , , , , , , ,



car reliance de vs
February 27, 2016, 8:53 pm
Filed under: Transit | Tags: , , ,

Buehler, Pucher and Kunert 2009



immigration by country
December 13, 2015, 1:05 pm
Filed under: betaCITY | Tags: ,

A map that shows immigration by country by International Organization for Migration



stations snowday
December 12, 2015, 1:40 pm
Filed under: public spaces, Transit | Tags: , , , ,


freedom to remake ourselves
November 22, 2015, 5:03 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, Cities | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Related image

A multivalent definition of cities: the manifestation of who we are, our relationships, our attitude toward nature, our quotidian habits, how we use technology, what we find beautiful.

There is freedom in changing our built environments to change ourselves.

the question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be, what kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of daily life we desire, what kinds of technologies we deem appropriate, what aesthetic values we hold. The right to the city is, therefore, far more than a right of individual access to the resources that the city embodies: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city more after our heart’s desire. It is, moreover, a collective rather than an individual right since changing the city inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power over the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake ourselves and our cities is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights.

David Harvey, The Right to the City



your city parks
November 22, 2015, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

From the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation:

NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 650,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

8.4 million people live in New York City (2013 census). Here is the per capita breakdown:

8.4 m  / 29,000 acres of parkland = 289 people per acre of parkland

8.4 m  / 800 athletic fields = 10,500 people per field

8.4 m  / 1,000 playgrounds = 8,400 people per playground

8.4 m  / 550 tennis courts = 15,273 tennis players per court

8.4 m  / 66 public pools = 127,273 swimmers per pool

8.4 m  / 48 recreational facilities = 175,000 people per rec center

8.4 m  / 17 nature centers = 494,118 nature lovers per nature center

8.4 m  / 13 golf courses = 646,154 golfers per course

8.4 m  / 14 miles of beach = 600,000 beach lovers per mile of beach

8.4 m  / 1,200 monuments = 7,000 civilians per monument

8.4 m  / 23 historic house museums = 365,217 history buff per museum

8.4 m  / 650,000 street trees = 13 trees per resident

Of course not 100% of the populace is interested in each of these institutions and facilities, but these numbers reflect two generations of disinvestment in all things public.