Thursday, October 26, 2017

Infinite Suburbia |

Infinite Suburbia | "Global urbanization is heading toward infinite suburbia. Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centers but to suburbanize their peripheries. Thus, when the United Nations projects the number of future "urban" residents, or when researchers quantify the amount of land that will soon be "urbanized," these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities. By 2030, an estimated nearly half a million square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of land worldwide will become urbanized, especially in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In the United States alone, an additional 85,000 square miles (220,000 square kilometers) of rural land will be urbanized between 2003 and 2030. Given that these figures represent the conversion of currently rural land at the urban fringe, these lands are slated to become future suburbias."


Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link. Two comments:

First, what happened to all the predictions about the "death of suburbia"? Those predictions were largely predicated on transportation costs that were going to go sky-high when the oil ran out and gas became so expensive that the middle class couldn't afford to commute to work. But then telecommunications made it easier for more people to work from home, and fracking came along, and oil prices plummeted. Then there was the glut of suburban housing after the overbuilding that led to the crash of 2008. Now it appears that suburban living is quite popular, not only in the US, but in developing nations.

Second, will CIDs continue to predominate in the new housing that is appearing all over the world? I think so, based on a number of international conferences that I have attended. I think the trend toward privatization of local government will continue, and this means addressing some of the enduring challenges, such as paying for the maintenance and replacement of costly private infrastructure systems.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Here’s where you’ll live when self-driving cars rule the roads - MarketWatch

Here’s where you’ll live when self-driving cars rule the roads - MarketWatch:

Have you ever wondered what life will be like when self-driving cars are the norm?

Calverton Hills homeowners sue county over outdated sewer system | Riverhead News Review

Calverton Hills homeowners sue county over outdated sewer system | Riverhead News Review: "Mr. Hotchkin said the unit owners do not own the sewer treatment plant and therefore can’t get financing or grants to pay for a new one. Instead, homeowners claim, the county has owned the plant since the community’s original owner, Nugent Building Corp., dissolved in 1980.

According to court documents, around 2007, the county health department advised homeowners at Calverton Hills that the treatment plant was not operating according to code. Documents submitted by the county say that “the common elements of the property” were deeded to the Calverton Hills Homeowners Association in 1990.

Additionally, the county said homeowners voluntarily entered into a consent agreement in 2007 to bring the sewer treatment system into compliance, according to court papers."


I posted something on this a few days ago. There is a dispute regarding who is responsible for the sewer system, and there is a lot at stake. The county says it is time to fix the system, but the HOA says the owners don't have $7 million and can't come up with it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles

Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles: "As the pace of autonomous vehicle (AV) innovation picks up, cities have become the proving ground of choice. Tech giants, automakers, and startups alike are focused on cities because that is where future customers live and work.

This Atlas is the world’s first inventory of how cities around the globe are preparing for the transition to a world with AVs. As cities seek to learn from one another, they can look to this map for up-to-date information on what’s underway worldwide."


Fascinating to see what is happening with self-driving cars around the world. This transportation revolution is happening, and it would be nice if the US could lead it, but the US national government is leaving it to cities, so probably China and the EU will be far in front.

And the same is true in other critical policy areas that relate to the future, and even the present. The US is losing its leadership role in world affairs and the global economy so fast that it is breathtaking.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Child deaths spike after DCFS privatizes 'intact family services' - Chicago Tribune

Child deaths spike after DCFS privatizes 'intact family services' - Chicago Tribune: "The mission of intact family services, which roughly 2,700 children are receiving statewide, is to offer counseling, resources and oversight to keep families together, instead of putting children through another trauma by removing them from the home and placing them with strangers.

The spike in deaths began in 2012 after DCFS completely privatized the program, putting the care of families in the hands of nonprofit groups but doing little to evaluate the quality of their work, give them guidance and resources, or hold them accountable when children were hurt or put at risk, the Tribune found."


Unregulated privatization programs are among the worst examples of market fundamentalism run wild. This example is especially tragic.