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Category Archives: transit

This week’s city reading: how Angelenos evolve, what “ghost signs” reveal, and the weakness of “best cities” lists

Why the ‘best cities to live in’ list rewards the safe and the clean (Gavin Haynes, The Guardian) “The Economist’s clientele are exactly the people David Goodhart characterised as the ‘Anywheres’ in The Road To Somewhere, his take on the populist revolt that gave us Brexit, Trump and global politics’ present weirdness. Unlike the more geographically immobile […]

This week’s city reading: This Year’s Best Design Cities, When Airbnb Overtakes Your Building, the Lonely Los Angeles of “Heat”

The World’s Best Design Cities 2017 (Metropolis) “The crowds coursing down Via Tortona or gathering outside Bar Basso for one week in April are no more than a memory when the city is deserted in August. For years, it was also a city of extreme traditionalism: The Salone del Mobile’s gravitational pull on innovative international designers seemed […]

This week’s city reading: Detroit stays flawed, Mexico City kills parking minimums, corporations flee the suburbs

The new Detroit’s fatal flaw (Heather Ann Thompson, Washington Post) “Way back in July of 1967, just before that infamous evening when Detroit went up in flames, city boosters had been feeling pretty optimistic about the Motor City’s future. Detroit, then the nation’s fifth-largest city, was a metropolis that epitomized all that postwar America had to offer. Home to […]

This week’s city reading: coffee shop as gentrification battlefield, knocked-down Seoul neighborhoods, and Los Angeles’ newest skyscraper

Now I Am Become Mall, Destroyer of Cities (Silvia Killingsworth, The Awl) “The mall of the future is an amusement park of a food hall, where we can easily and deliciously follow the quickest path to setting our money on fire—converting money into immediate kilocalories consumed on the spot. It’s no accident we call it […]

This week’s city reading: the strengths and shortcomings of Los Angeles’ evolving transit system

Ridership climbs, planning efforts lag as Expo Line extension marks first birthday (Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times) “The plan as it now reads doesn’t go far enough in allowing new density near the Expo Line; it is too timid for a city and region that have systematically underbuilt housing for more than three decades. To […]

The Korea Times: Discovering Seoul’s Urban Fabric by Bus

I’ve seen ― and learned ― so much about this city from the windows of buses. They’ve shown me the hillside urban villages normally blocked from view by high-street towers; the less-developed and lower-key but nevertheless fascinating urban spaces between well-known districts like Hongdae and Insadong, Myeongdong and Itaewon (all filled with tourists who seldom […]

Seoul Urbanism on TBS eFM’s Koreascape: the Bus

Each month I join Kurt Achin, host of Koreascape on Seoul’s English-language radio station TBS eFM, for an exploration of Seoul’s urban spaces. Today we spend a day riding on Seoul’s buses, which form a transportation network even more impressive, in its way, than the world-class Seoul Metropolitan Subway. We reveal three of the lines that provide the best tours […]

Guardian Cities: Los Angeles and the ‘Great American Streetcar Scandal’

The last train on the last line of greater Los Angeles’ Pacific Electric streetcar network made its last run on 9 April 1961. You can see the final days of this once-robust public transport system for yourself in the short film Ride the Last of the Big Red Cars. This footage of the remaining “red […]

Guardian Cities: Subway-station toilets, the true measure of a city

The size of the economy, the quality of the architecture, the activity on the sidewalks, the cleanliness of the streets: we can evaluate a city in any number of ways. But in my travels through North America, Europe and Asia, I’ve found no more telling indicator – and at times, no more important one – […]

Guardian Cities: The Malls and Jeepneys of Manila

When asked for recommendations about their city, Manileños have the irksome habit of insisting that “There’s nothing to do in Manila,” or that “It’s just buildings,” and directing you instead to the nearest beach. But knowing that a city of Manila’s size and vitality is interesting by definition, if you press them, they will usually admit […]