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Nov 17, 2017

Weekend reading 18/19 November

Alan Davies — Editor of The Urbanist

Alan Davies

Editor of The Urbanist

Saturday reading:

  1. Richard Florida now sees the downside of urban revival – Superstar cities can’t help all the places and people being left behind.
  2. On the natural selection of words – New research suggests that languages evolve a lot like organisms do
  3. Reality vs. Kurzweil’s expectations – One way to track scientific and technological progress is to compare outcomes to predictions that were made by futurists
  4. My visit to an Amazon bookstore – I consider myself quite pro-Amazon, still to me it feels dystopic when an attractive young saleswoman says so cheerily to (some) customers: “Thank you for being Prime!”
  5. Five ways to fix the UK’s ailing High Streets – There are more shop closures on our High Streets than there are openings, so how can we encourage people to stop checking out of these once thriving centres?
  6. Study: 90% of bike accidents preventable by buying car like a normal person – A simple but effective measure to reduce potentially deadly incidents
  7. The rev-up: imagining a 20% self-driving world – How will sex, death and liability change on the road to the driverless revolution?

Sunday reading:

  1. Are humans built to be happy? – Humans are not built to be happy. Humans are built to survive. We are not meant to be stuck constantly in one emotional state
  2. ‘Paying to stay safe’: why women don’t walk as much as men – A study shows in most countries, women walk significantly fewer steps each day than men. Talia Shadwell hears from people all over the world saying the same thing: it’s down to personal safety, not laziness
  3. Where is the growth going to come from? – So next time somebody asks you ‘where’s the growth going to come from?’, you can answer: ‘from all of us, trying new things, and gradually getting a bit better at what we do.’ We don’t need to wait for something external to make it happen
  4. The problem with public art – We have no shared, unifying idea of beauty, and public art only highlights that confusion and emptiness
  5. ’30 kph speed limit in entire Brussels’ region’ – A proposal to make the 32 sq km City of Brussel’s a 30-zone
  6. Portland (Or) introduces Home Energy Report – Beginning on January 1, 2018, sellers of single-family homes must disclose the estimated energy-related use, associated costs, and cost-effective solutions to improve the home’s efficiency
  7. Los Angeles transit ridership losses lead national decline – In the final analysis, transit is justified by the extent to which it provides mobility to people, especially to those with insufficient resources to provide their own mobility throughout the metropolitan area
  8. Gambling on the dark side of nudges – If the maxim of nudges is “Keep it simple,” it has a counterpart for self-interested choice architects: Make it complex

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2 thoughts on “Weekend reading 18/19 November

  1. Adelaide Dupont

    What is Brussels like as a walking city?

    And how is the public transport?

    1. Alan Davies

      Have only ever passed through but I suspect it’s not a top-tier city for walkability; see What’re the world’s most walkable cities?