Oct 23, 14

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Pimp Your Ride Update

Four years ago guest contributor Alan Durning discussed the idea of personal car sharing and the obstacles of bringing the concept to market. Last week, Jennifer Langston at Sightline Daily wrote an update about new legislation in California that breaks down insurance barriers in the U.S. to carsharing: California has passed the nation's first law aimed at removing barriers to personal car sharing - which will let enterprising car owners rent their idle vehicles out Zipcar-style to other...

cities

Skylifter: Heavy Lifting Airships of the Future?

In a cross between blimps for freight and flying robots for disaster relief comes word of a new heavy lifting airship proposal by an Australian team that could potentially transport whole buildings to remote areas. The Skylifter is basically a flying saucer crane with excellent maneuverability, as The Economist notes: Rather than use either a spherical or a cigar-shaped aerostat, as the gas-filled envelope of a lighter-than-air craft is known, Skylifter has developed a discus-shaped one....

cities

The Problem with Self-Organizing Traffic Lights

It's geek bait, really: a new study purports to solve transportation problems by using network models to let traffic lights self-organize into an optimal pattern. Over the last week, the blogosphere's been buzzing a bit about the idea: We're fixed on the idea that lights should cycle on and off in a regular and predictable way, but this idea, they say, is unnecessarily restrictive. And less orderly patterns could be far more efficient... making traffic jams far less frequent. Jams can...

cities

Our Car-Based Environments Are Making Us Sick

by Angie Schmitt Behind some of America’s most pressing health problems — obesity, diabetes, depression — there’s an often ignored culprit: a built environment that is hostile to active lifestyles. As the U.S. medical industry pours billions into treating epidemic diseases, it is merely addressing the symptoms of “deep-rooted structural issues” while neglecting the underlying causes, says Dr. Richard Jackson, chair of the School of Health at UCLA and former head of the National...

cities

Green Transportation Depends on Reining in Space for Cars

by Angie Schmitt One of the most gripping local transportation debates in the United States has been unfolding in Seattle, where the replacement of a highway along the waterfront known as the Alaskan Way Viaduct presents an opportunity to completely rethink a core piece of the city’s transportation system. So far, public officials have cast their lot with a plan to replace this elevated highway with an underground highway buried within a deep-bore tunnel. Dan Bertolet at PubliCola argues...

cities

Transportation's True Cost and AuthorAid

Looking back two and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 How Much Does Transportation Really Cost? Hassan Masum explores the true cost of transportation by examining a study from Transport Canada... 2005 AuthorAid Jamais Cascio reports on AuthorAid, a proposal for helping more scientists get their voices heard... Other recent "look backs": September 2 September 3 September 6

cities

Bus to the Future: Inventor Song Youzhou Presents the 'Straddling Bus'

You may have already seen renderings of the 'Straddling Bus' when the concept made headlines last month. Now, chinadialogue has posted a six and a half minute video of the inventor, Song Youzhou, explaining the idea, including how the bus works and current plans to make it a reality within the year. It's definitely worth a viewing if you're curious to learn more about the concept. I think the 'Straddling Bus' is an exciting example of how designers are imagining the future of...

cities

Bikes, Japan, and Foresight

Looking back one, two and five years ago today (give or take!) on Worldchanging: 2009 BIKE-O-RAMA: A Roundup of the Best in New Bikes, Bike Infrastructure, Blogs, Books and More This roundup is a great resource of links to all things bike... 2008 Hot Japan's Cool Green Trends Madeline Ashby reports on how Japan markets green tech and how other countries could follow their lead... 2005 Foresight in the Age of the Storm Jamais Cascio reflects on Hurricane Katrina and says she was a reminder...

cities

Bixi in London: "Boris Bike" Growing Pains

It's been just over two weeks since London opened it's version of the Montreal designed Bixi-bike sharing system. With 6000 “boris-bikes” on the street (nicknamed after mayor Boris Johnson) it's double the size the Montreal system was when it began. All the same, it is going through the same growing pains. From comments on the londoncyclist blog it seems like things are off to a relatively good start - with one exception: parking. There are reports of people having to bike for blocks and...

cities

Copenhagen Wheel Competing for Dyson Award

E-bike addition could transform traditional bikes. by Tim Varga Looks like the Copenhagen Wheel Adam Stein was so gaga about has topped the list of US regional entries, and will compete against 17 other inventions from around the world for the James Dyson Award of design. The winner will be announced on August 24, but in the meantime, we can all enjoy the snappy marketing video above. At a retail price of $600, the Copenhagen Wheel may be priced low enough to make a big splash. MIT’s...

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