USP514: Relevant issues

Throughout the semester we will find a slew of articles related to sustainable urban development. Here are a few.

1. The Food Justice discussion on Philosophy Talk, Feb 3, 2015.

2. “America’s Infrastructure Is Slowly Falling Apart.” Feb 2, 2015, Vice. We have enjoyed two generations as a “developed” country. But most of our hard infrastructure lasts only 2-3 generations. It turns out that we could choose to become a less-wealthy, second-rate country by persistently refusing to even maintain the infrastructure we have already built. But can planners convince a tax-hostile public to pay for the infrastructure that will remain the backbone of local economic growth?

3. The OpenGov website. The internet was originally a government project (ARPANET), so it should be no surprise that it is superbly suited to provide massive amounts of public data to the public. That said, public agencies haven’t been consistently good at organizing their own data even for their own use. OpenGov is not just advocating the facilitation of public access to local-agency spending, but also improving the data-organization of local governments for themselves.

4. Examples of what can be done with GIS maps. Two examples from San Francisco: one shows evictions that have occurred due to passage of the Ellis Act. The second, from Dan Howard, is an interactive transit service map that enables you to query transit-rates and job-access from different location in the city.

5. Gentrification in California: it doesn’t just happen in the Bay Area. American Public Media’s “Marketplace” did an analysis of gentrification in Los Angeles centered at York and Figueroa streets. Check out the York & Fig website.

6. The CityLab website, hosted by the Atlantic magazine, frequently has articles relevant to this course. Today (Feb 4) they published an article comparing commute-patterns of Americans and Germans.