Urban Planning

The Cargo Cult Fallacy

About three years ago, I tried to describe some of the differences between expectations based on a rosy view of the future and realities based on…reality: The Star Trek Fallacies. Since that blog post, a new idea has come along that runs headlong into the fallacies about control, reliability, and repairability that I had described. …

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Pros and Cons

“‘We Cannot Save Everything’: A Historic Neighborhood Confronts Rising Seas” from yesterday’s Times hits a number of important points. Because of the history of settlement and travel in the US, a lot of old historic neighborhoods are near the ocean, bays, or sea-level portions of rivers. The buildings in those neighborhoods are increasingly vulnerable to …

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The Triboro and Gaps in Coverage

The proposal to create a new subway line, code-named “The Triboro” is getting attention again. In general, I’m in favor of any proposal to expand mass transit; this project has the advantages of (a) the high capacity of dedicated rail and (b) the cost savings of using an existing right of way. The current route …

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Green Reading

A few recent items that are variations on a theme: “New York to Approve One of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans” by Jesse McKinley and Brad Plumer of the New York Times is about a law to be passed by the state legislature to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It should be noted that …

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Sometimes Quantitative Is Qualitative

That incredible graphic is courtesy of The Pudding, using data from the Global Human Settlement Layer to show population density. The height of each line is proportional to the number of people living in the area. There are other high-density clusters in the world, but this view of the eastern US makes a point that …

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