Based on many affluent cities currently, the answer is “no”. But there are exceptions we can learn from like Vienna. As this piece shows, Vienna’s Affordable Housing Paradise | HuffPost, it’s possible even in affluent cities and countries to have affordable housing under the right conditions.
Well worth reading that if you are feeling it is impossible to have affordable housing these days.
According to CNET: Delivery robots face strict rules in San Francisco.
I like that picture above. Often when I see delivery robots in photos, they are by themselves on an uncrowded street. In the photo above, you can get a better sense of how it will be a problem if swarms of these things start taking over the sidewalk. The idea of sidewalks becoming more crowded by these tiny vehicles is a maddening one.
I’d be fine with them if city planners can come up with a way these robots can roll around and not impede better uses of the streets such as walking and cycling and public transit. Until then, the less robots crowding the sidewalks, the better.
Like drones in the air and autonomous cars on the roads, robots are coming to the sidewalks. City planners need to start planning for that now.
Rents in many cities are high and rental properties are becoming increasingly difficult to afford. One exception to this is Montreal, where “average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Montreal metro area is $760. The Toronto average is $1,288. In Vancouver, it’s $1,368.” Why is that? Well there are a number of reasons, but as this The Globe and Mail point out, a key reason is the basic economics of supply and demand. But there is more to it that just that, and I’d recommend you read the piece to find out why.
I’m not sure if other expensive cities can replicate this, but it’s worth knowing it can be done and using this knowledge in cities where politicians and others try to limit rental stock.
The migration from rural to urban areas is going to continue for some time. People need more places to live. Let’s hope other cities can learn from Montreal.
(Quote from the article, image from Wikipedia)
Easy, with this beautiful map:
A link to a full sized version of the map is here.
More information on the map, here: New map charts parks near TTC stations
The story of Bleecker Street’s Swerve From Luxe Shops to Vacant Stores in the NYTimes is one playing out in many cities throughout the world, though perhaps not as extreme as this. It’s a big problem when money comes flooding into neighborhoods and cities, disrupting the people that live there, and making those areas unlivable in some cases. Most people need somewhat stable places to live, but unstable social systems (capitalist or otherwise) can make that difficult unless other social systems (like local governments) come in and press back against such instability. As more of the world moves from rural to urban areas, the tools to make streets and cities livable need to be developed and put to use.
Anyone living in a growing city needs to read this piece. Recommended.
(PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRIS MOTTALINI FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES)
I highly recommend checking this out: Pictures of Venice in the Fog – Fubiz Media. Beautiful images of a beautiful city in a form I have rarely seen.