Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A little light reading

A few links for you today, as today I have to work on the part of my job that takes up the bulk of my work time: writing editorials, an op-ed column and helping produce the daily Opinion pages of the Observer. So happy reading, y'all.

-- MIT scientists say the country could slash the amount of fuel guzzled by a gas-guzzling nation by 30% to 50% by 2035, with such changes as lighter cars, hybrids and fuel cell cars. In other words, newer technologies. Here's a link to a piece about it. Note, the words "MIT" and "scientists." That means it's not light reading.

-- Outside magazine's list of what it deems the Best Towns 2008. No Carolinas towns made this particular list, though Wilmington made the "Rest of the Best" category.

Excerpt: "WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA (POP. 95,900) ... With nearby beaches along the Cape Fear coast, an ever-expanding Riverwalk, a National Register historic district comprising more than 230 blocks, and a renewed economy that has been fueled partly by an active filmmaking sector, "Wilmywood" has become much more than a shadow of its former self."

-- NY Times: Downtowns across the U.S. see streetcars in their future. Mentions Charlotte.

-- San Jose tries to fight sprawl from the San Francisco Chronicle.


Anonymous said...

All these anti-sprawl articles remind me of a recent trip to China, travelling along the highway and seeing hundreds of apartment dwellings surrounded by open land; some as agriculture areas and some as overgrown, abandoned fields..
Very depressing...

Tom said...

China is the opposite extreme. I don't think Chinese-style cities would ever work in the USA because we have basic protections on private property that did not exist there for decades. Similarly, American-style sprawl could not occur in China because they have the communal common sense not to go down that path.

The "golden mean" that we should pursue is the city which has reasonably-sized, medium density neighborhoods throughout the majority of the city. One should not have to drive for hours to find true agriculture... that's as bad for the economy as for the community's soul.