(Diane Deaton-Street)
(Diane Deaton-Street)
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Congratulations to Eric for correctly identifying our last sidewalk photo as Southern Avenue & Catalpa Street—he’ll receive a Broken Sidewalk magnet for winning the Sidewalk Challenge. For your chance to win a magnet—and bragging rights for knowing Louisville’s geography like the back of your hand—tell us where the sidewalk up above is located in the comments below. (The rules: Leave a real email so we can get in touch if you win; No repeat winners for four months; Comments must be left on this news roundup.) Good luck!

And now on with the top urbanism #cityreads in the news:

The Tricky Task of Rating Neighborhoods on “Livability.” CityLab shows how data does not necessarily equal information and how quality of life measurements are often more about showcasing a city/neighborhood as something for consumption only rather than telling you anything honest about its composition. CityLab

Three Cities Where the Cracks in Corporate Welfare for Megaprojects Are Showing. Local and State governments are waking to the reality of low benefits and high costs of megaprojects. The promise of ‘jobs’ (always low wage, never enough) has faded, and now cities are beginning to scrutinize these wasteful projects. Next City

Not A Group House, Not A Commune: Europe Experiments With Co-Housing. Europe is challenging the idea of value by planning spaces where people share their use and instead of capitalize on their value. NPR

Prison Architecture and the Question of Ethics. Architecture is in the midst of the disciplinary equivalent of a midlife crisis. Beyond form and function, relevance, and/or megaprojects vs. the everyday use, it now has a whole new slew of ethical questions facing its existence. New York Times

‘I Want to Ride the Pink Bus’: The Problem with Public Transport’s Public Image. The continued enigma of public transportation and image. Can it be solved? Is it the role of the city? Sustainable Cities Collective

Affordable Housing: the Hype and the Hope. Affordable housing is shaping up to be (at least in NYC) the battle of the year. How can other cities get up to speed and be ready for this issue in an ever urbanizing world? Planetizen

A Texas Community Takes On Racial Tensions Once Hidden Under The Surface. More troubles for the notion that the built environment alone can remedy social ills. NPR

Teddy Roosevelt, Jacob Riis, and the Little Dog Who Changed Homeless Policy in NYC. As cities look to ‘solve’ the problems of homelessness, they would do well to remember that each ‘solution’ creates different problems, some less measurable statistically or perhaps less interesting to the problem solvers. Untapped Cities uses a cast of unlikely characters to explore how a problem can’t be solved just by eradicating its symptoms. Untapped Cities

Rethinking the Waterfront. Brooklyn is beginning to realize that its infrastructure must be a set of “second natures” gently shaping the environment so that it remains livable for us. Architect’s Newspaper

The City Effect: rapid urbanisation raises questions about how much urban government is enough. Urbanists continue to wade into the debate between large federal planning initiatives vs. small local ones. These debates tend to do more to reveal the preference of the planner than they do to enlighten us on what we ought do. Why is the question of governance an either or between local and federal? How could (and why don’t) these governmental bodies work together toward what’s best for cities? The Global Urbanist

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