National Links: Universal Basic Mobility

September 10, 2018

Each week we write a piece with the most interesting articles of the week for Greater Greater Washington and syndicate it to Urban Milwaukee and  We take the most clicked posts of the week from The Overhead Wire daily and write about the most interesting ones.  Follow beyond the crease to read up on some of this week’s most interesting pieces.

Towards a universal basic mobility: Alex Roy is the founder of the Human Driving Association, but instead of fighting against an autonomous future, he’s fighting to give all modes of transportation a chance. His idea of a universal basic mobility is focused on giving people equal opportunities for movement, and breaking down the existing silos that exist between public and private transportation. (Alex Roy | 2025AD)

When buttons don’t work: The world is full of buttons that don’t really work and are mostly a placebo. From crosswalks to elevators and even thermostats, have you ever pushed a button and wonder why it didn’t respond right away? Turns out, even buttons that don’t do anything can still provide a psychological benefit. (Jacopo Prisco | CNN)

The keys to successful urban space: After public spaces such as parks and plazas are reconstructed, many of them remain empty and lifeless. But this doesn’t have to be the case. The best way to bring a public space alive is ‘activation,’ such as food trucks or live music. A study in Charlotte even found that activating a government plaza made users’ more supportive of government. (Meredith L. Sadin | CityLab)

Pushing back on disruptive transportation technology: San Francisco recently started a scooter pilot program that only included two of 10 applicants. Local officials are hoping that they’ve figured out how to deal with tech companies that just drop vehicles on the streets without permission. Others are worried that some caps go too far, and that while regulation is important, this might be too close to a “nanny state.” (Carolyn Said | San Francisco Chronicle)

E-commerce spurs delivery innovations: More and more people are shopping online, but with more deliveries comes more complicated supply chain logistics. This is leading to tech innovations to deal with navigation and distribution, including GPS, transaction and movement data, and new real estate-like lockers. (Eric Brown | MIT News)

Quote of the Week

“Smith’s [rent gap] insights provide an explanation for British urban policy in Docklands during the 1980s and beyond as incentives and tax breaks were provided to real estate developers to invest in run-down industrial areas; in those years self-styled urbanists such as Katz were putting forward the value of placemaking as a rationale and justification for these often controversial approaches.”

Anna Minton in Places Journal, discussing how placemaking has often been the justification for gentrification processes in England.

Listen to the Talking Headways Podcast


…the first thing I read every morning is the newsletter to see what’s been out there. It’s great to have an aggregator that pulls everything together so nicely.

Joe Cortright, City Observatory

I think that the email newsletter that you do every morning is the best one that I get, and I get a lot of them.

Mary Newsom, The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Really is the best daily urban newsletter out there.

Eric Jaffe, Editorial Director Sidewalk Labs


To Receive The Overhead Wire in Your Inbox Daily

Premium Daily Subscription

The Premium Daily Subscription is our most information packed offering, chock full of over 30 pieces of news every single day. Included are popular features such as the quote of the day and the most read article from the previous day. Also included is our weekly roundup for times when you are strapped for time but need to know what’s going on.

Premium Weekly Subscription

The Premium Weekly Subscription is for professionals constantly under a time crunch. We take the most read items from the week before and share them with subscribers along with more in depth analysis of a single popular topic.

Learn More and Subscribe

Top Links

of the past 48 hours

Video of the Day

Friends of The Overhead Wire

Back To Top

Welcome to The Overhead Wire

What Can We Help You Find?

Try Our Newsletter For Free