A morning roundup of the day’s news.
$100 million per year: A new fee for developers in Los Angeles is intended to create a permanent revenue stream for affordable housing—$100 million annually—with builders paying between $1 and $15 for every square foot of new construction. The L.A. Times reports:
“Today we see hope in the promise that Los Angeles can continue to grow and indeed must grow,” [Mayor Eric] Garcetti said. “That when we see luxury condominiums going up, that we can make sure that there is money paid in to build housing for the rest of us.”
...Opponents question the need for a development fee after city voters last year passed a $1.2-billion homeless housing bond and placed affordable housing requirements on some projects. They also argue that the fee will prompt developers to charge more for housing units, or choose to build outside the city limits.
Pause, please: As the FCC sets up to make a landmark vote today on stripping away Obama-era net neutrality rules, attorneys general from 18 states are calling for a halt, citing the need to investigate an estimated 1-million-plus fake public comments registered during the process. Last week, 58 mayors and county leaders wrote the FCC in opposition to the rule change, saying it would hurt economic growth and consumer protection. (NPR, The Hill)
911 or Uber? New research shows that ambulance use is dipping in cities around the country, and the reason for that is Uber, as low-risk patients opt for the cheaper ride. Uber itself, though, is distancing itself from the suggestion that its service can provide an acceptable substitute to ambulances. (Mercury News)
City within a city: A 27-acre new “mini city” would be the largest downtown development Atlanta has seen since the 1960s, with plans for at least nine skyscrapers in the transit-rich area. Incidentally, it’s the same site the city offered for Amazon’s HQ2 call. (Smart Cities Dive)
Slow to go electric: Despite the ambitious pledge a global group of mayors made to convert to all electric buses by 2025, there’s a long way to go. In the U.S., only 300 of the 65,000 buses on the road are electric, as transit agencies shy from playing guinea pig. (Jalopnik)
The urban lens:
“The city barely blinked after the morning rush-hour blast, which officials described as a failed attempt at terrorism by an immigrant from Bangladesh who had strapped a pipe bomb to his body. He ended up wounding himself seriously and inflicting minor injuries on three others. No doubt, the communal reaction would have been more frantic had the toll been higher. But the normal rhythms of the city paused only briefly. New Yorkers have become quite adept at keeping their composure.” - @nytimes , December 11, 2017
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