A morning roundup of the day’s news.
HQ2 transparency: For all the hype over Amazon’s HQ2 bids, so far there’s not a lot of public information out there on what exactly the 238 cities are offering. Enter Muckrock, an investigative reporting nonprofit that’s working to crowdsource “the nitty-gritty details of every bid”—particularly the corporate subsidies cities are promising. Next City reports on the effort:
To date, most of the coverage on Amazon hopefuls (including, to be fair, our own) has focused on the wild stunts cities are pulling to get noticed by the corporate bigwig, including sending the company a giant cactus and erecting Amazon boxes the size of two-story houses. But financial incentives are what the company really wants.
… The bids available on Muckrock’s website attempt to answer that call.
Mass transit exodus: On Oct. 29, 2015, the New York City subway broke a modern record by carrying over 6.2 million passengers in one day. But then, unexpectedly, ridership dropped—which The New York Times attributes in large part to the “exodus of the exasperated,” as passengers turn away from the crisis-riddled transit system.
“Walking While Black”: A new report from ProPublica and the Florida-Times Union takes a hard look at racially biased pedestrian enforcement in Jacksonville, finding that black people received 55 percent of all pedestrian tickets within the last five years, almost all in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
California’s displacement problem: New maps from UC Berkeley confirm the crisis of skyrocketing housing costs in Northern California, with 62 percent of low-income households across the “mega-region” at risk of or already experiencing displacement due to skyrocketing housing costs, and Sacramento—once the more-affordable alternative to the Bay Area—becoming out of reach for many. (Berkeley News)
- See also: Vice Motherboard points to the anti-urbanism principles of architect Frank Lloyd Wright—in his 1935 proposal for “Broadacre City”—as a precursor to the “company towns” causing the Silicon Valley housing crisis today.
“The Littler Engine That Could”: How do you design safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists without creating obstacles for fire trucks? Well, maybe you redesign the truck—as seen in a new San Francisco fire engine model “that places nice with people-friendly streets.” (Wired)