Also: Let’s rethink what a “bike lane” is, and using city hall as a homeless shelter.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

What We’re Following

A Buffalo shuffle? Since opening in 1985, Buffalo’s Metro Rail has underperformed as a transit system, becoming a local punchline for limited service that fell short of its early ambitions. But it sure looks cool: The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority built a network of strikingly modern underground stations complemented by public art. With its colorful steel sculptures, neon tubes, and edgy architecture, it’s an “underrated artistic triumph,” says CityLab’s Mark Byrnes.

Buffalo transit stations are pictured.
(Mark Byrnes)

But a new effort to revamp the system could end up destroying just about the only thing it truly got right. The NFTA is considering plans to redevelop Metro Rail’s underground stations to lure new riders and boost density along the system’s route. So far, one station has gotten a facelift; the result, Mark writes, should be more than enough to concern fans of the originals.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Let’s Rethink What a ‘Bike Lane’ Is

How about “light individual transport lane”?

Andrew Small

The Selective Singapore of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

In the real city, more than 80 percent of people live in public housing blocks. In the film, we never see one.

Mimi Kirk

What an Anti-Transit Federal Transit Administration Looks Like

A GAO report says the FTA “runs the risk of violating federal law” as it blocks rail and bus projects.

Laura Bliss

In a Growing Crisis, Seattle Uses City Hall as a Homeless Shelter

Each night, 80 beds are laid out in the lobby of city hall. It’s meant as a temporary solution—but long-term fixes are proving elusive.

Hallie Golden

How Plastic Trash Moves Around the Great Lakes

It doesn’t form garbage patches—but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Matthew J. Hoffman and Christy Tyler


What We’re Reading

Why do we continue to be surprised by gentrification? (Belt Magazine)

D.C. rodent complaints are at an all-time high. How’s the city handling it? (Washington Post)

A narrow group of people speak up at public meetings, study finds (Route Fifty)

A group of 19 mayors pledge to make all buildings net-zero by 2030 (Curbed)

The other side of “broken windows” (New Yorker)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  2. Perspective

    Coronavirus Reveals Transit’s True Mission

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  3. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.
    Equity

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  4. Coronavirus

    The Coronavirus Class Divide in Cities

    Places like New York, Miami and Las Vegas have a higher share of the workforce in jobs with close proximity to others, putting them at greater Covid-19 risk.

  5. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

×