Urban Planet: Walking Times, Election Day Holiday

Urban Planet is a daily roundup of blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

• Trying to encourage people to walk, the London Olympic Committee erected a variety of wayfinding signs with estimated walking times to popular destinations. But as this article from the Wall Street Journal discusses, estimated travel times are highly subjective, resulting in contradictory estimates of how long it might take. Factors such as walking speed, elevation, congestion and stops can make a significant impact – and it seems nearly every estimator accounts for these factors differently.

• As we creep closer to the November Federal Elections in the US, the folks at GOOD have a proposal for a national holiday to allow everyone to get out and vote. They are inviting businesses to sign on to their pledge to give their employees the day off. Would getting the day off of work make it easier for you to participate in an election?

• Today, the City of Cape Town, South Africa launches its new Transport Authority. The agency will coordinate public transportation services throughout the city, taking over control of Metrorail, the state-owned enterprise that operates the country’s urban rail commuter network. It is hope that an era of renewed investment will result in better service and safety. (This Big City)

• Urban agriculture has gained popularity over the last few years. There is a growing demand for fresh, local produce. In Brooklyn, this demand is being met in part by the 65,000-sq.-foot roof of the Brooklyn Grange Farm. This working farm on the roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yard is trying to achieve economies of scale and turn a profit. The farm, which employs 5, has sold over 40,000lbs of vegetables to restaurants, CSA members and directly to the public via farmstands.  The farm has recently expanded to include egg-laying hens and bees. (Macleans)

Image from Transportation Nation

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