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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

World Wide Wednesday: Bike lights, car decline, rail lines

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Each week we will be focusing on 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.

• It’s time for a bike light revolution! Or so say the inventors of Revolight – a bike light which mounts directly to the wheel rims for a sleek and safe design. The team is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter to further refine their prototype.

• A report out last week from the Brookings Institute notes a new trend in American urban life  – 10% of households in the largest US cities do not have access to a private vehicle. Fred Pearce at New Scientist points to economic challenges, demographic shifts, a change in our approach to work and the embrace of a culture of urbanism as reasons why vehicle-km have declined across the west.

• High-speed rail could be a lifeline for Buffalo. A recent plan to develop the network in Western New York offers the possibility of improved economic integration with the Greater Golden Horseshoe, faster travel times, and a revitalized downtown area. But according to Ian Carlino at Artvoice, Buffalo’s perception of itself as a car-town could derail these plans.  

• This Big City offers a round-up of five cities that have tried congestion pricing: Singapore, London, San Diego, Stockholm and Milan. What works, what doesn’t and what does it take to make it happen.

• In Fort Bragg, California, a history of chucking trash off of cliffs left the town with a toxic legacy. But the waste disposal strategy also created Glass Beach, an unofficial tourist attraction where smoothed shards of glass have settled to make a multicoloured stone beach. (Colossal)

Video from Revolights

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