Skyline Stories: Straddling buses, Philly’s The Porch at 30th St Station, Little Red Lighthouse

In the wake of budget cutbacks, cities are experimenting with new forms of cheaper and more effective transportation. (How many cities could replicate Tokyo’s mostly-privately-owned labyrinthine transit lines that turn a profit?, per The Atlantic)

Straddling buses -- coming to a city near you? / Image via China Hush.

The wildest is a Chinese proposal for superwide buses that straddle lanes of traffic (Ching Hush), but more down-to-earth solutions include Mexico City expanding its bike share system (Stop and Move), rails WITH trails (Rails to Trails) and removing urban highways (Atlantic Cities). For transporting the elderly and disabled, it may be cheaper and easier to give them taxi vouchers instead of ParaTransit (Atlantic Cities).

On a smaller scale, want to take a seat on The Porch? It’s Philly’s newest public space (the University City District taking a page out of New York), quickly carved out of a few traffic lanes next to 30th Street Station. (News Works)

The UCD unveiled The Porch, some reclaimed land for pedestrians by 30th Street Station. / Image via Hidden City.

In wider news, global cities are fighting to attract the “creative class” (per Richard Florida) — but what happens if instead of making a more vibrant city, they live in “vertical suburbs”? (Atlantic Cities) There’s also a fascinating history of urban planning (Design Observer). Beautiful posters to support public housing during the New Deal era…it seemed like a good idea… (Atlantic Cities)

Detail of the "portovaults" for storing anything and everything. / Image via NYT.

In recent transformations, there are “sacred places in profane places” (Urban Omnibus), Chicago looks to restore the industrial Chicago River. (Atlantic Cities). In Philly, the historic Enterprise Center is becoming a food business center (Hidden City) and North Philly’s historic rowhomes are slated to be restored. (1260 HDC)

Tech news in Philly, as it hosted the TEDx Conference on “The City” (Grid Philly). One way to improve cities is with new apps — people can access data and cities can collect it. (Atlantic Cities)

In New York news…there’s a new exhibit on powering New York’s subways at the Transit Museum (TONY), fascinating look at the huge 1920s vaults on the Upper East Side for New York’s wealthy (NYT) Washington Heights’ Little Red Lighthouse was open for OHNY! (Gothamist) and pour out a litre of Coke for the sad news that Ray’s original pizzeria in New York closed. (Vanishing New York)

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