Issue 568 to

2019: The Year in Urbanism

Legalizing Better Land Use

California passed a huge BART housing bill, the latest legislation geared toward addressing the state’s housing shortage. This sets higher standards for local land use, but it remains to be seen if they will result in more building.

Transit Ridership on the Decline Across the U.S.

Transit ridership fell in 31 of 35 major metropolitan areas in the United States last year, including the seven cities that serve the majority of riders. In contrast to the national picture, some Bay Area transit is seeing increased ridership, but the shift away from cars will continue to be an uphill battle.

Cities Commit to Carbon Neutrality

San Francisco hosted the Global Climate Action Summit in September 2018, inspiring deeper commitments on climate change from governments and organizations around the world — including new 100 percent renewable energy and carbon-neutrality targets for California. Despite federal inaction on climate change, the United States is still all in — and is making significant progress.

Scooters Hit the Streets (and a Nerve)

Electric scooters descended on the streets of Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose in 2018. Initially they were scorned, but by the end of 2018 cities and residents across the Bay Are started warming up to scooters. Might we be ready to embrace these small, electric mobility devices as part of a broader solution to the transportation challenges cities face today?

Can We Still Be a Country of Immigrants?

At year’s end, President Trump shut down the federal government in an effort to get funding to build a border wall, the latest in an ongoing effort to limit U.S. immigration. It will fundamentally change the role of America’s cities if the United States decides to no longer be a country of immigrants.

Urban Field Notes: Manifest Density

If San Francisco is going to house families, teachers, firefighters, service workers and more, we’re gonna need some taller buildings.