Gentrification Apps; Police Reform; and Micro-Apartments: Urban Insights From Around The Web

INSIGHTS :  Apr. 14, 2016

Ryan Holeywell | April 15, 2016Highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

New Orleans police car

Highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

While the Urban Edge strives to provide readers with daily news and insights about urban policy, we’re also voracious readers of city news ourselves. As part of a new weekly feature, Senior Editor Ryan Holeywell highlights the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.

The Best Way to Predict Gentrification May Be Through Social Media Data

Image via flickr/accozzaglia [Astrid Idlewild]. Image via flickr/accozzaglia [Astrid Idlewild].

New research shows that social media may offer a way to predict gentrification, Inverse reports. The idea is that by analyzing data from Twitter and Foursquare, urban observers can get a picture of what's happening in a community more quickly than by relying on more dated Census figures. "The researchers say that they hope their predictive gentrification research could help policy-makers make more informed decisions regarding urban development," Inverse reports.

New Orleans Wants to Recruit Reform-Minded Police


The hiring standards of the New Orleans Police Department slipped in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, but now, the agency is working with doctoral students at Louisiana Tech University to develop to hiring tools designed to help the department select recruits who are aligned with its reform agenda, Next City reports. “If we do our job, we will be able to identify people who will help them succeed,” said Frank Igou, an associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at Louisiana Tech.

The Absurd Primacy of the Automobile in American Life


Cars may be the "epitome of convenience," City Lab writes, but that convenience comes at a price: deaths, pollution, and expensive ownership costs. "In almost every way imaginable, the car, as it is deployed and used today, is insane," author Edward Humes writes. In his screed against automobiles, Humes also notes that annual fatalities from auto collisions outnumber the yearly war dead in most American conflicts.

Is There a Place for Micro-Apartments In a Country Notorious for Macro Tastes?


Apartment and hotel developers alike are betting that Americans -- and not just millennials -- are willing to live in micro units that have less than 300 square feet of space, Market Watch reports. It's a trend emerging everywhere from Washington, D.C. to Providence to Silicon Valley. The city itself is the living room,” said Robin Dionne, a spokeswoman for the Arcade, a micro-apartment complex in Rhode Island. “It’s really for busy people on the go who move here for work, or graduate school, or to explore.”

Inspired by New York’s High Line, If Not Always Copying It

Image via CCC Image via CCC

Citiscope explores a slew of projects around the world that are drawing inspiration from New York's High Line. In Seoul, for example, the city is turning an automobile overpass into a pedestrian walkway. In Rome, the space underneath an elevated viaduct is now home to exhibitions and workshops. "One thing most of the High Line knockoffs do have in common is a desire to heal some kind of urban wound — the cuts in a city’s urban fabric made by railways, highways, or social segregation," Citiscope writes.

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