The Hurricane House; Sodium Warnings; and How Transit Heals: Urban Insights From Around The Web

INSIGHTS :  Dec. 4, 2015

Ryan Holeywell | December 4, 2015A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

Man pulling vaccine from vile into syringe.

A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

Planners Must Play a Larger Role in Preparing for Self-Driving Cars

Metropolitan planning organization have barely been addressing the onslaught of issues likely to arise as self-driving vehicles come closer to consumer use, writes University of Pennsylvania's Erick Guerra. As one planner put it, "'[w]e don’t know what the hell to do about it. It’s like pondering the imponderable,'" he wrote in a recent paper. Planners must act now if they want to shape how their communities respond to the technology.

The Nation's First Firehouse Where People Can Get Flu Shots

Officials in Alameda County, California have opened the Firehouse Clinic, the first health clinic to be located within a fire department, Governing reports. It's a natural fit, since in California, 80 percent of calls to the fire department are for health matters. The clinic will offer a range of health services from blood pressure checks to wound care to vaccinations.

Hurricane House Could Be A Model For Future Coastal Living

In response to Hurricane Sandy, students at Steves Institute of Technology in New Jersey designed a home they said is entirely hurricane resistant, the Houston Chronicle reports. The building is covered in armor that protects it from extreme weather and has enough solar panels to fuel the house -- and its neighbors -- in the event of an electricity outage.

Living Near a Transit Line Might Be Good for Your Mental Health

Cities can be stressful places, but new research suggests living in a dense place where public transit is accessible may contribute to a reduced risk of depression, City Lab reports. The findings are based on research of residents in Turin, Italy. Women and the elderly people who lived in dense places near transit used fewer antidepressants than those who didn't, even when controlling for other factors.

Young White People Are Losing Their Faith In The American Dream

In 1986, young people of color were about twice as likely as whites to say the American Dream doesn't exist. Thirty years later, young white people are about as equally pessimistic, the Washington Post's Wonkblog reports. Overall, nearly 30 percent of people age 18 to 35 say the American Dream is "not really alive."

High-Sodium Warnings Hit New York City Menus

New York City diners will soon see warnings on menus next to items that contain high levels of salt. It's the first city to require such a warning, which applies to any restaurant with at least 15 locations nationwide, NPR reports. The warnings could be especially prevalent for two of the city's most popular foods, which also happen to pack a salt punch: pizza and deli sandwiches.

Ryan Holeywell


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