A New World’s Fair, the Millennial Mayor, and the “Egg Map”: Urban Insights From Around The Web

INSIGHTS :  Aug. 29, 2015

Ryan Holeywell | August 28, 2015A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

Drawing of HemisFair

A new feature 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 and the staff of the Kinder Institute highlight the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.

Hemisfair: A New World’s Fair

The first phase of an effort to redesign Hemisfair Park in San Antonio -- home to the 1968 World's Fair -- is nearly complete, San Antonio magazine reports. Yanaguana Garden will include shops, parks, a bocce court and a splash pad thanks to an $8 million investment. It’s one of the many upgrades planned to the site that’s largely been underutilized in the decades after it left the global spotlight.

How One of America’s Youngest Mayors Leads One of Its Most Troubled Cities

Alex Morse, 26, is the mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a town struggling with crime, poverty, and elevated high school dropout rates. Is turning around the post-industrial town too big a task for the recent Brown University graduate? Morse doesn’t think so. That’s why he’s running for a third term. Read the full interview at Citiscope.

Art Exhibit Makes a Statement About Preserving Houston’s Historical Buildings

Houston doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to historic preservation. Most of Texas’s major cities had preservation ordinance for decades before Houston finally adopted one in 1995. A new art exhibit is highlighting the importance of preservation through sculptures made from pieces of torn down houses, KUHF reports.

Don’t Blame ‘Evil Hipsters.’ Broader Forces Created Gentrification

It’s popular to say hipsters are displacing low-income residents from their communities, that’s not helpful, The Takeaway argues in a report. “I think it’s important to note that this broader process is a side effect of a very positive change in American cities where, after 85 years of abandoning our cities, people want to live in cities again,” says Benjamin Grant, urban design policy director at the planning organization SPUR.

Why a Bag of Heroin Costs More Than a Pack of Cigarettes

One reason why the country is in the middle of a heroin epidemic has to do with just how cheap the drug costs. Users can get high for $5 to $10 – often less than the price of a pack of smokes, the Washington Post reports. Mexican cartels have dramatically increased heroin production, which has lowered the cost for users. At the time, the cost of cigarettes is going up, thanks to sin taxes.

College Student Would Be Sole Voter in CID Sales Tax Decision

A Missouri business district thought it had the perfect loophole to advance a sales tax hike. If there were no registered voters within its boundaries, then property owners – not residents – would vote on the measure. Turns out, they missed someone. A single college student will be the sole person who decides the tax’s fate, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports. Now businesses are asking her to “unregister” as a voter.

Squeeze Your Way Across Town With The ‘Egg Map’

Ever get frustrated trying to navigate a foreign city? Smart phones require Internet access, and paper maps can be cumbersome. What’s a tourist to do? A designer has developed a new 3D “egg map” that could offer a solution, City Lab reports. Essentially, it’s a map printed on a stress ball. When you want to zoom in, you just squeeze tighter. It’s a must have for anyone visiting an unfamiliar city. As long as that city is Budapest. Right now, the map only comes in one version.

Ryan Holeywell
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