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.
Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger
The airport was once designed to be a place to relax before a long trip. Today -- between the harsh light, uncomfortable seats, and constant ambient noise -- it's an unpleasant place where "passengers often feel more like prisoners than clients," the New York Times writes. Sure, airport architects face challenges -- often security is the most important priority -- but "why would that equation so often rule out attention to aesthetics, comfort, acoustics, and light." The Times calls for a new era of airport design.
The $90 Billion Question: Do We Need Government-Supplied Daycare?
Daycare is increasingly expensive for young families, and the outcome is pretty predictable. "Top-notch programs are available to those who can afford the tuition ... and everyone else is left gambling on quality, even safety," the Washington Post's Wonkblog writes. A new report argues daycare should be a human right on par with public education, given its role in contributing to achievement gaps. And if that's the case, then the country should invest more in quality care, the authors argue.
America Has the Fewest 16-Year-Old Drivers Since the 1960s
Only about 1 million 16-year-olds had a driver's license in 2014 -- the lowest total since the 1960s, according to newly published federal data. City Lab speculates on the causes: a stressed economy that makes car ownership more difficult; more willingness to use transit; and the expansion of Internet communication that makes face-to-face interaction less important to teens.
Can Teaching Peace Reduce Violent Crime?
Georgetown University public policy students are piloting a project to teach conflict-resolution to troubled young people in hopes of breaking the cycle of violence, Governing reports. The idea, known as a "peace closer" was pioneered by a Columbia priest, and today they're operating in 15 countries, with U.S. versions also in the works in Boston and Chicago as well. The idea is a seen as a way of proactively addressing the roots of violent crime.
New Orleans Gamifies the City Budget
New Orleans residents who think they know better than Mitch Landrieu can try their hand at an interactive game that uses open data from the city to allow them to try to create their own version of a balanced budget, Next City reports. The nonprofit behind the site hopes to get 600 players this year and eventually publicize their choices in a crowdsourced "People's Budget."