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Posts from the Podcast Category

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Talking Headways Podcast: Louisville’s Urbanism Derby

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This week’s guest is Branden Klayko, founder of Streetsblog Network member site Broken Sidewalk, which covers transportation and urbanist issues in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is one of the oldest American cities west of the Appalachians, and we discuss the history of the city and its urban heritage. (Is it southern? Is it in the Midwest?)  While many may know Louisville for bourbon, the Kentucky Derby, or college basketball rivalries, Branden gives us another view of the arts and culture that make the city great.

Streets-wise, there’s a lot happening in Louisville, with the coming of bike-share, the city’s focus on pedestrian and bicycle safety, and the legacy of freeway opposition in the city. Branden also reminds us of great local figures in urbanism such as Grady Clay, who was Jane Jacobs contemporary and featured in Death and Life of Great American Cities (check pages 161 and 195).

And if you’re ever in town, make sure to travel the Big Four Bridge, which proved to Louisville residents that you don’t need a car to cross the Ohio River.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Transportation Innovation Revolution

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Shin-pei Tsay of Transit Center joins me this week to delve into her new report, A People’s History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation, which examines how advocacy and political leadership have combined in several American cities to produce a more multi-modal transportation network.

We discuss the cycle of change, why mayors and local activists (who Transit Center calls “the civic vanguard”) are so important to the process, and what the advocacy scene looks like in the different cities profiled in the report, including Portland, Charlotte, and New York.

So listen in and hear from Shin-pei about the six strategies advocates can follow to encourage more transportation innovation. There may or may not be a Voltron reference in there.


Talking Headways Podcast: Your Brain on Two Legs

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Antonia Malchik’s recent piece in Aeon Magazine, The End of Walking, went viral in urbanist circles, touching on several themes related to our “right to walk.”

In her turn on Talking Headways, Antonia talks about how she became addicted to walking and her experiences walking in Russia, Austria, Upstate New York, and the American West. We also discuss how our brains are intricately connected to our legs and why it’s important for coordination to walk on uneven surfaces at an early age.

Did you know that in states like Montana, drivers on the open range are deemed responsible if they collide with a cow? That’s not how it works when a driver hits someone on a city street. All that and much more on this week’s podcast. Come join us for a walk around the world.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Urban Displacement Project

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This week my guest is Miriam Zuk of UC Berkeley’s Center for Community Innovation, who discusses how the team at the Urban Displacement Project has studied and mapped out gentrification and displacement risk in the Bay Area. We talk about the relationship between transit and rising property values, as well as the widespread portrayal of gentrification in the media as a rapidly occurring short-term process.

Miriam also shares case studies of places like Concord, California, where data indicated the community was declining, but residents and speculators were betting on the future because of proximity to a BART station. We get into the regional job market and the pressure it creates for neighborhoods, and we consider the definition of gentrification, a favorite topic in policy circles.

Join us for a discussion of complex topics you won’t want to miss.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Remaking California Transportation

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This week on Talking Headways I’m joined by a big roster of guests to talk about California’s climate legislation and how it will change transportation policy.

Lauren Michelle of Policy in Motion and Kate White, Deputy Secretary for Environmental and Housing at the California State Transportation Agency, give us the lay of the land when it comes to California’s emissions laws and the state’s array of transportation agencies.

Caltrans Sustainability Director Steve Cliff discusses what sustainability means and how it gets misconstrued as just an issue of environmental stewardship. And Eric Sundquist of SSTI also joins us to talk about how Caltrans will reorganize itself to shift its approach to transportation policy.

The last segment touches on funding and what revenue from California’s cap-and-trade system will mean for transportation. Fred Dock, transportation director for the City of Pasadena, guides us through how his city will be able to access funds by thinking outside the box.

Tune in and hear all about how California is turning the ship around — it’s exciting to think about the bright future ahead for the largest state in the nation.

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Talking Headways Podcast: Indexing Livability for All Ages

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This week we chat with Rodney Harrell of the AARP Public Policy Institute about their new Livability Index Tool. I ask him who the tool was created for and tell him why it should be regarded as more than just magazine clickbait. We talk about the robust policy tools that were included for each section and how the data was collected and at what geographic scale.

We also have a chat about the neighborhood scores and what disappointed us about our neighborhood ratings. Rodney discusses how he’s already used the index to promote investment in his neighborhood and how other neighborhoods around the country are using it too. Finally we discuss which cities surprise him and get into a quick chat about Twitter use among policy wonks and why people who have to take care of family members later in life are more likely to be aware of livability issues.

Join us for a fun data driven conversation.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Missions of San Antonio

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This week we’re joined by Trish Wallace and Jillian Harris, transportation planners at the City of San Antonio. Tune in and hear about the history of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the city’s bike master plan, and the inner workings of the SATomorrow Plan.

Our discussion of San Antonio’s growth leads us to all sorts of Texas planning quirks like extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) and municipal utility districts (MUDs). And we dig into the amazing public involvement they’ve gotten for SATomorrow, and why San Antonio is a city on a mission.

For more Talking Headways, you can find us on iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe directly.


The Subduction Zone(ing), or [Tectonic] Platers Gonna Plate

This week we have Talking Headways alum Tanya Snyder back on the podcast to talk about a few things that were in the news over the last few weeks.

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We talk about all the new streets babies that have been born recently which leads to a discussion about living in cities with kids. We also ponder why people are writing articles about leaving cities like London and Los Angeles.

Traveling to the Pacific Northwest we discuss Seattle’s new Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA). We talk about single family zoning in the report as well as changes to parking restrictions. We also discuss the recent New Yorker article on the Cascadia Subduction Zone and how wherever you live in the United States you have to deal with natural disasters.

Join us for a fun discussion on Talking Headways.

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Talking Headways Podcast: The Freeway That Never Was  

This week we’re talking with Brendan Wittstruck about St. Louis’s never built freeway, I-755, which he recently wrote about at Streetsblog member NextSTL.

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Brendan discusses the history of the project and how drawing lines on maps can be seductive to planners, who always have to be careful about trying to “fix” cities. He also talks about the racial politics of freeway construction in St. Louis, and how that legacy still shapes the city today. Finally, we chat about what the I-755 story means for freeway teardown movements today in terms of data collection and why this freeway never saw the light of day.

Join us and hear about the teardown that never had to happen, and the freeway that was never built.


Talking Headways Podcast: High-Speed Rail Lessons from France and Germany


In France, the high-speed rail system is designed to provide the fastest possible connections to a single city, Paris, while in Germany the rail network has more connections but slower trips. Graphic: Eric Eidlin

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This week we’re joined by Eric Eidlin, a community planner and sustainability lead at the Federal Transit Administration. Over the last few years Eric has also been studying high-speed rail in Germany and France as a fellow with the German Marshall Fund. He recently published a report, “Making the Most of High-Speed Rail in California: Lessons from France and Germany.”

Eric discusses the differences between the French and German systems and what we can learn from each. He delves into the importance of station location, land uses for station areas, integrating walking and biking with stations, and having a 50-year view of planning these projects. And of course, you won’t want to miss lessons for California’s planned system going forward.

As always, you can find us on iTunes or Stitcher if you want to subscribe directly.