Americans are especially vulnerable to gasoline price spikes – Greater Greater Washington

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A highway near Las Vegas by City Caucus under license Creative Commons.

Car addiction means gas addiction. Urbanization could have a worse environmental impact than it deserves. A list of policies that could make transport more sustainable.

Why Americans are struggling with high gas prices: Americans drive more than 14,000 miles a year on average, more than residents of any other country and double those of the UK. As automobile dependence grew after World War II, when we built sprawling housing estates and skimped on public transit funding, we also became vulnerable to fluctuating gas prices. This causes stress for low-income families and businesses when gasoline prices rise. (Adam Gabbat | The Guardian)

Could mass urbanization be good for the climate?: New research from China shows that the country’s massive urbanization driven by rural exodus could be beneficial on the path to zero emissions. Leaving villages has increased carbon capture as ecosystems left behind have been revitalized. Between 1995 and 2020, China’s rural population has shrunk by about 350 million people, just above the population of the United States. (Sarah DeWeerdt | Anthropocene)

A Green New Deal for transport: The Climate+Community project has published its “Green New Deal for Transportation” to invest in a fairer and more sustainable transport system. One of the policies is clean mobility for bangers, a policy that would allow people to trade in a gas-powered vehicle for sustainable transportation, including electric cars, bikes and transit passes. (climate + community project)

Fire insurance will have to evolve with the climate: Old methods of fire insurance do not work positively for insurance companies on the wild-urban land interface. Two fires in California in the past two years have wiped out 26 years of profits for one company and threaten to leave many uninsured. New approaches such as community insurance are emerging, but ultimately there is always a big risk in building closer to nature. (Emma Maris | Atlantic)

How Cities Shaped the Disco Movement: Cities are places where people gather for work and socialization, and with this agglomeration comes culture and musical influence. Camille Squires discusses the cultural influences and city life that led to the Disco movement at its height of the 70s. (Camille Squires | Quartz)

Quote of the week:

“At the local level, we need cities and towns to join the rest of us who see building more homes at all costs as mission critical. The 270,000 new houses and apartments [the Arizona Department of Housing] says that the needs of the state will not happen by magic.

Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus, president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association at Pew Statelineabout states reforming zoning codes to build more housing.

This week on podcastYonah Freemark joins the show for our annual transit predictions.

Jeff Wood is the director of The Overhead Wire, a consultancy focused on sharing information about cities around the world. He hosts a weekly podcast called Talk about progress to Streetsblog USA and operates the daily news site The aerial thread.

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