What I learned from Marlon Boarnet about walking in the suburbs

Marlon Boarnet of UCI gave a seminar in our school yesterday on some of his collaborative research on walking in the suburbs. I took the following from the talk:

1. Suburbs have various spatial forms, and some of those may be conducive to walking in polycentric regions.

2. Those spatial forms may be difficult to divine empirically, but business number and–perhaps–service diversity may be one way to define a center/cluster.

3. Centers and clusters in the polycentric city can foster walking and dampen driving, though the latter effect appears weakly significant in this test.

4. There is a potential tradeoff between making retail clusters that serve nearby residents who walk becoming greater draws to the larger region that can generate auto traffic into the neighborhood.

5. Successful scholars experiment with cutting-edge ideas and analogies, some of which work, some of which don’t, but from that experiment new concepts and measures emanate.

The Space Age Hits the Road

The Space Age Hits the Road:Visionary Car Designs in America.

Saturday, February 6, 2010 – Monday, May 31, 2010

University Park Campus
Doheny Memorial Library
Ground Floor Rotunda

Photographs document the American love affair with chrome and steel.

The cars rolling off the assembly lines of Detroit’s Big Three automakers were among the most memorable symbols of the future… as it was imagined during the 1950s. Their elongated tail fins and cockpit-like windshields drew inspiration from the U.S. space program and the aesthetics of jet aircraft, evoking the idealized lifestyle promised to Americans by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

Many of the photographs seen here were originally published in the Los Angeles Examiner newspaper and are now a part of the USC Libraries’ Special Collections.

Californians wake up to the reality of major projects like HSR

Cities not on track with California’s plan for high-speed rail system – latimes.com

This story is about a Buena Park Mayor faced with the loss of a TOD and station area he fostered because of the high speed rail. So not only do we have to throw money at a new system, we’re going to use those fund to undo a project that we just threw money at. Is there really, seriously, no better design than one that takes out a TOD? .