UrbanTech News Roundup

A profile of Bloomberg Philanthropies' James Anderson. FastCo

Construction tech

  • Get ready for skyscrapers made of wood. Wired In a related story, Portland developers are building the tallest wooden building in America, at 11 stories. 
  • MUST READ: The Cornell University campus on Roosevelt Island will produce as much energy as it uses. This article in the NYT about the construction that went into the building, including Passive House design, a geothermal heating and cooling system will dramatically enhance building energy efficiency, and a building skin of small discs that rotate based on time and temperature will provide shade and insulation. 

Transportation and Mobility: 

  • CityMapper is now launching a bus in London to inspire the design of more reactive public transportation. Wired
  • MUST READ: As self-driving cars hit the road, real estate development may take new direction. Curbed
  • The ethics questions behind who to blame when someone gets killed in an autonomous car. Hackernoon
  • Must read: How GM thinks about self-driving cars. GM shed overseas operations while investing $600 million this year in self-driving cars and spent $1 billion on Cruise Automation. NYT
  • Uber and Lyft are returning to Austin. Read about the history of the city's fight with the two ride-sharing giants. The Ringer
  • Curb and Via are innovating NYC taxis with their ride-sharing technology. TechCrunch
  • Lyft teams up with nuTonomy to work on self-driving cars. nuTonomy has raised nearly $24 million in funding from Fontinalis Partners, Trucks Venture Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Signal Ventures, Bill Ford, and others. Axios
  • Watch this video about what it's like to live with a fully electric vehicle. TheVerge

Urban Planning: 

  • Should cities by giving economic development dollars to startups or to incumbent businesses in their cities? Richard Florida explores the issues. CityLab
  • America's first urbanist: George Tucker. Citylab
  • For urban planning enthusiasts, ModelLab has released an open-source population synthesizer. 
  • A new study shows that demand for homes, as opposed to market rate supply, is driving the sky-high prices in San Francisco. Planetizen
  • Do jobs follow people or do people follow jobs? A new study suggests that it depends on what kinds of jobs are created. CityLab

Pollution and climate change:

  • Two startups are creating pollution sensing tech products in Oakland California. BEACO2N and Aclima are using sensor technology to test air quality in novel ways. Wired
  • Cities around the country promise to upload the Paris Climate Accord. Cities and corporations could potentially surpass the Paris Accord goals. NYT
  • The NYT Daily podcast chronicles how Republicans went from campaigning on fighting climate change and proposing cap and trade systems to denying that climate change exists. NYT

Satire: National Trust For Historic Preservation Raises Millions To Demolish Trump’s Boyhood Home The Onion

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By @charleslacalle