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Urban studies and planning

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The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Carlo Ratti addresses New York’s congestion pricing plan – an attempt to prevent traffic build up and improve public transportation – and ways Boston can develop a similar and more effective policy. “With congestion pricing, the city and state can combat the climate emergency, the cost of living crisis, and improve quality of life,” says Ratti. “If they don’t take action now, something even worse will come to pass: Boston will find itself outdone by New York.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Arianna Salazar-Miranda SM '16, PhD '23 explore the possibility and potential of developing 15-minute cities in America. “If implemented correctly, the 15-minute city can be an agent of freedom: freedom from traffic jams, freedom to live in a healthy environment and freedom to be outside,” they write. “It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but our research shows that almost every community in America could benefit from a few more well-placed amenities.”

Financial Times

Writing for Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti examines recent attempts to shorten journeys between major cities, such as a hyperloop system that would transport passengers via giant vacuum tubes from London to Paris in about 20 minutes. “Customers clearly prefer a smooth experience to maximum speed,” writes Ratti. “They might also be choosing the Eurostar for having a carbon footprint that is about 95 per cent less than that of aircraft. While the hyperloop might have emitted less per journey than a plane, and perhaps even a high-speed train, its construction would have had a huge environmental cost.”

Commonwealth Beacon

Lecturer James Aloisi and several students from his urban planning and policy course write for Commonwealth Beacon about their proposals for creating a better public transportation connection between Kendall Square and Logan Airport. “It should not be acceptable that, in greater Boston in the 21st Century, a traveler cannot easily and conveniently connect by transit from one of the nation’s most important innovation and academic centers to the international airport, a mere three miles away,” writes Aloisi. “We can do better, and we must do better if we want to do more than just pretend that we live in a livable, sustainable region.”

Marketplace

David Zipper, a senior fellow at the MIT Mobility Initiative, speaks with Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace about how cars in the U.S. are getting heavier and larger, and the environmental and safety costs associated with larger vehicles. “For decades, people who buy enormous, very heavy cars have been creating societal costs that they aren’t paying for. That’s what’s called a market failure,” said Zipper. “So if you want the market for automobiles to succeed, we need to make sure that when people are shopping for their next car, they are considering the societal costs of their purchase.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Harvard Prof. Edward L. Glaeser make the case that “the Bay Area needs a lot more housing, and we may need privately built cities to get there.” Ratti and Glaeser note, “building in the Bay Area will enable America to continue its history of allowing people to relocate to more productive places.”

DesignBoom

La Biennale di Venezia’s Board of Directors has named Prof. Carlo Ratti as the curator for the 19th International Architecture Exhibition, reports DesignBoom. “Recognized as one of the leading scholars in urban planning, Ratti has co-authored more than 750 publications,” notes DesignBoom, adding that his, “involvement in curatorial projects spans various countries and prestigious platforms.”

The Washington Post

Prof. Albert Saiz speaks with Washington Post reporter Andrew Van Dam about the influence of geographical regions in politics. “High-amenity areas are more desirable and tend to attract the highly skilled,” says Saiz. “These metros tend to have harder land constraints to start with, which begets more expensive housing prices which, in turn, activate more NIMBY activism to protect that wealth.”

New York Times

New York Times reporter Conor Dougherty spotlights DUSP graduate student Nick Allen MS '17 and his work advocating for Land-value taxes (LVT) in distressed US cities.

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores the concept of the “15-minute city,” which is aimed at creating walkable neighborhoods. “The 15-minute city must be paired with investment in transport between neighborhoods,” writes Ratti, noting that investment is especially needed in public transportation to ensure that 15-minute cities do not contribute to greater segregation.

USA Today

Prof. Carlo Ratti writes for USA Today about whether San Francisco is caught in a “doom loop,” a term that describes, “the city’s apparently unbreakable spiral of empty offices and unaffordable housing.” Ratti notes that “today’s crisis in the Bay Area could make room for new ideas to take hold faster than in other places. If the city seizes its moment, learning from its venture capital (VC) sector, San Francisco could also seize the future.”

Cipher

Cipher News editor Amy Harder spotlights the MIT Renewable Energy Clinic, a new course developed by Prof. Larry Susskind aimed at training students to be mediators in conflicts over clean energy projects. Harder notes that the course is focused on creating “collaboration that may slow down projects initially by incorporating more input but ultimately speed them up by avoiding later-stage conflicts.”

Foreign Policy

DUSP Lecturer Bruno Verdini PhD ’15 speaks with Jenn Williams of Foreign Policy’s “The Negotiators” podcast to discuss the 2012 Colorado River agreement between the United States and Mexico, and his book, “Winning Together: The Natural Resource Negotiation Playbook.” “If you are recognizing that the feedback loops in natural resource negotiations are going to be complex and unexpected as time goes by, you only have an ability to monitor, be flexible, and address new challenges if you’ve created a mechanism of trust, and in that mechanism implementation follows, even across different political perspectives,” says Verdini. “Because it is in your interest to keep complying.”

Bloomberg

In an article for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Michael Baick, a staff writer at CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, highlight the importance of communication within cities. “The world has an incredible stockpile of effective urban policies, but the best ideas are not being adopted quickly or widely enough,” write Ratti and Baick. “Covid-19 taught us all how to slow the spread of viruses: wear masks, avoid large gatherings and take vaccines. To speed the spread of good ideas, we need to take the opposite tack by making urban solutions go viral.”