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Placebook: Blue Train’s a Comin’

Charlotte Blue Line Train arrives at the Archdale station. Photo Credit: Kristen Jeffers

Charlotte Blue Line Train arrives at the Archdale station. Photo Credit: Kristen Jeffers

Cue John Coltrane’s Blue Train. The news I’m most excited about today is that construction for the Charlotte light-rail Blue Line extension is set to start in March. As you can already guess, I’m a big believer in the benefits of rail. Yes, it costs, but having all workable modes of transportation operable in your city opens your city up to more investment and allows more people to commute to jobs, visit amenities and visit other places.

And with that, let’s visit some other places with more news:

Big cities matter in the developing world, according to new analysis by Richard FloridaCities make us all happier.  And these ten cities in Europe are the smartest.

Have you cut back on your transit use with the loss of the federal subsidy?

You can always blame Burnham for all the extra highways in Chicago and Le Corbusier for the ugly modernist building in your city.

This updated report from Smart Growth America gives state DOT’s more strategies for better services for less money. Randy Simes comes over to Strong Towns to talk about how the Cincinnati streetcar illustrates political hypocrisy in infrastructure development.

Turning movie theaters into churches in Lima, Peru. And if you miss your Christmas lights, here are some places with cool year-round light displays.

Five simple qualities of a walkable city and three simple ways to do economic development.

If you ever come visit me in Greensboro, be sure to also scoot over to the fun that is Replacements, Limited.

How the rapper Drake uses Memphis to give himself street cred. In Flint, Michigan, a convicted felon turns his life around and becomes a city-councilman.

A Chicago suburb is planning on privatizing some of its roads. Meanwhile, what Eisenhower wanted the interstate system to look like.

And finally, in this morning’s moment of bike lane aww, Austinites build a bike lane just to make sure kids get to school safely and both a San Fransisco man and a Raleigh man use their bike and the route recording app Strava to propose.

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