Things Are Good: Birds Provide Japanese Train Design

Yesterday a Japanese train company apologized for running 20 seconds ahead of schedule. How did Japanese trains get so fast? The answer for how their famous bullet trains move so quickly is thanks in part to biomimicry, the study of using animals as a source for design. The front of the bullet train was inspired ...

Things Are Good: NASA Designs Plane Modifications to Save Fuel

A seemingly simple change to airplane design can make a huge difference in fuel efficiency: add another engine. Yes, as counterintuitive as it sounds, NASA has figured out that by adding an engine to the rear of the plane the airflow of the plane itself can provide more thrust. Airplanes are notoriously bad for the ...

Things Are Good: Go Ride the Bus, Busses are Great!

When is a bus not a bus? When it’s a trackless train. Busses are a great solution to traffic congestion, so much so that bus rapid transit (BRT) systems are growing the world over. The problem with getting more money into BRTs and expanding them is the baggage of the word bus. It turns out ...

Things Are Good: Let’s Outright Ban Cars in Large Cities

Vehicles have been used to kill a lot of people throughout 2017, sometimes it’s an act of terror and other times it’s drivers being startlingly incompetent. Either way, people who walk are under threat from vehicular traffic in our cities (remember that everyone is a pedestrian). This past weekend in Toronto 11 people were struck ...

Things Are Good: European Cities Announce Bans on Fossil Fuel Vehicles

It’s no shock that cars are bad for health, what is shocking is that we continue to build cities to support automobiles. This is changing in some European cities and hopefully the idea will spread. Quite a few large cities in Europe are outright banning cars that use consume fossil fuels in the coming years ...

Things Are Good: Good Health Stems from Walking, Biking, and Transit

Regularly walking and biking are good for one’s health, but did you know taking public transit is too? That’s right just by not taking a car to work like most North Americans you can be healthier. A simple life change can have a large impact on your life, plus by not using a car you ...

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Linda McQuaig writes that it’s long past time to review our tax system to make sure it isn’t unfairly leaking money to the people who need it least: These high rollers are able to avoid substantial amounts of tax by setting up private corporations and then funneling their ...

Things Are Good: How the Shape of Cities Impact Public Transportation

Cities contain the majority of the worlds population and moving that many people is a challenge, to say the least. Each city has its own design and plan for public transportation and some are clearly better than others. Wendover Productions tackles this question and provides some nice insights into what makes a city a good ...

Things Are Good: These Cities Promote Ice Cycles

Since it’s summer you might not be thinking of winter bicycling. Why not though? If you’re like most people, you’ll be out on a bicycle a few times during the nice weather this summer and you’ll feel how nice it is to ride. Remember that feeling! In the winter you really should be out riding ...

Things Are Good: Bike Lanes are Good for Everybody

Bike lanes are amazing! They give users of the roads an area which protects emission-free bicycle riding. They bring local business lots of profits and they improve towns. Bike lanes are almost a panacea to the plight of current urban planning in North America. Indeed, bike lanes are even great for car drivers – the ...

Things Are Good: Bike Share Parking More Efficient Than Car Parking

Bike share programs have taken the world by storm, more cities than ever before are using bike sharing systems as part of their transit solutions. Bike sharing allows for a mixture of bicycle rides mixed with mass transit. The popularity of bike sharing amongst commuters is also on the rise, to capture how popular the ...

Things Are Good: The Tube is Heating up While London is Trying to Stay Cool

London’s tube system is literally heating up the city – and that’s a problem. A hundred years ago their subway stations were places to cool down during hot summer days and people had to wear sweaters while commuting. Today, this is no longer the case. The trains are heating the earth which in turn makes ...

Things Are Good: Oslo Improves its City Centre by Banning Car Parking

The Norwegian capital of Oslo dealt with an interesting proposition of banning all cars in the city centre by compromising. At first business and some residents (only 30% of urban dwellers own cars in Norway) didn’t like the proposal at all claiming it would ruin neighbourhoods and business. To address their concerns the city rolled ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces

I’ve just written a blog post about the fiscal situation of Canada’s ‘oil rich’ provinces (i.e., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador). It consists of a summary of key points raised at a PEF-sponsored panel at this year’s Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association. Points raised in the blog post include the following: -The ...

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Evening Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Diane Cardwell points out how carbon politics are threatening renewable energy just at the point where it would win a fair fight against fossil fuels. And J. David Hughes finds that any case for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline falls apart in the face of realistic assumptions about ...

Things Are Good: Smog Free Bike Cleans the Air While You Ride

Daan Roosegaarde designed another piece for his Smog Free Project and it’s a bicycle that cleans the air as you ride through the city. The handlebars contain a filtration system that removes pollutants which will provide clean air for the cyclist to breath in. As a cyclist myself this sounds amazing because breathing in exhaust ...

Things Are Good: Zero Emission and Autonomous Shipping to Start in Norway

Norway will soon see a fully autonomous ship navigating its waters. A resource company in the country presently uses trucks to transport fertilizer from one port to another, the new ship will replace 40,000 of these diesel truck journeys. The ship is battery powered meaning that it will be zero emission if electricity comes from ...

Things Are Good: An App That Rewards You for Riding a Bike

Biko rewards cyclists with free stuff just for riding their bike! Rewards include small things like coffee to very expensive consumer items. The idea of rewarding cyclist for not killing the environment using cars isn’t new, Stockholm basically pays cyclists. When it comes to using Biko please consider that they collect marketing data from your ...

Things Are Good: Big Brains Encouraging Bringing Bicycles into the Mainstream

Bicycling is a fun and healthy way to get around town, but some people still aren’t convinced that bicycling is a solid transportation solution. Outside magazine asked some rather smart people who love bicycling what would make bicycling more attractive for cities. Some answers are neat and others are very practical. I suggest you get ...

Things Are Good: Lower Your Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease by Cycling to Work

We all know that encouraging bicycles as daily transportation is good for cities, economies, and traffic flow. Cycling is really good for you too and the evidence that you should bike more is more prevalent than ever. The most recent contribution to why riding a bike to work is good for you comes from Glasgow. ...

Things Are Good: Stopping Free Parking from Strangling Society

Urban planners spend the last hundred years modifying cities and policies to cater to the car – and that’s been harming us ever since. We’ve looked at how changing parking culture can save America’s economy, cities, increase transportation efficiency, and removing spaces can even make parking easier. Slowly, we are seeing change happening around the ...

Things Are Good: Bicycles are the New Trucks

Trucks are loud, big, and clog the roads. Bicycles are quiet, small, and only need a fraction of the space larger vehicles need. Moving freight around a city is tough because of the traffic, so how about using bicycles to transport freight? Bicycles are often thought as only a recreational or commuter transportation solution, but ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Vicki Nash challenges the claim that unemployment in a precarious economy is generally a matter of choice rather than the absence thereof. And Jia Tolentino argues that we shouldn’t pretend there’s any value in being forced to work oneself to death: It does require a fairly dystopian strain ...

Things Are Good: Beijing Replacing Gas Taxi Fleet with Electric Taxis

Smog and Beijing go hand in hand due to the explosive growth of car ownership and poor environmental management. That’s starting to change. China’s capital city has mandated that when any new taxi hits the street that it has to be electric. This follows their efforts to replace their buses with an all electric fleet, ...

Things Are Good: Improve Transportation by Ending Subsidies for Automobiles

Many drivers think that gas tax (or their car-related taxes in general) more than cover the costs of infrastructure of cars. The reality is quite the opposite. People who don’t drive subsidize those who do. In terms of infrastructure itself we have spent more money on roads than on other forms of transit. This combination ...