Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


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    Mechelle Brooks via Getty Images

    Blame local zoning, not Wall Street, for this housing crisis

    Local zoning laws and NIMBYism are preventing the growth of affordable housing and greater housing density and contributing to labor shortages in urban areas. 

    Atticus LeBlanc • May 24, 2022
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    jimfeng via Getty Images

    Corporate housing is key to addressing tight housing market, relocating workers

    As workers increasingly migrate to suburbs and smaller cities, high housing costs and limited supplies might delay a home purchase. Regulations aimed at vacationers shouldn't limit extended-stay rental options.

    Angela Healy • May 11, 2022
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    ictor via Getty Images

    To reduce transportation emissions, make it realistic for people to ditch cars

    Building walkable communities with easy access to public transit is key to reducing our reliance on cars and achieving environmental goals, writes the CEO of Keolis North America.

    David Scorey • May 2, 2022
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    Pgiam via Getty Images

    Harassment and intimidation are driving local leaders away from public service, and we all stand to lose

    “I genuinely worry about how our nation’s cities, towns and villages will attract and retain the talent we need,” writes the head of the National League of Cities.

    Clarence E. Anthony • April 19, 2022
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    David McNew via Getty Images

    For the Building Performance Standards Coalition to be effective, the White House must think bigger

    The former head of the U.S. Green Building Council weighs in on how federal, state and local government partners can go beyond just reducing building emissions as they pursue decarbonization.  

    Mahesh Ramanujam • April 8, 2022
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    Permission granted by Via Transportation

    What big cities can learn from the rural US about public transit

    Grappling with bare-bones transportation networks, rural communities are implementing new transit innovations, a trend that federal infrastructure dollars could accelerate. 

    Scott James Matheson and Sam Couvillon • April 6, 2022
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    Drew Angerer/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Envisioning a policy framework for the growth of AVs and SAVs

    Public policy will need to evolve with vehicle automation advances to ensure privately owned, shared and fleet AVs meet community needs. Examining the likely phases of this transition can help officials anticipate policy needs.

    Susan Shaheen • March 22, 2022
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    Courtesy of Veo

    In it for the long haul: 5 steps to secure micromobility's future

    Veo CEO Candice Xie shares insights on how the industry can walk the talk in terms of becoming environmentally sustainable and more financially resilient.

    Candice Xie • March 9, 2022
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    Kirill Smyslov via Getty Images

    Citizens want authentic engagement opportunities, not just notifications

    It's up to governments to build digital on-ramps to help citizens overcome community engagement barriers. With modern solutions and professional support, digital engagement can become an everyday event for any community.

    Andrea Facini • March 7, 2022
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    Getty Images

    Making corporate net-zero rhetoric real in 2022

    Businesses' net-zero commitments are new promises to do good for broader society, going far beyond the company's own operations, the authors write. 

    Chris Deri and Sasha Mackler • March 1, 2022
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    David McNew via Getty Images

    Revisiting California's natural gas hookup subsidies

    California is one of the biggest consumers of natural gas in the U.S., and has been adding new gas customers faster than any other state. These trends are in direct conflict with its ambitious climate goals, the authors write.

    Clifford Rechtschaffen and Simi Rose George • Feb. 23, 2022
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    ferrantraite via Getty Images

    To decarbonize buildings, think like an entrepreneur

    The most innovative ideas to slash emissions won’t have impact if they never reach the market, writes Reshma Singh, who focuses on building technologies at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Reshma Singh • Feb. 18, 2022
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    BackyardProduction via Getty Images

    Strategies that make universal broadband access a reality are needed

    As the federal government readies $65 billion for broadband adoption, local leaders should make thoughtful, culturally-responsive strategies that connect all of our communities, writes the CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.  

    Antonio Tijerino • Feb. 16, 2022
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    RECVISUAL via Getty Images

    At last, an infrastructure bill that gives people a reason to get out of their cars

    The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could bring tech-enabled mobility to urban ‘transit deserts,' expanding economic opportunities while reducing emissions and traffic congestion, writes Via's head of public policy. 

    Andrei Greenawalt • Jan. 6, 2022
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    Permission granted by Fermata Energy

    The wrong policies will hinder electrification — here's what we need to do

    The challenge is how to expand consumer adoption and speed up the transition to electric cars and efficient electric heating systems, writes a commissioner with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

    Abigail Anthony • Oct. 21, 2021
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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images via Getty Images

    We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet cities' pressing needs. Let's get it done.

    Passing the Biden infrastructure bill will have ripple effects across the U.S., writes Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, driving investments in areas including electric vehicles, energy efficiency and recycling infrastructure. 

    Kate Gallego • Oct. 18, 2021
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    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

    Time for utility companies to step up by supporting the Clean Electricity Performance Program

    Achieving more clean energy is feasible, affordable and would benefit our economy and public health without compromising power system reliability, writes Ceres' senior program director of climate and energy.

    Dan Bakal • Oct. 15, 2021
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    Barnes, Elvert. (2019). "IMG_6415" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    We can't forget public transit, walking and cycling in the push to decarbonize transportation

    Electric vehicles have lawmakers' attention as one tool to mitigate the climate crisis. But perpetuating private vehicle use won't move the U.S. toward a more equitable transportation future.

    Pooja Shah • Sept. 23, 2021
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    Tim Boyle/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Buildings are infrastructure, so Congress should treat them that way

    Creating a 21st-century transportation network while letting our nation’s buildings crumble is no way to responsibly address an infrastructure crisis, let alone build back better, writes a former congressman and association exec.

    Russ Carnahan and Vincent R. Sandusky • Sept. 16, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    With longstanding mobility problems back in the spotlight, cities must consider autonomous vehicles

    Many historical transportation challenges in the U.S. are returning worse after pandemic lockdowns. Local leaders have a golden opportunity to leverage autonomous vehicles to create more efficient, equitable systems.

    Eric Tanenblatt • Sept. 10, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    When there's a will, there's a way: Building the foundation for municipal EV infrastructure

    Electric vehicles (EV) are no longer a novelty. Local leaders can begin to expand their EV infrastructure by first building the local will and political capital, while also investing in workforce development. 

    Celeste Frye • Sept. 1, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Curbing climate change requires an end to driving in cities

    New U.N. climate report underscores the need to invest in infrastructure that encourages active mobility, get people back on public transit, and have cities reclaim roadways, writes Lime CEO Wayne Ting.

    Wayne Ting • Aug. 13, 2021
  • Giving new life to deserted parking garages

    Cities' declining dependence on cars and commutes may point to a novel solution for the lack of affordable housing in cities, writes The Traffic Group's Wes Guckert.

    Wes Guckert • July 7, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Averting economic devastation from New York's billion-dollar consumer energy debt

    Federal funds will eliminate a lot of New Yorkers' energy and water utility debt, but utility shareholders must share the burden of what remains, the authors write.

    Kevin Parker and Richard Berkley • May 26, 2021
  • Accessible city planning starts with unbiased data insight

    New tech in cities can sometimes do more harm than good. Considering inclusive datasets is an essential part of the process for cities to realize benefits, writes Humanising Autonomy CEO Maya Pindeus.

    Maya Pindeus • April 9, 2021