(Updated Feb 10, 2013 following the Dharavi discussion and subsequent class posts)

You are free to write on a topic of your choosing.  Here are some topic suggestions you can also consider:

  • Electric vehicles are thought to be one avenue toward improvements in mobility and carbon.  In what circumstances is this so and what conditions should EV entrepreneurs and finaciers seek out?   (Ref New York Times editorial Feb 10, “Dutch put electric cars to the test“).
  • Is pavement in cities a path to prosperity…or a path to perdition? How does this vary with a city’s economic circumstances?  With the legacy vs new characteristics? With the form and capability of government?   After assessing those components, how to identify private sector entrepreneurship/investment opportunities per situation?
  • Beneficial distribution of uses and topologies “could best be achieved through the scalpel of zoning, rather than the meat cleaver of massive top-down redevelopment,” yes or no.
  • With respect to slum redevelopment, it would be more effective to grant residents title to the plots of land the currently occupy and then let market forces work, rather than looking to large scale redevelopment via professional real estate firms.
  • Consider the road real estate in the center lanes.  What social and economic purposes are accomplished by using this space for BRT  Bus Rapid Transit lanes, for HOV High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, or for premium toll lanes (with far fewer other vehicles)?
  • Is is accurate to state that it’s easier to capture the value of saved time in a toll highway situation than in a mass transit MRT/BRT situation? If this is so, why is it so? How would this situation be mitigated?
  • (note that the next several came from brainstorming after class on Wed Feb 6th).
  • Re BRT (and many other tools): No solution works the same in two places;  it’s hard to transport a solution from one place to another. What are filters/criteria/best practices in attempting this?
  • Zipcar 2.0 ->  “Car2go” and similar…pickup and drop off with more flexibility, like Hubway bikes. Why, how, where, so what?
  • Parking.   “AirBnB” for parking spaces.  Why, how?
  • Parking.  “Ferris Wheel” self park to put more cars per SF on surface lots. Pros, cons, implications?
  • Recent European Union announcement that all new homes by 20/20 will be “passive.” What does this mean (definition) and what does this mean (policy and entrepreneurship)?
  • “Anticipatory Mass Transit.” What is it, who cares, how to get it?
  • How to cause decision makers to make sustainable decisions for example in city transit choices?  (Example of 23 cities in China building metros, 10 building BRT, since they “look cool” (is the claim…)
  • Guidelines for the geography and maturity of a city that indicate BRT or MRT are the following…
  • BRT would make sense as part of the transit mix in New York City yes/no.
  • The ancient Indian capital of Fatehpur Sikri ran out of water and was abandoned.  This will happen again to major world cities, yes/no.
  • What kind of political and business plan (including finance, engineering, and communication) would be recommended for the long term water health of Mexico City?
  • Here is my concept for a “smart city” application which could create value for users and allow the promoter/developer to extract that value in a long-term defensible way.
  • The water situation and the urban operating system concept can be married for these reasons and will never be compatible for these reasons.
  • Bus Rapid Transit is hopeless for existing cities because of x, y, z factors. It’s mandatory for cities because of a, b, c factors.   I come down with (xxx) position because I believe (yyy).
  • Deal points I would renegotiate for the A2 motorway include the following, and here’s how I think I can get the other side to agree.
  • With respect to housing for the poor, what are should be the objectives of government? What are the apparent of objectives of government? If there is a gap, how will it be reconciled?
  • Financial products can be a substantial help with disaster preparation and resilience.  Financial products cannot be a substantial help. Explain.
  • The surviving players in energy efficiency finance or in rural water will use a franchising model.  Yes/no and why / why not?



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