Women in Politics; Food Stamps and Uber for Bikes: Urban Insights From Around The Web

While the Urban Edge strives to provide readers with daily news and insights about urban policy, we’re also voracious readers of city news ourselves. As part of a new weekly feature, senior editor Ryan Holeywell and the staff of the Kinder Institute highlight the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.

A road transformation in Bucharest, Romania. Image via Urb-i/Google.

A road transformation in Bucharest, Romania. Image via Urb-i/Google.

A Before-and-After Photo Archive of the World’s Best Street Design

City Lab delves into the archive of by design collective Urb-i, which is tracking more than 350 before-and-after photos of street redesigns. The images, spanning six continents, show how good urban design can completely transform a public space in a relatively short period of time.

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was elected in 2010, but women are underrepresented in politics. Image via flickr/Gage Skidmore.

Why Women’s Presence in Politics Has Stagnated

For 20 years, women have accounted for about 23 percent of state legislators, Governing magazine reports. Today, both parties are trying to recruit more women to run but are facing the reality that generally, women are more likely than men to want to stay in their current roles.

Image via flickr/ I-5 Design & Manufacture

Image via flickr/ I-5 Design & Manufacture

I get food stamps, and I’m not ashamed — I’m angry

A food-stamp recipient writes for Vox about what it’s like to apply for the assistance. She highlights the factors that make it impossible to escape a cycle of poverty. New scheduling software makes it difficult for workers to attend school or work two jobs. Meanwhile, inadequate public transportation in some communities makes it impossible to get by without a car.

City Hall in downtown Houston. Image via flickr/Ed Schipul

City Hall in downtown Houston. Image via flickr/Ed Schipul

No breakout in Houston mayoral race as Election Day approaches

The country’s fourth-largest city is electing a new mayor this fall. But just weeks before early voting is set to begin, none of the seven main candidates has emerged as a sure frontrunner. “For the most part, the candidates still are spending little, agreeing often and floating only modestly different visions for the city’s future,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

An oil pump jack operates in Oklahoma near the spot of recent earthquakes. Image via flickr/Public Herald.

An oil pump jack operates in Oklahoma near the spot of recent earthquakes. Image via flickr/Public Herald.

Faced With Spate Of Tremors, Oklahoma Looks To Shake Up Its Oil Regulations

Five years after the state started getting hit with earthquakes, a growing number of government officials in Oklahoma are acknowledging the link between disposal wells and seismic activity, NPR reports. Last month, Gov. Mary Fallin agreed with what researchers have argued for years. “I think we all know now that there is a direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we’ve seen in Oklahoma [and] disposal wells,” she said.

A bicycle leans against a building in Amsterdam’s Joordan district. Image via flickr/Moyan Brenn.

A bicycle leans against a building in Amsterdam’s Joordan district. Image via flickr/Moyan Brenn.

Amsterdam bike hire company is encouraging cyclists to offer tourists lifts on their luggage racks

Uber meets couch surfing meets bike share in this wacky idea out of Amsterdam. The “Yellow Backie” plan encourages volunteers to stick yellow luggage racks on their bicycles and allow tourists to hail bikes for a ride, just like they would hail a taxi, CityMetric reports. “Catching a ride on someone else’s luggage rack is quite common in the Netherlands for short distances – so by having a yellow rack, it now shows that you are open to giving tourists a short ride instead of ignoring them in our great city,” said Martin Luyckx, online marketing and communication manager of Yellow Bike.

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