February 24: Waymo sues Uber | Council considers TOD measure | Diversity in design

Philadelphia, like many other cities, skewed Democratic in the last election even as both houses became Republican-controlled. Next City reports on several blue cities that had their authority tested by red state houses in matters of anti-discrimination, minimum wage, ride-sharing, and funding based on sanctuary status. For a detailed state-by-state analysis, the National League of Cities has a report that focuses on seven forms of preemption laws.

Ride-sharing companies are also duking it out. Waymo, Google’s self-driving car subsidiary, is suing Uber for misappropriating secrets, patent infringement, and unfair competition. The company issued a letter explaining their decision to take legal action.

At yesterday’s City Council session, Councilmembers Blondell Reynolds Brown and William Greenlee proposed a measure to encourage Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay Districts within a 500 feet radius of selected transit stations. Jacob Adelman covers the legislation that would allow Philly to join ranks of cities like Denver, D.C., and San Francisco that have been successful at focusing development around transit stops. 

Zoning Board of Appeals has approved a change of use variance to convert a Frank Furness-designed church into 21 market-rate apartments in Kingsessing. Curbed Philly shares the plans of the final phase of this adaptive reuse project for a church that stared down demolition only a couple of years ago.

Race and inclusion have been the point of discussion in many industries, including architecture. Data on African American architects alone show the striking underrepresentation of practitioners of color in the design industry. Curbed put together a series on racial inclusion and architecture, speaking with practitioners of color for advice on making design more diverse, how architecture schools can help make architecture less homogenous, and how even the tiny people in architectural renderings need to change.

The future of the Acme grocery store at Fifth and Delancey has been a topic of hot discussion since 2015. Inga Saffron makes the argument to Society Hill residents that their fight over a mixed-use development planned for the Acme site is misplaced. Rather than fight for height, neighbors should realize that good design can accommodate density without overwhelming. “Even quaint villages find ways to fit in apartments.”

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