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How your neighborhood was designed by racists. What it's like to sit behind the wheel of a car for four hours every day. The evils of alternate-side parking. And the beauty of traveling by antique rail car. All this and more, in this week's Urban Reads.

A competition to re-imagine suburban surface parking lots tapped architects to transform the often-wasted space into flexible urban plazas. This entry, dubbed "Civic Arches" by Utile, Inc. Architecture + Urban Planning, proposes using the the arches beneath a Long Island Railroad viaduct to park cars of commuters

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A new airport complex is taking shape in Abu Dhabi, where roughly 12,000 construction workers are on-site daily to finish the massive structure, whose floor area is larger than that of the Pentagon. According to UAE paper The National, it will take 84,000 tons of steel to build the structure's dramatic arches,…