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Arrival Cities
being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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Land concentration, land grabbing and peopleʼs struggles in Europe

Land concentration, land grabbing and peopleʼs struggles in Europe | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Until now the global phenomenon that is widely referred to as ?land grabbing' has been generally assumed to be happening only in the Global South, and with many reports claiming that it is concentrated in Africa and that the main land grabbers are Chinese, Indian and South Korean companies as well as the Gulf States. Transnational social movement and NGO campaigns have likewise tended to accept unquestioningly this general assumption that land grabbing is a phenomenon focused on countries in the South, especially African countries. By bringing Europe's land issues into focus, the present study stands to change the way we think of contemporary land grabbing in at least three fundamental ways.

 

First, land grabbing is not the only important and pressing land issue in the world today; the ongoing trend of 'generic' land concentration is just as significant and problematic. Second, land concentration and land grabbing do not only occur in developing countries in the South, but are trends that are currently underway in Europe as well. Third, the study shows that people's struggles against land concentration and land grabbing are also unfolding in Europe, suggesting that a truly transnational perspective on political struggle against contemporary enclosures is certainly warranted, if not urgently needed. 

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We are shaking the world with a new dream

We are shaking the world with a new dream | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

In Detroit, everything is in your face: (the following is taken from Margaret Wheatley’s invitation to the learning journey)


“Detroit is a place of stark and compelling contrasts and contradictions. Once the fourth largest city in America that glowed with the promise of industrialization, it is now an embodied prophecy of the post-industrial world, a world where:


  • citizens have been abandoned by their government and corporations
  • factories that employed tens of thousands of workers now lie in ruins
  • 1/3 of the land once filled with homes and neighborhoods is now grassy fields
  • public schools are shuttered and closed
  • drugs, high crime, and criminalization by the authorities plague youth and destroy their future


Like abandoned citizens everywhere, when people realize that no one is coming to help, the possibility of community arises. As people stop looking outside themselves and turn to one another, they discover the richness of resources to be found within themselves, their cultures and their land. Nowhere in the Western world is this discovery of community-as-resource more vibrant than in Detroit.”


recommended reading at

Brave New World - stories from the new paradigm

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Magical Urbanism | URBZ via @wwjimd

Magical Urbanism | URBZ via @wwjimd | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

That reality often exceeds imagination is well known. What is less often discussed is how imagination can transform reality.


The fact is that fantasies of radical transgression, including bombing and killing have always been part of a certain subversive imagination, which is particularly appealing to the youth. Especially those who have been brainwashed into negating their violent impulses, desires, drives, aspirations and ego-trips. Attraction to extreme violence, in fictional or actual form is often a response to an unbearable level of frustration caused by the repression of perfectly healthy impulses – impulses to do with expression of anger, creativity and active control of their lives. (...)


It is unfair to expect any self-denial of these impulses from the youth. And it is even worse to lock them up in a world running on autopilot, where any sense of agency is deemed dangerous or impulsive. To them, such a world seems headed straight to a crash. So many youth across the world feel trapped in rigid urban and social structures; stuck in a reality that they are not allowed to reinvent. As a result they often respond passionately to fictionalized versions of reality, which are full of possibilities, including the most extreme and destructive ones. Most often these fictions remain in the realm of the imagination, but sometimes, when intent and determination are high enough, they do translate into reality. (...)


The space of youthful imagination is highly potent. It is like a fertile jungle continuously producing a million new audacious ideas. It is violent and exciting, destructive and creative, all at the same time. It is a space where one can get lost, discover, experiment and grow. A sacred grove of sorts, that one can come back to at any point in time to reconnect to a vital creative energy that helps accomplish wonders


August 26, 2009 by matias


ReTweetYouth : Escaping the trap with #Creativity via @wwjimd

Also, see more Scoops on Creativity and Innovation

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Researchers Present Study on How Global Climate Change Affects Violence

If global warming is a scientific fact, then you better be prepared for the earth to become a more violent place. That's because new Iowa State University research shows that as the earth's average


... temperature rises, so too does human "heat" in the form of violent tendencies.


"It is very well researched and what I call the 'heat hypothesis,'" Anderson said. "When people get hot, they behave more aggressively.


... the researchers estimate that if the annual average temperature in the U.S. increases by 8°F (4.4°C), the yearly murder and assault rate will increase by 34 per 100,000 people -- or 100,000 more per year in a population of 305 million.


... global temperatures also increases known risk factors for the development of aggression in violence-prone individuals

rapid climate change can lead to changes in the availability of food, water, shelter...


... such shortages can also lead to civil war and unrest, migration to adjacent regions and conflict with people who already live in that region ... 

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Restorative Justice | Mural Arts Program

Restorative Justice | Mural Arts Program | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Restorative Justice is a concept of justice that involves the victim, the offender, and the community in the healing process. Globally, restorative justice practices can be viewed as an alternative to incarceration and revenge, enabling all parties to communicate, attempt to understand what has happened to the community, and then proceed to healing and restoration. These tasks can be accomplished through various means, from traditional talking circles to formal victim/offender mediation conferences. This is a difficult process and requires thoughtfulness, awareness, and inner strength. Restorative justice practices help to unify communities affected by crime and to transform community members divided by the criminal justice system.


The Mural Arts Program incorporates the concepts of restorative justice through art instruction, mural making, and community service work within the criminal justice system. Current inmates, ex-offenders, and juvenile delinquents are given the opportunity to learn new skills and make a positive contribution to their communities to repair the prior harm they may have caused. In the Mural Arts Restorative Justice program there is a growing emphasis on re-entry, reclamation of civic spaces, and the use of art to give voice to people who have consistently felt disconnected from society.

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Inner-city residents say presidential campaigns ignoring scourge of gun violence

Inner-city residents say presidential campaigns ignoring scourge of gun violence | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

"In a tough Philadelphia neighborhood where an off-duty police officer was shot to death last month, a mother is afraid to walk to the corner store with her two children. In a Chicago area where 23 people have been killed by gunfire so far this year, kids don’t want to go outside. In Harlem, a 26-year-old man worries his family will get hit by crossfire.

 

Residents of inner-city neighborhoods plagued by gun violence say they feel neglected and ignored even in a presidential election year marked by highly publicized shootings at a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and outside the Empire State Building — a year in which Republicans have launched a full-throated defense of gun ownership while Democrats have largely kept quiet about an issue they used to put front and center."

 

@StarveTheSystem asks,

Is it the guns...or is the state of our collective mental health? Poverty, stress, poor health, toxic mindstate (which starts with poor nutrition, air, and water), low literacy, lack of opportunity...what will we do? What can a presidential candidate say? What do we expect of elected officials? How do we as a community hold them accountable?... Let's have these conversations! 


Via Starving the System.com
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Vacant Lots Turned Green Reduce Crime, Study Says - Earth911.com

Vacant Lots Turned Green Reduce Crime, Study Says - Earth911.com | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Greening old, vacant lots comes with plenty of healthy benefits to communities, but it might also help reduce crime, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study.

 

Researchers started with two types of lots consisting controlled vacant, overgrown lots and ones renovated with help from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, who cleaned, planted trees and grass and build a wooden fence around each lot. Researchers interviewed 21 residents near each lot before and after the experiment. Residents living around greened lots said they felt safer following the renovations.

 

Researchers also looked at crime statistics three months before the renovations and three months after. Areas with greened lots saw a total reduction in crime, including gun crime and assault without guns. The researchers attribute the reduction to an overall sense of community in areas with greened lots. Additionally, greened lots limit options to hide illegal activities, such as hiding illegal guns or drug use.

 

http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/early/2012/08/06/injuryprev-2012-040439

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Cities–too big to fail?

Cities–too big to fail? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

While climate change is being touted as the end of life as we know it, a simple power outage illustrates the dangers of too many people in a complex, energy-dependent society. A cacophony of support for climate change displaces the true problem, which is too many people living in complex urban situations with deferred maintenance and limited surplus energy when catastrophe hits. While most environmentalists fear what happens when we keep Business as Usual (BAU) moving forward, what happens when we cannot keep BAU moving forward? If the storm had been worse, what would have been the population’s need for water, and what would have happened to nuclear power plants? Possibilities of violence go up–where is the tipping point for that? Revolution, war, and riots are off of our radar, which has narrowed to its smallest focus to protect our psyches from multiple threats looming on the horizon. As blackouts and gas rationing go forward in the northeast, people will begin to see the energy that drives their world in all of its stepped hierarchy. We operate under the false notion that people in cities use little energy. We are so steeped in a hierarchy of surplus energy in our society that we will not understand energy until we begin to suffer its absence.


by Mary Logan

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A new kinder, open collaborative justice system is possible

Our justice system is problematic, people get sent to prison and get traumatized for life, family members get ripped from their family as they spend time in prison, innocent people languish in jail, and many poor people end up in jail more because they don’t have proper representation. Its a punitive system, where we feel like it is ok to treat people terribly because they are now ‘bad’. Its a system based on power and control of elements of criminal members of society, when what is considered criminal may not be widely agreed on within the society, e.g. usage of drugs


Via David Hodgson
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Growing Rogue Proves Urban Farming Strengthens Communities

Growing Rogue Proves Urban Farming Strengthens Communities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Growing Rogue has started its first urban farm at a large apartment complex, (Singleton Housing), near 19th Ave. and Maryland in Phoenix. When Kristopher Corter and Andrew Pisher got started with the farm the people in the neighborhood tried warning them that the neighborhood was a dangerous one, that there was a lot of crime and drugs in that area and there was concern about people vandalizing the farm or stealing the large drums that stored the soil and plants. With confidence Mr. Corter and Mr. Pisher continued their work shoveling dirt and soil into the food drums in the large covered parking lot out back and in time residents of the apartment complex wanted to help and passersby would see the work and stop to help shovel soil. In less than two weeks of work neighbors are already commenting on how they have seen less crime and drug related activity and the neighborhood feels a little safer already.

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Street Food Is Not A Crime | Laws That Shaped LA

Street Food Is Not A Crime  | Laws That Shaped LA | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

...most of the street food sold in Los Angeles is done so in violation of the law.


"It's illegal in two forms," Mark Vallianatos says of many of the items sold from carts, grills and stands. Food trucks operate under different regulations which will be addressed in a future Laws That Shaped L.A. column.


Vallianatos is an author, Occidental College adjunct professor and policy director at Oxy's Urban & Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI). He's nominated the Retail Food Code as a Law That Shaped L.A.
'
"It's illegal under the California Retail Food Code. And also in Los Angeles, it's illegal to sell food on the sidewalk," Vallianatos says, citing Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 42(b).


"But," he continues, "[selling street food is] also ubiquitous, helps define the city and is really an essential part of Los Angeles culture and the food scene in local neighborhoods." (...)


"The issue," Vallianatos says, "is making sure there's a balance between enforcement and creating a good system for vendors so they feel like they have a legitimate reason to become legal and can actually sell and make money and operate and [dealing] with these health code issues so making sure that no one can do it without a $200,000 food truck."




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Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens - COLORLINES

Advocates Want Halt to Expansion Of Private Prisons For Non-Citizens - COLORLINES | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

The federal government is poised to expand a little known part of the American incarceration system—privately operated facilities that hold immigrants convicted of crimes. Many of the inmates are charged criminally for what’s called “illegal reentry” when they’re picked up by Border Patrol trying to return to the country after a previous deportation. The facilities are among the only ones that the Bureau of Prisons has privatized and their expansion promises more profits for companies, like the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the Adams County Correctional Center where Moreno’s brother was held.


It’s “quite a racket going on [for] these for profit prisons,” said Rep. Jared Polis, who sponsored the briefing. “It’s not a particularly good deal for taxpayers.”


There are now more than 24,000 inmates in 13 federal prisons for immigrants charged with crimes. Advocates including the ACLU of Texas, Grassroots Leadership and Justice Strategies gathered for the briefing on Thursday because the federal Bureau of Prisons in July issued a call for proposals for a 14th privately-managed facility to house 1,000 “low security, adult male inmates, that are primarily criminal aliens…”

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Mixed-use neighborhoods reduce some violent crimes, study says

Mixed-use neighborhoods reduce some violent crimes, study says | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

ScienceDaily (Sep. 21, 2010) — Mixed-use neighborhoods that combine residential and business development may help lead to lower levels of some types of violent crime, a new study suggests.

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Why It Matters Who Owns Local Businesses | Jonathan Rowe

As Jane Jacobs pointed out in her seminal Death and Life of Great American Cities, a street with many small shops has many watchful eyes. This is especially so if the shops are run by individual owners who take a personal interest in the surroundings. The pedestrian traffic alone— the constant coming and going— provides potential witnesses and thus a deterrent to crime.


Compare that to a block with a K-Mart or Barnes and Noble. There will be long stretches with no entryways, and no watchful eyes from inside. Such blocks are especially creepy at night.


In a nation with a surfeit of stuff but mounting social deficits, there is an element of insanity in designing and assessing the economy solely in terms of financial transactions, as economists do (via the GDP, for example.) Dr. Thomas Lyson of Cornell University has compared counties with small, locally owned businesses and social institutions against those in which outside corporations dominate.


As recounted by Stacey Mitchell in her book Big Box Swindle, Lyson found that:


“[T]he big-business counties had greater income inequality, lower housing standards, more low-birth-weight babies (an indicator of overall health); more worker disability, lower educational outcomes, and higher crime rates. The small-business counties not only scored better on all of these social welfare measures, but their residents belonged to more civic organizations and voted more often.”

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