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being an immigrant or living in a "slum" is a feature not a bug
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California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?
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Walkability - A convenient answer to climate change

Walkability - A convenient answer to climate change | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Climate change has been back in the news lately due to Hurricane Sandy.


Urban designer and former director of the National Endowment for the Arts Jeff Speck, author of the recently published Walkable City, makes the case that smart growth is a key strategy for addressing this issue. In an excerpt published in Salon from his book, Speck explains why compact cities generate far less carbon per person. Although a place like Manhattan generates the fewest carbon emissions per person, communities don't need to build at 200 units per acre to make a difference. Studies show that the maximum benefit is achieved simply by going from low-density suburbia to a walkable neighborhood — about 20 units per acre, he explains. "In each case, increasing density from two units per acre to 20 units per acre resulted in about the same savings as the increase from 20 to 200," Speck says. Such changes can also result in higher quality of life and lower transportation costs, he says.


via Better! Cities & Towns

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If You Want Walkable Development, You Must Show That It Pays

If You Want Walkable Development, You Must Show That It Pays | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it
The complex math behind the connection between walkability and the economic bottom line.

Via Flora Moon
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How 'guerilla urbanists' made Raleigh more walkable with cardboard signs and QR codes

How 'guerilla urbanists' made Raleigh more walkable with cardboard signs and QR codes | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

While we're all great fans of modern technology, there's something to be said for simply getting away from the screens and getting outside to walk. That's the mindset of the "guerrilla urbanists" behind "Walk Raleigh" — back in January, Matt Tomasulo and his friends placed 27 signs at three intersections around Raleigh that simply pointed to a local landmark (like Raleigh CIty Cemetary) and said how long it would take to walk there, along with a QR code that could be scanned for easy directions. According to Tomasulo, his project was "just offering the idea that it's OK to walk." He further clarified that "people just don't even think about walking as a choice right now," and that he wasn't necessarily trying to get people to change their behaviors, just to think about the alternatives.

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Smart Growth: Fighting sprawl with walkable communities

Smart Growth: Fighting sprawl with walkable communities | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Governments are embracing "smart growth" planning principles to create jobs and more environmentally sustainable communities.


The Atlantic shares how walkable neighborhoods with easy access to local shops and mass transit can reduce the transportation and housing costs of the average household budget, as well as reduce the effects of pollution. Smart growth also has the potential to boost an area's economy by increasing foot traffic at local shops.


"The Environmental Protection Agency predicts that smart growth developments will likely increase over the next 30 years as household demographics and housing preferences change and the U.S. population grows."

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Walkable Urbanism as Foreign Policy

Walkable Urbanism as Foreign Policy | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, national security scholar Patrick Doherty published a proposal in Foreign Policy magazine for America’s next “grand strategy,” a plan for how the U.S. should reposition itself in a world defined less by threats from communism or terrorism and more by the global challenge of sustainability. His offering is among a crop of such foreign policy tracts all aiming big ideas at the newly re-inaugurated president.


These treatises usually have little to do with the more prosaic problems of cities, with housing or transportation or unemployment. But part of Doherty’s particular argument snagged our attention: He believes a central piece of American security and strength in the 21st century will reside in walkable neighborhoods.


Walkability, as we typically think of it in cities, is deeply connected to sustainability, public health and economic development. But foreign policy? That was a new one even for us.


Doherty’s basic idea is that pent-up demand for such communities could help power a new American economic engine in the same way that suburban housing (and all of the consumption that came with it) made America economically and globally powerful in the Cold War era.


Emily Badger

31 Jan 2013


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Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability

Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

When it comes to walking in the city, our smartphones provide us with pedestrian sat-nav, reviews of the best places to visit and even measure how many calories we’re burning. In fact, recent research suggests that our phones are encouraging us to even explore more places.


Now, a new mobile app provides an essential tool for the walkable lifestyle. It enables people to check the walkability of the street they’re standing in, as well as discover new walkable streets in other areas and add their own reviews.

The free app uses over 600,000 street ratings from Walkonomics.com, covering every street in San Francisco, New York and England. But unlike other walkability apps, which only measure how many destinations are within walking distance, the Walkonomics app provides 5-star ratings for 8 different categories of pedestrian-friendliness:

  • Road safety
  • Easy to cross
  • Pavement/Sidewalk
  • Hilliness
  • Navigation
  • Fear of crime
  • Smart & beautiful
  • Fun & relaxing


The Walkonomics mobile app provides a crowdsourcing tool for events, allowing more people to be involved, add reviews and post suggestions. With more cities to be added, the app has the potential to become the new ‘must-have’ app for not only discovering and enjoying walkable streets, but also transforming and making streets more pedestrian-friendly...


Via Jandira Feijó, Lauren Moss
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Long Beach: Finding Ways to Get More People Walk

Long Beach: Finding Ways to Get More People Walk | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

“Our vision for the walking program is to promote livable neighborhoods for residents and visitors through exploration on foot,” stated Melissa Wheeler, Healthy Communities Director for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach. She emphasized that, beyond direct health and environmental benefits, increasing walkability will also provide gains in relation to economic vitality, climate change, traffic congestion, social cohesion, and community safety.

 

via Streetsblog Los Angeles

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Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk?

Why Don't Conservative Cities Walk? | Arrival Cities | Scoop.it

Reading Tom Vanderbilt’s series on the crisis in American walking, I noticed something about the cities with the highest “walk scores.” They’re all liberal. New York, San Francisco, and Boston, the top three major cities on Walkscore.com, are three of the most liberal cities in the country. In fact, the top 19 are all in states that voted for Obama in 2008. The lowest-scoring major cities, by comparison, tilt conservative: Three of the bottom four—Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, and Fort Worth—went for McCain. What explains the correlation? Don’t conservatives like to walk?

 

You might think it’s a simple matter of size: Big cities lean liberal and also tend to be more walkable. That’s generally true, but it doesn’t fully explain the phenomenon. Houston, Phoenix, and Dallas are among the nation’s ten largest cities, but they’re also among the country’s more conservative big cities, and none cracks the top 20 in walkability. All three trail smaller liberal cities such as Portland, Denver, and Long Beach. And if you expand the data beyond the 50 largest cities, the conservative/liberal polarity only grows. Small liberal cities such as Cambridge, Mass., Berkeley, Ca., and Paterson, N.J. make the top 10, while conservative cities of similar size such as Palm Bay, Fl. and Clarksville, Ten. rank at the bottom.

 

http://www.walkscore.com/rankings/

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