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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution

Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

Starting this summer, the city is installing a network of high tech lamp posts that will keep track of all kinds of information about the environment and people passing by through sensors. The data collected by Web-connected sensors will be used to help urban planners make the city safer and make traffic flow better. All of this while also tracking environmental factors like air quality.

More information at the article.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, July 9, 2014 12:09 PM

great use of technology

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The Neighborhood Data Portal Every City Needs

The Neighborhood Data Portal Every City Needs | green streets | Scoop.it
Los Angeles rolls out interactive neighborhood health profiles covering everything from crime stats to obesity rates.

As the open data movement has matured, public city-wide vital stats have come to feel more like a citizen's right than a civic innovation. This is where things should head next: Take all of that data, map it, connect the dots between public health, land use, economics, education, crime and housing. And portray those patterns – and the inequality they often reveal – down to the neighborhood level.


Los Angeles has recently done just this, rolling out a web tool as part of its Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles that maps a tremendous number of metrics about life in the region, at both the city and neighborhood scales. Just a sampling of the dozens of metrics, via the portal from the L.A. Department of City Planning, the L.A. County Department of Public Health and The California Endowment:

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NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost

NYC's Innovative New Map System Won't Leave You Lost | green streets | Scoop.it

Even for the most direction-savvy New Yorker, emerging from the dark pit of the subway can be a disorienting experience. New York City streets are bright, they’re loud, oftentimes they’re smelly, and worst of all, maps are virtually non-existent. Or at least that used to be the case.


Just this week, the Department of Transportation unveiled its WalkNYC initiative, a program that will bring comprehensive pedestrian maps to all five boroughs. In a city where an estimated 30 percent of all trips are made by foot and one out of every three locals can’t tell north from south, they’re probably going to come in handy.


Though NYC’s public transportation is top-notch and we are technically on a grid, it’s easy to get lost or overwhelmed when traveling by foot. That’s why the DOT enlisted the help of PentaCityGroup, a consortium of urban planners, engineers, designers, cartographers and geographical information specialists, to solve the problem.

Their goal? To create an information-packed map that would orient pedestrians and help them find the gems each NYC neighborhood has to offer. The first of these new information kiosks was installed earlier this week in Chinatown (they’re already located at every Citi Bike station), and it’s expected that others will be popping up in midtown Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and Prospect Heights in Brooklyn this summer

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luiy's curator insight, July 3, 2013 8:49 AM

If the style of these maps looks familiar, that’s because it is. The design team wanted to marry the current design to the graphic language that was was established for the subway system in the late 1960s. The typeface is still Helvetica (albeit with a slight twist–the type’s square dots are now round) and it uses the same organizational conventions (white type on a dark background). “All of this was deliberately echoing the way the subways look,” Bierut explains. “We wanted people to be able to ride the subway, come out and orient themselves.” Bierut says the design of the maps is meant to be accurate, trustworthy and friendly. But not too friendly—this is New York City, after all. “We wanted these things to be beautiful in a way, but also characteristic of the best of New York.”

ParadigmGallery's comment, July 8, 2013 4:02 PM
great...can't wait to try these...
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Cities & Open Data: the Value of Mobile Transit App Development

Cities & Open Data: the Value of Mobile Transit App Development | green streets | Scoop.it

It's time for cities to open their data to developers who can turn that underutilized information into useful mobile applications.


Municipalities worldwide are opening data to developers who provide free or inexpensive apps for consumers, businesses, and governments. Open data is a win for everyone.

Transit applications are among the most popular municipal apps- anyone who uses public transportation appreciates seeing schedules, especially in real-time. The more modern the transit system, the more likely it will be able to gather real-time location data.


Apps are typically based on available transit data and illustrate how municipalities are increasingly accepting the open data movement. For example, last year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a law requiring city agencies to place much of their numerical data into easily accessible formats by 2018.

Portland, Ore., has embraced open data and has posted a catalogue of municipal apps. "The Catalog is unique because it includes public datasets from a wide array of local government jurisdictions," the government says on its website. "It is the only inter-jurisdictional repository of local public data of its kind in the United States, at least as far as we know."

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bancoideas's curator insight, January 23, 2013 7:05 AM

Información disponible y en tiempo real puede agregar inteligencia a nuestra ciudades y contribuir al mejoramiento de la calidad de vida de sus habitantes

Css Seo's comment, December 7, 2015 7:28 AM
Launch your dream in this christmas! Mobile App Development @50% Discount

http://goo.gl/4qp6oV
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Harvard’s New Ecological Urbanism App: A Glimpse of Our Urban Future

Harvard’s New Ecological Urbanism App: A Glimpse of Our Urban Future | green streets | Scoop.it

The Harvard Graduate School of Design released its Ecological Urbanism app last month. The interactive app adapts content from the GSD book of the same name, which explores how designers can unite urbanism with environmentalism.


Combining data from around the world, the app “reveals and locates current practices, emerging trends, and opportunities for new initiatives” in regard to the future of cities.


A collaboration between the school and Second Story Interactive Studios,the app stems from the GSD’s Ecological Urbanism conference and dovetails with the duo’s ongoing efforts to explore sustainability in our cities of the future.

More than 100 participating architects and designers have provided content for the project, including such heavyweights as OMA, Rem Koolhaas, Kara Oehler, and Stefano Boeri. And the ever-evolving app allows designers and academics to add research and project updates as they happen...

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Bike-Share GPS Data Will Help Plan NYC Bike Network | Streetsblog New York City

Bike-Share GPS Data Will Help Plan NYC Bike Network | Streetsblog New York City | green streets | Scoop.it

Here’s one more reason to get excited about the launch of bike-share later this year: the reams of data generated by the GPS units located in every public bicycle. The Department of Transportation will use that data to inform their bike lane planning, commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan revealed last night.

Right now, data on individual bike trips are very scarce. While bike-share trips aren’t representative of the larger set of bike trips, the ability to track exactly where a large set of riders bike and at what speeds could be quite valuable for bike planning. DOT has used taxi GPS data to measure traffic speeds in Manhattan and evaluate initiatives like the pedestrianization of parts of Broadway, and there’s far more than can still be done with that kind of rich data set. Bike-sharing could start to build a similar toolkit for bikes.

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The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan

The New York City Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan | green streets | Scoop.it
Based on the findings of this study, DOT will undertake a comprehensive set of actions, including the following:
-Install countdown pedestrian signals at 1,500 intersections
-Re-engineer 60 miles of streets for greater pedestrian safety, according to corridor crash data.
-Re-engineer 20 intersections for pedestrian safety on major two-way streets.
-Launch a pilot program to test the safety performance of neighborhood 20 m.p.h zone.
-Implement pilot program to improve visibility at left turns along avenues in Manhattan.
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The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides

The Most Walkable Cities and How Some Are Making Strides | green streets | Scoop.it

Densely populated neighborhoods, commercial district city squares and multiple public transit lines all span the city of Cambridge, Mass., creating an environment ideal for walking.

The most recent Census counts estimate nearly a quarter of the city’s residents walk to work, far more than any other larger U.S. city.

Many localities across the country are continuing to push policies and planning initiatives aimed at making communities more walkable. Recent census figures depict a wide variation in commuting habits among the nation’s urban centers, showing some have done much more than others.

Nationally, only a small fraction of people primarily walk to work – the measure the Census Bureau estimates in its annual American Communities Survey. In a select group of cities, though, recent data illustrates the extent to which walking has emerged as an everyday means of commuting.

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Raymond Versteegh's curator insight, December 20, 2013 6:47 AM

Walking is fun. And smart.

Norm Miller's curator insight, December 20, 2013 12:41 PM

It helps if you live in Southern California but then if you live in LA you never walk anywhere.

ParadigmGallery's comment, December 21, 2013 9:27 PM
XO Cambridge, I walked to work for three years...interesting article
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The Closest Look Yet at the Relative Energy Efficiency of Big Buildings

The Closest Look Yet at the Relative Energy Efficiency of Big Buildings | green streets | Scoop.it

New York City's largest buildings have as outsized a place in the city's energy use profile as they do in the skyline. Just 2% of New York's properties account for 48% of the city's energy use. 

What's a city to do? The Bloomberg administration is doing what it does best: crunching massive amounts of data. On Wednesday, the mayor released the city's second annual benchmarking report, which analyzes the year-to-year energy and water use of New York's 26,680 largest buildings. 

"It's the first time we've had access to this comparative information," says Melissa Wright, an associate director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s City Energy Project who has worked in the Bloomberg administration. "For so long it was this hidden information about what the real energy performance was of a set of buildings or individual buildings."

Visit the link for more...

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12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data

12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data | green streets | Scoop.it

A few of the 886 proposals from the Knight Foundation's latest open government news challenge.


This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals to open and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology?"


Amid all of the submissions are innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities: a favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here. But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled.

Visit the article link for a list of 12 ideas from the competition that are new and worth developing (with the applicants' description of their programs). On the 29th, Knight plans to announce a set of semifinalists, who will be invited to complete more detailed proposals. The final winners (there's no predetermined number of them) will then be announced in June...

Lauren Moss's insight:

Innovative ideas on how to utilize open data and communication technology to enhance communities, engage citizens and empower local governments in a variety of ways...

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Urban Redevelopment & SILO 468: interactive light art at a reused silo in Helsinki

Urban Redevelopment & SILO 468: interactive light art at a reused silo in Helsinki | green streets | Scoop.it

The city of Helsinki tapped Madrid-based Lighting Design Collective (LDC) to convert a once-used oil silo into an interactive light installation to commemorate Helsinki being the World Design Capital of 2012.


Facing the sea, the area is quite windy, which was not only design inspiration for the project, but it also powers the exhibit. LDC designed software to take data from the surrounding wind speed, direction, temperature, and weather, and turn it into patterns for the never repeating light show that displays on the inside and outside of the silo.
The silo’s walls were perforated with 2,012 holes that display a mesmerizing light show, engaging visitors with the data in a new way.

At midnight, the silo’s exterior turns red for one hour to reference that the silo was once a container of energy...

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U.S. Cities Outpace Suburbs in Growth

U.S. Cities Outpace Suburbs in Growth | green streets | Scoop.it
U.S. cities are growing faster than the suburbs for the first time since the 1920s. Twenty-seven of the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan areas exceeded their suburbs in population growth in the nine months between July 1, 2011, and April 1, 2012, according to census data.

“This is the culmination of a trend that’s been going on the last several years,” says William Frey, a demographer and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. “Using other data sets, you can see that this trend was kind of starting already around 2007.”

But while the trends aren’t new, 2012 became the tipping point when cities finally overtook the suburbs. The data even showed growth in areas that historically had been declining in population. Midwest cities like Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis all gained in population in the past year.

But just because these cities are growing doesn’t mean that people want to be there. Experts say that even though the recent crash in property prices has made the suburbs more affordable, because of a lagging economic recovery, people can’t afford to move out of urban areas. Young families who would normally lead the exodus to the suburbs are “hunkering down” in cities, Frey says. Young professionals, especially, are living in low-rent apartments with roommates or moving in with parents rather than buying a house in the burbs.

Urban growth isn’t all bad. “The crash also gives younger people and other households a chance to give cities a second look,” Frey says. Denver, Washington, Austin, Seattle and Atlanta have become “youth magnets” — areas that have had an influx of young people looking for jobs.

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New data show how transit corridors reduce traffic, increase walking | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

New data show how transit corridors reduce traffic, increase walking | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | green streets | Scoop.it
  New data from Arlington County, Virginia, provide an in-depth look at how a jurisdiction known for great planning has leveraged excellent transit service and transit-oriented development into efficient transportation performance.  Arlington, just...
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6 Reasons Driving Has Peaked in U.S. Cities | INFRASTRUCTURIST

6 Reasons Driving Has Peaked in U.S. Cities | INFRASTRUCTURIST | green streets | Scoop.it
Americans drove a lot in 2010. Roughly 3 trillion miles, to be more precise. The third-highest total mileage figure in history, to be more precise still...
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