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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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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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Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones...

Reinventing the Payphone: Designs for NYC's Future Public Smartphones... | green streets | Scoop.it

When Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge last winter, it was an opportunity to see how designers would reimagine these idle relics of last century’s infrastructure into something other than a shading device for smartphone-browsing in sunny weather.


From the looks of the finalists, which Bloomberg announced Tuesday, tomorrow’s payphone could have a lot of app-style features, from weather reports and wayfinding to voice and gesture control.


A handful of New York’s roughly 11,000 payphones already serve as wifi hotspots thanks to a pilot program launched by the city last summer, so the leap to hyperconnectivity isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. A few years down the line, we could all be using a shiny new network of payphones to call taxis by voice command, charge our devices, check the weather for our urban farms, and, inevitably, look at ads.

The six finalists are chosen in five categories—creativity, connectivity, functionality, community impact, and visual design.


Visit the article link to view the proposals and learn more about what may be the payphone of the future...

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Flo @ddline2020 ✏ 's curator insight, March 10, 2013 5:26 AM

Nouveaux styles, nouvelles fonctions pour des cabines téléphoniques du futur 

kaja jacobs's curator insight, March 11, 2013 11:20 AM

looks so cool but people can do what you are doing not so cool

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Opportunity is Local (or: You Can’t Buy a New Economy)

Opportunity is Local (or: You Can’t Buy a New Economy) | green streets | Scoop.it

Truly great places are not built from scratch to attract people from elsewhere; the best places have evolved into dynamic, multi-use destinations over time: years, decades, centuries. These places are reflective of the communities that surround them, not the other way around. Placemaking is, ultimately, more about the identification and development of local talent, not the attraction of talent from afar.


Places aren’t about the 21st century economy. They are about the people who inhabit and develop them. They are the physical manifestations of the social networks upon which our global economy is built. Likewise, Place-making is not about making existing places palatable to a certain class of people. It is a process by which each community can develop place capital by bringing people together to figure out what competitive edge their community might have and improve local economic prospects in-place.

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Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, February 6, 2013 4:20 AM

Trend: Opportunity is Local

 

Pedro Barbosa | www.pbarbosa.com | www.harvardtrends.com

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4 Ways the Feds Are Making Transit Better

4 Ways the Feds Are Making Transit Better | green streets | Scoop.it

New funding rules should speed up major projects and increase local benefits.

Much of Washington is in obstruction mode these days, but not the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA recently announced changes to New Starts and Small Starts — its main capital funding programs for transit — designed to expedite the grant process. Together the programs fund about half the cost of light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems in the United States.

The FTA's new rule was developed during a two-year outreach effort that considered roughly a thousand public comments. During that time officials kept two main goals in mind: to streamline the funding path of new transit projects, and to consider a wider range of possible benefits to local communities...

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Mercor's curator insight, February 4, 2013 6:39 AM

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Make Way for Public Space...

Make Way for Public Space... | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago says four-part plan to expand the pedestrian realm will boost local economy, prompt physical activity.

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel will likely say he’s continuing to make good on commitments to public health and expanded outdoor space if a four-part plan to tackle both becomes a reality. Emanuel introduced an ordinance this month backing the Chicago Department of Transportation’s “Make Way for People” program, which is made up of four initiatives that the city and its partners claim will spark neighborhood economies and increase physical activity, citywide.

 

This is particularly important to communities on the South Side, which don’t have as much public space as the North Side, and could use an economic jolt, according to Bernita Johnson Gabriel, executive director of Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC). QCDC is a Bronzeville-based non-profit that is partnering with the city to pilot a portion of Make Way for People known as People Spots. People Spots essentially expand sidewalk seating onto portions of the street sometimes referred to as "parklets."

Read the entire article for other strategies planned to boost local economies...

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7 Ways to Disrupt Your Public Space

7 Ways to Disrupt Your Public Space | green streets | Scoop.it

Last week, Fast Company posted a list, adapted from the book Smart Customers, Stupid Companies, of 7 Ways to Disrupt Your Industry. Reading through the list, we were struck by how applicable the recommendations that the authors put forth are to our own principles for good Placemaking.

But it makes sense, when you think about it: by directly involving communities in shaping their public spaces–leading with people, not design–Placemaking is in fact a highly disruptive approach.

Placemaking tosses out the idea that an architect or planner is more of an expert about how a place should be used than the people who are going to use it. By bringing people together around a shared physical place, it’s also a powerful tool for disrupting local complacency. Great public spaces give people a tangible way to connect with their neighborhoods, building a stronger local constituency–aka sense of community–over the long term.

With that in mind, we’ve taken Fast Company‘s list and tweaked it slightly to create a roster of 7 Ways to Disrupt Your Public Space for anyone who’s looking to use a local spot to build social capital in their neighborhood...

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Designing Ecosphere Economies for Planet of Cities

Designing Ecosphere Economies for Planet of Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Integral Cities in different locations must adapt differing solutions to the same infrastructure problems. We need to evolve our internal environments and design our environments in ways that honor the ecosphere. Only by doing so can both individual and collective human life optimize the amazing diversity our DNA has gifted us with and the deep resilience of the natural ecology.

Each city provides a unique combination of matter, energy and information as resources. This means that over time, humans must discover, develop and design appropriate technological solutions for city metabolisms that align with distinctive environments.

Designing with local resources enables cities to innovate from natural capital and build diversity and resilience into food and energy systems. This is the principle that has been used in developing the designs for the Earth Policy Institute, planning sustainable futures with a roadmap of how to get from here to there...

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Tools to help cities and towns guide green development

Tools to help cities and towns guide green development | green streets | Scoop.it

  It’s one thing for advocates and pundits like yours truly to advocate the greening of cities, towns and suburbs through environmentally responsible revitalization and land development.  

But it’s quite another for local governments to develop and implement policy instruments that can make that goal easier, rather than harder, to achieve.

At best, fixing that involves specialized knowledge and the application of technical detail. And, make no mistake: in our country, it’s up the locals.

A lot of towns and cities now recognize that there is merit in going greener. They now want to encourage the kind of development that will help reduce pollution and consumption of resources while at the same time saving taxpayer money and providing beautiful, walkable, convenient neighborhoods that give people choices about how to live. But this is new territory for many jurisdictions that wish to follow good, 21st-century green practices but whose basic authorities governing how to plan and build neighborhoods haven’t changed for fifty years or more. A lucky few may be eligible for limited planning grant assistance, but most must rely on models, tools, templates, and good instincts to provide help...

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Entrepreneurs Keep the Local Food Movement Hot

Entrepreneurs Keep the Local Food Movement Hot | green streets | Scoop.it
Local food businesses play a much more critical role in economic development than commonly thought, a new report shows.

Entrepreneurs are flocking to local food, starting businesses devoted to producing and delivering food within their communities. Just as consumers focus new attention on what we eat and where it comes from, farmers, foodmakers, restaurateurs, retailers, distributors, and processors are rethinking the business models behind it...

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Vernacular Architecture and the 21st Century

Vernacular Architecture and the 21st Century | green streets | Scoop.it
Vernacular architecture, the simplest form of addressing human needs, is seemingly forgotten in modern architecture.
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A Local Living Economy | BALLE

When enterprises are locally rooted, human-scale, owned by stakeholders, and held accountable to the rule of law by democratically elected governments, there is a natural incentive for all concerned to take human and community needs and interests into account.

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Grow Local and Eat Local, City Council Says

Grow Local and Eat Local, City Council Says | green streets | Scoop.it
The Council on Thursday passed a series of bills that would make it easier to build greenhouses and locate unused city land for gardens, as well as encouraging city facilities to use local food.
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A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship

A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship | green streets | Scoop.it

Locally owned shops were once cornerstones for products, services, employment and social networks in urban neighborhoods. The rise of automobiles, franchises and Internet shopping has forced many out of business or into niches that don't correspond with the needs of their local communities. However, in some cities they're seeing a resurgence due to creative initiatives that link grassroots activism with public- and private-sector resources.


In February, a special kind of shop opened in Amsterdam's Van der Pek neighborhood. It is called the Wisselwinkel, meaning "shift shop," because it hosts a new local entrepreneur every six months. If this trial period goes well, the entrepreneur receives assistance in setting up a more permanent location in the neighborhood.

Designed and constructed by MOS Collectief, the Wisselwinkel interior is flexible so that different startups can use it according to their needs. Along with the storefront, entrepreneurs receive practical guidance in connecting with support organizations, fulfilling legal requirements and attracting customers...

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10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities

10 Ways to Improve High-Density Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Getting the right city density – generally expressed in the US as people per square mile or homes per acre – to support sustainable and pleasant living is one of the trickiest problems we face as we address the future of our communities. 

The typically low densities of suburban sprawl built in the last half of the 20th century, despite their popularity at the time with a considerable share of the market, have been shown by a voluminous body of research to produce unsustainable rates of driving, carbon emissions, pollution. stormwater runoff, and adverse health impacts. ..

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Jacqueline Garcia pd1's curator insight, March 23, 8:08 PM

This article shows the implications of high density areas. The solutions that the author discussed make a good point but sound kinda difficult. For example , its not that easy to bring nature into the cities because of the pollution which makes it hard to sustain the sort of growth we need. 

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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

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4 Examples of Powerful Placemaking

4 Examples of Powerful Placemaking | green streets | Scoop.it

A little-known but very interesting government agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, is quietly leveraging small amounts of financial assistance to make a big difference in helping communities across the country become stronger and more alive.


Whether in Portland, Maine, Pendleton, South Carolina, the Kewa Pueblo in New Mexico, or another of the scores of locations that its Our Town program is assisting in all 50 states, the agency believes "creative placemaking" can strengthen "community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies." I couldn’t agree more.

Indeed, music, film, the visual arts, and even design tend to get us gathering and talking together, frequently in the same place. Sometimes they reinforce a shared sense of culture; sometimes they provoke us (and others) to think of our communities in new ways; sometimes they are just fun. (Do not discount happiness as important to sustainability.) Often they create vital, new identities or "brands" in cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

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polis: Startups, Cycles and Cities

polis: Startups, Cycles and Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban imagination in the Americas revolves around two paradigms: the growing city and the declining city. The growing city symbolizes the dream of expansion — full of bustle, construction and recent arrivals eager to succeed. The declining city is the disappointed dream, with vacant buildings, rusting industrial kingdoms and, in Detroit, an endless grid of empty streets.

Statistically, growing and declining cities fall into well-defined patterns. Growing cities have rising populations, rising rents and falling unemployment, while declining cities have the opposite. One other statistic stands out, harder to measure but probably more important: the number of new businesses. The list of cities with exciting entrepreneurship scenes fits neatly into the paradigm of the growing city....

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New evidence that smart growth my reduce local congestion as well...

New evidence that smart growth my reduce local congestion as well... | green streets | Scoop.it
We have long known that residents of smart-growth neighborhoods – those with central locations, walkable streets, nonsprawling densities, and a good mix of shops and amenities – drive significantly less than do residents of spread-out suburban subdivisions. But, writing in his blog hosted by Planetizen, Todd Litman reports on a new Arizona study that found that those attributes can reduce local congestion as well:

[The study] found that roadways in more compact, mixed, multi-modal communities tend to be less congested. This results from the lower vehicle trip generation, particularly for local errands, more walking and public transit travel, and because the more connected street networks offer more route options so traffic is less concentrated on a few urban arterials. This contradicts our earlier assumptions...

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America's Greatest Main Streets...

America's Greatest Main Streets... | green streets | Scoop.it

Cheers to these small towns for great Main Streets, where you can admire architecture, sample the local flavor, and find a lost America.

Driving across America, it’s all too easy to lose your mooring amid the commercial thicket of the same old fast-food outlets and big-box stores.

But push on a mile or two beyond the interstate exit, and you may discover a town that’s anchored by a distinctive Main Street—one with grand architecture, eclectic small businesses, and community-oriented features like a park or theater. Often it thrives thanks to locals who have made a conscientious effort to fight the general decline of Main Street...

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Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People

Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People | green streets | Scoop.it
The rewards of a vibrant small business sector go beyond economics: Research shows places that rely on large retailers have more problems.

 

Sociologists are divided on how small businesses affect public health. Some say that mom-and-pop operations symbolize a greater investment in the community so proprietors may value the well-being of their employees, customers, and other local citizens more. Others, however, argue that large companies may be better at providing pension plans and health insurance...

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Public services by design: using design principles to improve local areas

Public services by design: using design principles to improve local areas | green streets | Scoop.it

Joined up, place-based public services have the potential to deliver local government's holy grail: cheaper public services in tune with the needs of local residents. But community budget pilots are not the only show in town. The Design Council's Public Services by Design scheme has already helped councils adapt to the localism agenda and deliver services that involve residents in their design.

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Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative | The White House

Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative | The White House | green streets | Scoop.it

The Obama Administration recognizes that the interconnected challenges in high-poverty neighborhoods require interconnected solutions. Struggling schools, little access to capital, high unemployment, poor housing, persistent crime, and other challenges that feed into and perpetuate each other call for an integrated approach so residents can reach their full potential.

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Best Farmers Markets - Big U.S. Farmers Markets

Best Farmers Markets - Big U.S. Farmers Markets | green streets | Scoop.it
These are some of the biggest and best farmers markets in the United States, from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon.
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