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What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability

What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.


In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life.


Speck outlines a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: 'it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient...'


Learn more about urban livability, how to create the conditions that enable pedestrian-oriented development, and the benefits of this approach to urban spaces to the economic, environmental, and cultural health of a city at the article link...


Via Lauren Moss
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Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

Reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change.

Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.

Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture.


Read the complete article for more on the ideas and strategies that positively contribute to our public spaces and enhance interpersonal connections, economic opportunity and placemaking.


Via Lauren Moss
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The Global Cities That Offer the Most Opportunity

The Global Cities That Offer the Most Opportunity | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it
A new report ranks the world's leading cities for economic, technological, and social opportunity.

New York tops the list of the world’s best "cities of opportunity," with London second and Toronto third, according to a report released this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Partnership for New York City.

The report gauges 27 of the world’s largest and most influential global cities on their ability to provide opportunity to their residents — both long-term residents and new immigrants. This is what I like most about the report: It seeks to gauge the ability of cities not just to grow and develop, but to provide opportunity broadly. It notes the adaptability and resilience of cities and highlights the connection between quality of life, or livability, and long-run economic growth and development.

The 27 cities covered by the report are global powerhouses, accounting for nearly eight percent of global economic output (measured as gross domestic product) while housing just 2.5 percent of its population. The report projects that these 27 cities will add 19 million more residents, 13.7 million more jobs, and $3.3 trillion more in economic output by 2025...


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How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art

How a tough neighborhood is building a stronger future with vivid public art | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it

A thriving inner-city cultural environment contributes to a healthy economic and social environment, which in turn produces significant benefits to the things we value in our natural environment: this is because the most effective antidote to the kind of sprawling outward development that has consumed our landscape, polluted our waterways and escalated harmful emissions across the US over the past half-century is a strengthening of our existing communities.


We particularly need our inner cities to be the kinds of places that will be loved and will endure – that will literally be sustained - over time. The human ecosystem is complex and, while making it healthy also requires a lot of things besides art, a holistic approach to placemaking that includes a key role for culture – especially homegrown culture – is essential.

That is exactly what Philly Painting is doing. To date, it is the most ambitious of many great projects sponsored by Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, the nation's largest initiative of its kind. Since 1984, the program has created over 3,000 murals and works of public art in the city, engaging over 100 communities each year in the process, according to its website. Mural Arts also sponsors free art education programs for youth, especially at-risk teens and, impressively,provides jobs to adult offenders in local prisons and rehabilitation centers, “using the restorative power of art to break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.” If you are as interested in this sort of thing as I am, you’ll enjoy the program’s website, especially its sections on the program’s history and emphasis on community engagement.


Via Lauren Moss
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Rescooped by Proyecto Espacios from green streets
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The Global Cities That Offer the Most Opportunity

The Global Cities That Offer the Most Opportunity | PROYECTO ESPACIOS | Scoop.it
A new report ranks the world's leading cities for economic, technological, and social opportunity.

New York tops the list of the world’s best "cities of opportunity," with London second and Toronto third, according to a report released this week by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Partnership for New York City.

The report gauges 27 of the world’s largest and most influential global cities on their ability to provide opportunity to their residents — both long-term residents and new immigrants. This is what I like most about the report: It seeks to gauge the ability of cities not just to grow and develop, but to provide opportunity broadly. It notes the adaptability and resilience of cities and highlights the connection between quality of life, or livability, and long-run economic growth and development.

The 27 cities covered by the report are global powerhouses, accounting for nearly eight percent of global economic output (measured as gross domestic product) while housing just 2.5 percent of its population. The report projects that these 27 cities will add 19 million more residents, 13.7 million more jobs, and $3.3 trillion more in economic output by 2025...


Via Lauren Moss
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