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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
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Why the Places We Live Make Us Happy

Why the Places We Live Make Us Happy | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The strange factors that impact whether we're content where we live.

In an article titled "Understanding the Pursuit of Happiness in Ten Major Cities," the authors concluded that good urbanism contributes positively to happiness:

We find that the design and conditions of cities are associated with the happiness of residents in 10 urban areas. Cities that provide easy access to convenient public transportation and to cultural and leisure amenities promote happiness. Cities that are affordable and serve as good places to raise children also have happier residents. We suggest that such places foster the types of social connections that can improve happiness and ultimately enhance the attractiveness of living in the city.


Via Lauren Moss
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Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities...

Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities... | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Environmental sustainability is now well recognized, though social sustainability – finding ways to make places work for people, that are inclusive and cohesive, and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances – is a new challenge.

There is strong evidence about the relationship between the quality of our local social relationships – the people we pass time with on the street, whether we can call on neighbors for help when we are ill – and how happy we are with where we live. The work that is needed to support this is the small scale, efforts of community development workers and local neighbourhood groups. However, this work is vulnerable to cuts in public spending, though corner cutting can have a stark long-term negative impact; the financial and social costs of neighbourhood failure are high and include raised levels of crime, unemployment and mental health problems...


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The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities

The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Residents and planners around the country are dreaming up innovative ways to create eco-friendly, self-reliant communities. But turning ideas into reality is a tall order.

While cities have been leaders in the effort to combat climate change, much of the action within cities occurs at the neighborhood level. "The neighborhood is a geography, a scale that resonates with people," says Rob Bennett, executive director of the nonprofit Portland Sustainability Institute. "Neighborhoods have always been a powerful and important part of how we view city-building, and how we view ourselves as citizens."


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Turning Power Plants Into Green Neighborhood Development

Turning Power Plants Into Green Neighborhood Development | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Industry analysts predict that environmental and economic factors will lead to the retirement of dozens of aging coal-fired power plants in the coming decade. Many of these occupy important locations in cities, often with valuable access to waterfronts. According to a new report, these sites present tremendous opportunities for new civic and private uses such as riverfront housing, shops, and offices -- as well as museums, parks, and other community amenities.


Via Lauren Moss
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