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Building a Better City

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For cities and streets, 101 salvations. Librarians are realizing that overdue fines undercut libraries’ missions. Photo illustration by Slate.

Librarians are realizing that overdue fines undercut libraries’ missions.

This Simple Hack Convinces Drivers To Turn Off Their Engines While Idling In Traffic. Before leading people through the heavy metal doors and into the vertical farm Irving Fain has recently opened in a warehouse in Kearny, New Jersey, he asks visitors to take off their jewelry.

This Simple Hack Convinces Drivers To Turn Off Their Engines While Idling In Traffic

He hands them a disposable jumpsuit and a hairnet to put on; bright blue sleeves must be slipped on over shoes. "It’s about protecting the integrity of the environment," Fain says. Is your city as smart as its residents? Quartz, Quartz Creative Services is the in-house arm of Quartz providing insightful stories on behalf of its commercial partners www.qz.com How can cities with 18th-century infrastructure support 21st-century life?

Is your city as smart as its residents?

Infrastructure improvement such as smart lighting and mobility innovations could save cities millions Infrastructure improvement—once considered a dry topic—is having its moment in the limelight. Expected to house 67% of the global population by 2050, cities face particularly steep challenges. Employing public-private partnerships to close funding gaps is a potential solution, one that has been successfully tested in the UK, Australia and Canada. Green infrastructure Green infrastructure is projected to be one valuable method. Intelligent infrastructure One successful case study of this approach can be found in Barcelona. Why Co-Working Spaces Are Popping Up in the Suburbs. Shared work spaces are popping up far away from urban cores.

Why Co-Working Spaces Are Popping Up in the Suburbs

When Anju Kurian works, she fires up her computer at Serendipity Labs, a co-working space in Rye, a Westchester County suburb of New York City. “Work is everywhere,” says Kurian, the co-founder of Vermilion Talent, a business that helps women reenter the workforce after leaving corporate life to raise their children. For many, the word “co-working” still conjures up images of skinny-jeans-clad, cold-press-swilling tech types in a downtown warehouse. But the practice has grown by leaps and bounds in a short period of time. According to a study by the magazine Deskmag, the number of co-working spaces worldwide is expected to increase by 22 percent in 2017. Serendipity Labs is one of several co-working companies found outside of urban cores.

This Is Exactly Why Cities Need To Cover All Of Their Buildings In Plants. The Earth Awaits is a search engine that tells you where in the world you can afford to live, given your budget.

This Is Exactly Why Cities Need To Cover All Of Their Buildings In Plants

The site's creator is a Silicon Valley engineer with a sideline blog about thrifty traveling, a blog which itself grew from a plan to eliminate debt, save every penny, and retire at 40 to travel the world. Readers were particularly interested in the retirement part, and blog posts on the cost of living in various cities proved popular. But blog posts go out of date, so the anonymous authors built a search engine to do the job.

Environment

Housing. Street design. Pedestrians. Mass transit. Bicycling. A Dead Mall Becomes a Downtown for a Sprawling Suburb. Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown.

A Dead Mall Becomes a Downtown for a Sprawling Suburb

How Cities Are Protecting Small Neighborhood Shops. In Jane Jacobs’ idyllic portrait of the city, small, independent shopkeepers held a special place.

How Cities Are Protecting Small Neighborhood Shops

They kept neighborhoods safe, turning eyes on the street and making sidewalks into shared public assets, not just public spaces. They knit communities together, serving as vital nodes for getting the word out. The Rise of Resilience Planning. 06.01.16 | By Julian Spector Facebook Twitter.

The Rise of Resilience Planning

Even Dense Cities With Transit Have High Vehicular Carbon Emissions Due to Commuters, According to a New Report. With cities in the midst of a revival, there's reason to believe they can help Americans be more frequent users of sustainable transportation.

Even Dense Cities With Transit Have High Vehicular Carbon Emissions Due to Commuters, According to a New Report

Dense urban centers with robust public transit—à la New York City—make cars seem almost unnecessary. Commuting to work with a greener alternative—the subway for instance, or the greenest alternative, walking—is often more convenient for those who live and work in a tight downtown. But new evidence shows that CO2 emissions from cars in urban hubs are still on the rise, and curbing them is more complicated than simply planning dense, livable downtowns. A trio of researchers from Boston University has developed a database that is useful for analyzing this very issue. The data set, called DARTE, shows that 80 percent of CO2 emissions growth came from on-road vehicles in urban metros between 1980 and 2012. Ten Urban Experiments That Your City Should Adopt. A sunflower grows in Detroit at the Earthworks Urban Farm.

Ten Urban Experiments That Your City Should Adopt

As the gears of federal government have ground to a halt, a new energy has been rocking the foundations of our urban centers. From Atlanta to Seattle and points in between, cities have begun seizing the initiative, transforming themselves into laboratories for progressive innovation. Cities Rising is The Nation’s chronicle of those urban experiments. How Anchor Institutions like Hospitals and Universities Can Help Cities. Last year, standing across the entrance to the University of Chicago Medical Center in Hyde Park, I eavesdropped on a conversation about how the expansion of the hospital building had eaten up a neighborhood corner store. When a big, well-funded institution sets itself down in a struggling neighborhood, it can disrupt things.

But if these "anchor institutions" really include and engage the communities, they can also turn the neighborhood around. That's the core of a new report by the Center for American Progress. Tactical Urbanism: How It's Done. From unsanctioned crosswalks to city-led "Pavement-to-Plaza" programs, instructor Mike Lydon describes the success of short-term, temporary projects in influencing long-term physical and policy changes in cities across the United States and Canada.

Whether working alongside neighbors and family on a Saturday morning or with your co-workers at the local planning department, interventions require preparation and a framework for action. The course also identifies key resources for learning about specific projects and the larger movement of tactical urbanism. This course was eligible for 1 AICP CM credit (#e.25969) from April 2014 through June 30, 2014. How to fix DC's downtown "playground desert"