Benefits of transit access often don’t accrue to low-income riders but provisions for affordable housing nearby can help, and some agencies are taking action

From Transit Center Feb 06, 2018 Affordable Housing: A Next Frontier for Transit? Putting people near transit (and vice-versa) boosts ridership, and many transit agencies talk about transit-oriented development. But in growing recognition that the benefits of transit access often don’t accrue to low-income riders, two agencies are testing strategies to encourage affordable development near transit. Last year, Metro Los Angeles assumed the role …

Streets are some of the most ubiquitous and valuable public spaces that a city has and cities are showing new ways to use them

From 2007 to 2013, Sadik-Khan was the commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation and today she continues working as a sustainable transportation consultant with Bloomberg Associates. During her six years in New York she showed her city—and the country—what can be accomplished when we put people first in transportation planning. Perhaps most famously, Sadik-Khan closed five blocks to cars on …

Traffic pollution is linked to poor pregnancy outcomes and future ill health. Exposure is causing “something approaching a public health catastrophe”

A series of studies published in the past few months has started to explore the wider impact of pollutants. One, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that the exposure of unborn children to air pollution in cities is causing “something approaching a public health catastrophe”. Pollution in the womb is now linked to low birth weight, disruption of the baby’s …

Public Land Value Capture: A new model for housing development in Scotland

February 12, 2018  By Michael Lewis P2P Blog Brilliant and practical way of cutting the developers out of lining their pockets once public planning permission is granted. This policy captures what is now unearned income in the hands of private developers for a key public good – to radically increase the affordability of housing. Take a look. Not too complicated. Grounded in Commons sense. The …

Valve-turner, Climate ‘Hero’ Gets Three-Year Prison Sentence for Shutting Down Tar Sands Pipeline

Common Dreams By Jessica Corbett 6 Feb 2018 Michael Foster, the valve turner who temporarily halted the flow of tar sands oil in TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in October 2016, called for future actions to address the global climate crisis before he headed to prison, where he is expected to serve at least a year of his three-year sentence. “It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting in jail. …

5 Maps Show How Important Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Are to the Environment

By Katie Reytar and Peter Veit – December 20, 2017  Indigenous groups and local communities occupy about half the world’s land, but hold legal rights to only a fraction of it. Photo by Michele Solmi/Flickr Indigenous Peoples and local communities are some of the best environmental stewards. Their livelihoods and cultures depend on forests, clean water and other natural resources, so they have strong incentives …

US land use

The U.S. land area totals just under 2.3 billion acres. Agricultural land use has become less common over time, declining from 63 percent in 1949 to 52 percent in 2012 (the latest data available). Gradual declines have occurred in cropland, while grazed forestland has decreased more rapidly. In 2012, 392 million acres of agricultural land were in cropland (18 percent …

Connecting With Nature Improves Minds and Moods

By Marlene Cimons Nexus Media Nov. 22, 2017 11:02AM EST  Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable …

Reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon is using a new technique for planting trees that results in more, stronger plants–and hopes to cover 70,000 acres in new forests

Developed in Brazil only a few years ago, the new planting technique is called muvuca. “In Portuguese, it means a lot of people in a very small place,” says Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International’s vice president of the Brazil program and the lead on the ground.  The muvuca strategy demands that seeds from more than 200 native forest species are spread over every square meter of burnt and …