How can cities consider mental health in green space planning?

By Jason Plautz@Jason_Plautz in Smart Cities Dive, July 25, 2019 A new paper from an international team of researchers says that cities should consider mental health benefits as they plan nature spaces in cities. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, offers a framework for cities to incorporate and measure mental health benefits from parks, tree plantings and other green spaces.  “In …

Car Crashes Aren’t Always Avoidable

The Atlantic, Car Crashes Aren’t Always Avoidable, July 2019 In a country where the laws compel the use of cars, Americans are condemned to lose friends and relatives to traffic violence. My childhood neighbor was a varsity student-athlete, the president of the junior class, and the most popular girl in school. One day in September 1995, a car crash took …

3 steps to improving public participation

From Top-Down to Bottom-Up: Three Steps to Improving Public Participation in the 2030 Agenda As officials gather this week for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, improving public participation is high on the agenda. When done right, public participation is a vital means to successful policy. This article sets out three principles that should inform the discussion at the …

L.A.’s system of greater representation and civic participation, Neighborhood Council System and Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment

Ryan Conway|May 15, 2019 Shareable In the mid-1990s, Los Angeles faced some serious challenges: residents of the San Fernando Valley, the Harbor, and Hollywood had organized movements threatening to secede from the city. As reported by The Economist, The New York Times, The Atlantic and The City Journal, organizers believed both that they received disproportionately fewer and lower-quality services from the city, and that the …

Once every 12 minutes. 47,173 Americans killed themselves in 2017, nearly 7x greater than the number of American soldiers killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars between 2001 and 2018.

Suicides now claim two-and-a-half times as many lives in this country as do homicides, even though the murder rate gets so much more attention. According to a 2018 Centers for Disease Control study, between 1999 and 2016, the suicide rate increased in every state in the union except Nevada, which already had a remarkably high rate.  In 30 states, it jumped by …

About half of the world’s GHG emissions are attributable to the wealthiest 10% of the global population, and the poorest 50% of the global population is only responsible for 10% of the emissions

about half of the world’s GHG emissions are attributable to the wealthiest 10% of the global population, and the poorest 50% of the global population is only responsible for 10% of the emissions. So the coupling between wealth, material consumption, and our notion of what constitutes a high quality of life (high levels of consumption) may not be compatible with …

Why can’t we have woonerven in North America?

Lloyd Alter  May 28, 2019 Screen capture Streetfilms: Life on a Dutch Woonerf Streetfilms shows how a road can in fact be many things, not just a place for cars. When our kids were small, we used to close off the street every June at the end of school for a street party. It was wonderful, we got to know everyone on …

Best Complete Streets Policies

The National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC) previously identified 10 elements of a comprehensive Complete Streets policy to help communities develop and implement policies and practices that ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments. But since it first began over a decade ago, …