US Census Data Statistics shows a distinct correlation between obesity rates and the percentage of the population living below the poverty line. Seven of the top ten states on the obesity list also include the highest concentration of poverty. Highly processed foods are cheap, and many families sacrifice their dietary needs in order to purchase other necessary goods. Wholesome, nutrient-rich foods are costly and difficult to come by in many areas of the county. Why should access to adequate and healthy diets be reserved for the affluent population? The county of Tahema, California is taking leaps and bounds to change this trend and lessen the widening nutrition gap between income brackets.
Fostering intergenerational relationships between citizens should never be as difficult as nuclear fission. Encouraging conversation between all citizens is as easy as simple mathematics; take groups of individuals able to receive and give support, create a safe living environment, and voila! A livable community. The Bridge Meadows complex in Portland, Oregon has done just that.
It's encouraging when the topics of livability and sustainability begin to crop up in governmental policy and programmatic goals. After all, these concepts mean different things to different people and, as such, can be challenging goals to quantify and budget. It's even more encouraging when such an effort goes global. Recently, in a unique effort to promote more sustainable and livable communities, the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) signed a joint Declaration of Intent with Germany's Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (BMVBS). The ultimate goal is to develop a shared framework for improving urban sustainability and livability; to this end, the two entities would essentially exchange sustainability expert information, research, and consultants. In addition, the effort hopes to host bilateral conferences and meetings while sponsoring joint research studies.
Increasingly in recent years, we’ve seen examples of social media having a profound impact on important moments in history. For example, Facebook was instrumental in igniting Egypt’s uprising in Tahrir Square. During U.S. President Barack Obama’s announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden, Twitter reached a record of more than 4,000 tweets per second sharing the news. Each day we hear about the latest and greatest tool in social media and the wave of social media entrepreneurship is understandable given its power to quickly and affordably reach target audiences. But what are the potential unforeseen impacts for community and livability?
The Transition Movement is a growing international network of “transition” towns, cities, islands and hamlets working to wean themselves from a dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise, as well as other finite resources. It’s rhetoric we’ve grown accustomed to hearing—but this effort stands out. In the process of successfully addressing the oil question, this grassroots model for change begins with its core constituents: the residents of a community.
At a time when modern cities across the globe are investing in healthy transit alternatives like cycling, the traditional rickshaw, a dominant form of transportation in Bangladesh, is now being banned in Dhaka for being "slow" and "inhuman." We agree, this ban is "wrong-minded modernization." Especially as we see a rise in popularity of the pedicab, or bike taxi, in cities like London, San Francisco, and Amsterdam.
A new Florida HOA proposal is threatening to ban children from playing outside - in their own neighborhood. This got us thinking about the importance of shared space and its impact on the health of kids and communities. There are lots of design solutions that could be implemented to benefit the neighborhood as a whole (woonerfs, anyone?) It comes down to a question, not of behavior mandates, but a change in perception.
Cities and regions across the world are launching ambitious transportation plans all in the name of sustainability. The EU's new proposal, Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area, aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transit and transport sectors by 2050. The plan is ambitious but not flashy— it promises a shining new transportation network focused equally on innovative technologies and the classic continental experience.
Every community wants to be considered the “most livable,” a title that can attract new business and investments, boost local economies and real estate markets, and foster community involvement and pride. Now, everyone from the Economist to seems to be getting in on the game of ranking cities for livability. The Philips Livable Cities Award is about to announce the winner of its new contest supporting new ideas in livability. Cities of all kinds have been described as the most livable—But what do residents think? And what does "livable" truly mean?
The concept of designing cities that meet the social, emotional, intellectual and physical needs of residents of all ages is one that IMCL has been advocating for years. Several new initiatives are underway to address the needs of some of a city's most vulnerable residents— children. These initiatives present the perfect opportunity to talk about how the smallest planning and design changes can have some of the most profound impacts. The also demonstrate how doing what's best for children just might help cities reach their livability goals.
Syndicate content