Posts tagged The Atlantic Cities

Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream at the Museum of Modern Art

Excerpt from an article at The Atlantic Cities: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/03/what-mumbai-and-beijing-can-learn-new-york/1508/

There is the abject lesson of how not to accommodate a society’s population – the exhibit Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream at the Museum of Modern Art, where teams of architects, economists, and artists re-imagined five areas devastated by the 2008 housing crisis. The hotspots in New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, southern California and Oregon are all primarily suburban environments, though not as far-flung as the so-called zombie subdivisions miles from anywhere. 

The ideas in the exhibit prompted much commentary about how realistic they were, from James RussellBlair KaminDiana LindBryan Bell and my colleague Sarah Goodyear. Members of the team that re-imagined a factory site in Cicero, Illinois, Jeanne Gang and Greg Lindsay, penned a New York Times op-ed calling for a fresh design and policy approach to housing for the 21st century. Curator Barry Bergdoll said the proposals were meant to be “provocations.”

Where the Jobs Will Be in 2020

Below then is the BLS’s list of the top 10 U.S. metro areas (out of the top 100 largest metros) for projected job growth:

1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
2. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD
3. Colorado Springs, CO
4. New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
5. El Paso, TX
6. Springfield, MA
7. Baton Rouge, LA
8. Tacoma, WA
9. Baltimore-Towson, MD
10. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

And the bottom ten metros (the first metro listed is projected to have the slowest growth):

1. Greensboro-High Point, NC
2. Gary, IN
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
4. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI
5. Columbia, SC
6. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI
7. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
8. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
9. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
10. Salt Lake City, UT

Read full article.

Why the Places We Live Make Us Happy

I am fascinated by the relationship between our cities and our mental and emotional well-being. The relationship of urban form to physical health is finally getting some of the attention it deserves, but how the shape of our communities and neighborhoods affects mental health and the much more elusive concept of happiness remains under-explored.

New research, however, provides some intriguing clues. In particular, a fascinating study authored by a team from West Virginia University and the University of South Carolina Upstate, and published last year in Urban Affairs Review, examined detailed polling data on happiness and city characteristics from ten international cities.

Read more!

The Surprising Geography of Persistent Unemployment

A bad economy hurts sustainability, in part because sustainability requires new approaches that must be funded, frequently with money from investors willing to take chances, or from local governments whose revenues are tied to declining property values or spending. 

I suppose a saving grace may be in the case of real estate development. This persistent economic slump has hurt sprawl worse than it has hurt smart growth: the market for close-in living is clearly stronger than the market for living on the fringe, and that pattern holds for commercial development as well. Changing demographics will likely ensure that the trend toward a preference for more urban environments remains even if we have a full economic recovery.

But, in any case, the economic slump is not distributed evenly across the country.  And, in some places, it’s a lot more than just a slump. Take a look at this map:

Courtesy: Louis Ferlenger, Alternet

Read the rest at The Atlantic Cities

The 8 to 80 Problem: Designing Cities for Young and Old

Cities for Old and Young

“We have to stop building cities as if everyone is 30 years-old and athletic”

When he worked as the parks commissioner in Bogotá, Gil Penalosa helped trigger a quality of urban life revolution of sorts by promoting car-free Sundays – “ciclovias” — on hundreds of kilometers of the streets around the Colombian capital. As this video shows, over 1.3 million residents each week would take to their bikes or participate in festivals and activities throughout Bogotá. In so doing, they boosted both their enjoyment of the city and their own fitness levels, thus creating a lively, low-emission sense of community for people from all walks of life, so to speak. 

In his current gig as the executive director of Toronto-based 8-80 Cities, Penalosa travels the world with a trenchant question that arose out of those experiences: how do we create cities in which both 8-year-olds and 80-year-olds can move about safely and enjoyably? “We have to stop building cities as if everyone is 30 years-old and athletic,” he says.