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Jul 19, 2010

Streets ahead: A revolution in urban planning (The Independent)
Cities of the future won’t be filled with androids but with ‘silver citizens’. And that means a revolution in urban planning

Coal Protest: Moms Begin Ascent of Mt. Rainier! (Earth Justice)
Four Washington moms have begun their attempt to summit Mount Rainier this weekend to deliver a strong message to their governor about coal.

Bouncing Back from the Disaster in the Gulf  (Huffington Post)
The Gulf oil spill is yet another grim reminder that our society’s reliance on highly complex and centralized energy systems renders us highly vulnerable. In fact, there seems to be a correlation: the more complex and centralized a system, the more vulnerable it becomes.

Los Angeles Dreams of a New Downtown River Park (Inhabitat)
A 100 year-old rail depot resides next to downtown Los Angeles, and next to the rail yard is the famous LA viaduct, a ribbon of concrete and steel cutting thought the heart of the city. The city recently funded a study to re-envision this 20th century monolithic development as a 21st century park complete with a green belt, a transportation corridor, and a recreation area lined with mixed-use developments.

Sound Walls Made From Grass (Planetizen)
The Ohio Department of Transportation is experimenting with “green noise walls” instead of the standard eyesore, using bags of soil sprouting greenery as an alternative to concrete.

Ridership down in America? look deeper (Human Transit)
London’s Bicycle Superhighway Opens Today! (Inhabitat)
As a way to encourage bike commuting and improve safety for bicyclists on the road, London is opening a series of bike superhighways along important commuter routes.

Rescued From Blight, Falling Back Into Decay (NYTimes)
At 1694 Davidson Avenue, a building in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx that the city once owned, tenants say conditions have deteriorated.

Restoring New York Streets to Their Bumpier Pasts (NYTimes)
Masons installing cobblestones along Laight Street in the TriBeCa area of Manhattan, where many restorations are under way.

8-Bit Capitol Hill (Capitol Hill Seattle)
Here’s a map of the Hill — and all of Seattle — rendered in old school, 8-bit computer graphic style.

The top 10 reasons building a smaller house is better (Washington Post)

Walking — Not Just for Cities Anymore (Brookings)
I see compelling evidence that the collapse of fringe drivable suburban markets was the catalyst for the Great Recession, and the lack of walkable urban development due to inadequate infrastructure and zoning is a major reason for the recovery’s sluggishness. Joel feels the demand for walkable urban development is a fraction of the future growth in households.

Slow City (BLDGBLOG)
There’s an interesting article in the New York Times today about the design and implementation of “aging-improvement districts”—that is, “parts of the city that will become safer and more accessible for older residents.”

A Fast-Paced City Tries to Be a Gentler Place to Grow Old (NYTimes)
To make it safer for older people, the city added four seconds to the time pedestrians are given to cross intersections like Broadway and 72nd Street.