Twin Cities Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

City Smarts

Urban Planning Goes Green

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Early American developers of Washington, D.C., and Savannah, Georgia, strived to recreate the plans of European cities that offered plenty of public squares and parks. Subsequent high-rise apartments in most other U.S. cities that followed lacked certain elements of neighborhood cohesion, as documented in Zane Miller’s book The Urbanization of Modern America. In Boston, Baltimore, New York City and elsewhere, waterfront revitalizations launched in the 1980s helped improve conditions, making use of nature-oriented ideas that are still trending upward.

Urban Hub describes how regions like Silicon Valley, in California, and Boston’s Route 128 corridor continue to enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. The concept promotes pedestrianization programs and incentives that increase bike-friendliness, multimodal public transportation such as people-mover sidewalks and car sharing, plus off-hour, no-driving and park-and-ride policies. Join the social media conversation at Urban-Hub.com.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released updated standards on how state agencies should measure mass transit, biking and walking volumes (EverybodyWalk.org). States will assess impacts on carbon emissions by tracking walkers, bikers and transit users instead of just comparing rush-hour travel times to free-flowing traffic conditions, which favors highway spending alone.

The Big Jump Project at PeopleForBikes.org rates areas for bike friendliness and taps ideas aimed to increase biking networks. To date, they cover Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Fort Collins, Colorado; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans; New York City; Providence, Rhode Island; Portland, Oregon; and Tucson.

The nonprofit Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, encompassing 400 businesses and organizations, is pioneering a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) retrofit program. The city water department is collaborating on Green City Clean Water’s plan to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency clean water regulations and foster rain gardens, green roofs and porous pavements.

“We help engineer nature back into cities,” says Anna Shipp, interim executive director and GSI manager. “Socially responsible, replicable and environmentally conscious initiatives and policies catalyze local economies and benefit water, air, aesthetics and people’s emotions.”


This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Letter from the Publisher

We wait all winter to enjoy the longer, warmer days of summer, only to have them disappear far too soon. I think back to when I was a child and summer seemed to go on forever. We were so excited to go back to school, meet up with our friends and get back to the busy-ness of the school year.

Exhibitor Space Still Available at Healthy Life Expo

MediaMax Events, St. Louis Park, announces the availability of select exhibitor space for the 31st Healthy Life Expo, being held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on November 17 and 18, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

37th Annual Women and Spirituality Conference in Rochester

The Women and Spirituality Conference, to be held September 22 to 23, will be hosted for the second year in Rochester at the Mayo Civic Center.

The Largest American Tributary to the Great Lakes is On the Mend

Leo Tolstoy opened his epic tale Anna Karenina with this powerful observation: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The same could probably be said about rivers. Happy rivers are healthy, clean, teeming with fish and fowl, abundant with life, responsive to the seasons and beautiful to behold.

Moving Sale at Crystalline Light

Jennifer Salness, owner of Crystalline Light, in St. Paul, will be holding a large moving sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on August 11, to clear out inventory in preparation for moving into her new location this fall.

Add your comment: