Just as every neighborhood should have a reliable fire station, every neighborhood should have a good public school.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, 2010)
A comparison between a walkable neighborhood school and an unwalkable sprawling campus (Lisc Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, 2011)
There has been a considerable amount of effort in recent years to build (or re-build) walkable neighborhoods. With professional organization like the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the American Planning Association (APA), to the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy (LI) — all chiming in with their own advocacy efforts. Continue reading
It is no secret that in this country many men, women, and children are going to bed hungry on a regular basis. According to a 2012 USDA study, as many as 17.6 million households (14.5%) could be considered food insecure. Going hand in hand with the issue of hunger, many individuals face severe nutritional deficits due to poor dietary consumption. Continue reading
Extensive accessed 10/12/2013 wikipedia.org
Green roofs are a system in which buildings both large and small grow plants on their roofs. They can be edible plants, natural plants, even large bushes and trees to create a “floating park”. There are two main types of vegetative roofs; extensive green roofs which have shallow soil for smaller plants and intensive vegetative roofs which support larger plants. The plant choice depends on a few variables, environment, building structure and design, and what the inhabitants or builders want.
The involvement of private citizens in their community and government is an essential facet of a democratic state, a privilege we as Americans are lucky to enjoy. It is crucial to have an active and engaged citizenry in order to insure the vitality and future health of our democracy. The voice of the people serves to guide the programs implemented by decision makers, and civic engagement is the way to make that voice heard. Continue reading
Alexanders – iconic haberdashery in downtown Boise
Last night as I was sitting in class listening to fellow students discussing the merits of planning (or not) it struck me just how much things change. Now before you laugh at what would seem to be a very obvious thought and wondering why I was daydreaming and not listening to the enlightened discourse around the table, let me explain myself. All the discussion that was taking place centered around the idea of community planning which got me thinking about the Boise I remember as a child. I was born and raised in Boise as a child of the 50’s and have some very distinct memories of that time. Continue reading
Walkability has become the new planning buzz word and has been touted as the future of cities. Jeff Speck is a city planner, a firm believer in walkable cities and writer on the subject in his book, “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.” Continue reading
America’s metropolitan bellies are swelling from the inside out. The nation’s inner cities have higher rates of obesity and inactivity than their suburban neighbors. As America continues to fight obesity it is important to understand the built environment’s role in community health. Below I will show the ways past development failed these areas and how urban planning tactics like walkability and urban renewal can encourage healthy lifestyles. Continue reading