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Lunch hour in front of Seoul’s historic old city hall (now Seoul Library)
» Driven Apart

The essential economic and social purpose of cities is bringing people together, taking advantage of opportunities for interaction and agglomeration economies. Cities perform this function in two principal ways, by providing accessibility (putting people close to one another and to common destinations), and through mobility, the ability to move easily from one point to another.

National discussions of how to make cities work better have tended to focus on making it easier for people to move, which has had the paradoxical effect of leading cities to be less dense. And the measures we use to describe how well city transportation systems work have reflected this bias toward mobility. In that sense, the emphasis on mobility measures has driven us apart. Putting more emphasis on accessibility can bring us closer together.”

from Driven Apart: How sprawl is lengthening our commutes and why misleading mobility measures are making things worse — Executive summary. 09.2010 report, CEOs for Cities.

» How the City Affects Your Psyche: Best #Cityreads of the Week

Can Free College Save American Cities? 

"Kalamazoo’s spirits—much like its population—had been in precipitous decline. From 1970 to 2007, the city’s population shrank 20 percent to just over 70,000. The sad, slow leak of manufacturing jobs had caused a sad, slow leak of the middle class. Poverty was nearly twice the national average. Within some pockets of city, the problems were startling: in Northside, a predominantly black neighborhood, the poverty rate was 37 percent—worse than even basket-case Detroit, two hours to the east …

The idea was one part radical social engineering: How better to change the life trajectory of the city’s struggling urban poor than to send them to college? As economists have long known, the biggest single predictor of financial success in modern America is a college degree… Increasingly, those with no higher education are the ones left behind. But the Kalamazoo Promise wasn’t just a big idea about the new economics of education; the hope wasn’t just to send more kids to college – but to turn around an entire town.”

read more: Politico Magazine, 04.2014.

SCARP (The School of Community and Regional Planning) student symposium @the university of british columbia, in vancouver, BC, friday 07.feb. 2014.
just signed up to go to this, along with a few of my PSU MURP classmates. aren’t these acronyms great? like at PSU we call each other “MURPs”, like “I’m a second-year MURP.” so I bet at UBC they say, “Are you a SCARP?”
» Streetsblog Seeks Freelance Reporters in the East Bay

Streetsblog SF is looking for experienced freelance journalists in the East Bay who are knowledgeable and passionate about livable streets and sustainable transportation issues — from public space expansions like the botched Latham Square project, to open streets events like Oaklavia and Sunday Streets Berkeley, to efforts to build safer bike lanes and improve service on BART and AC Transit.

East Bay reporters would be expected to cover public hearings and press conferences, and seek interviews with advocates and policymakers.

Streetsblog freelancers are paid per article. If you or someone you know fits the bill, send resumes and writing samples to abialick@streetsblog.org.

aaah I would! if i were still in the Bay! and if reblogging news on tumblr counts as journalism experience! :D

ahah but it would be good to improve my writing. 

» Scientific Proof That Cars and Cities Just Don't Mix

A fascinating new study has revealed what many Planetizen readers already know: cities aren’t meant to be experienced from behind the wheel of a car. Researchers at the University of Surrey found that drivers perceive exactly the same things more negatively than those who walk, bike, or take transit, confirming the anecdotal experience of literally every person that’s ever tried to find parking in an urban downtown.

Pacific Standard Magazine has a great write-up describing the results of the study, in which participants were asked to judge the traits of people they saw from a car, transit, bicyclist, or pedestrian perspective:

"The researchers found that participants who saw the video from the perspective of a car rated the actors higher on negative characteristics (threatening, unpleasant) than participants in the other three conditions. Participants who saw the video from the perspective of the pedestrian rated the actors higher on positive characteristics (considerate, well-educated) than those in the car condition."

These findings have a few interesting implications…

These studies, taken together, indicate that cities working to emphasize walkable, transit-oriented communities are laying a strong foundation for continued growth. Improvements that focus on how people interact with cities at a human level, rather than the driving experience, are likely to be the changes that produce the most positive experiences for visitors and new residents. And the more alternatives residents and visitors have for getting around without a car, the fewer negative impressions they’re likely to form of the city.

planetizen: 30.12.13.
Why Your Big Move to the Big City May Be Your Last. psmag, 19.12.13.
Hoody, goody or buddy? How travel mode affects social perceptions in urban neighbourhoods. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour Volume 21, November 2013, Pages 219–230

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