From the President down to the Secretary of Transportation, administration officials have spent the year vocally supporting a focus on livability from the federal government — doing what’s in their power to encourage smarter, people-centric planning to create more great places to live where residents have numerous options for getting around and a high quality of life. Perhaps unsurprisingly in this polarized white-hot political era, there’s been a backlash in Congress from some rural legislators. But isn’t livability really a quintessential small-town value? Part two of a personal reflection on small city livability.
Open Space & Farmland
The administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities testifies before Congress, representing Housing, Transportation, and the Environment. Photo from DOT. This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two here. From the President down to the Secretary of Transportation, administration officials have spent the year vocally supporting a focus on livability from the federal government … Continued
Ten years ago, the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was dead land. Today, after many years of clever ideas, careful planning, and hard work, people are fishing in the Menomonee River again — which runs right through the heart of Milwaukee. Commuters and recreational bicyclists are using the new bike paths. There’s a soccer field and even a canoe launch. The land hasn’t merely been cleaned of environmental hazards. It’s been transformed into a place where people want to spend their leisure time.
The public health field often looks at changing individual behavior to get better outcomes – we offer driver’s education to prevent accidents, or conduct public service announcements about the importance of exercise to lower obesity levels. New research on violent crime helps illustrate the fact that the choices people make are influenced by the places they live, and that what we choose to do with the physical space in our communities can play a critical role in our efforts to help keep people safer and healthier.
While many of us may futilely try to verbally explain abstractions like ‘auto-dependency,’ ‘resource depletion’ or ‘density,’ aerial photographer MacLean heeds the ancient wisdom about the power of a picture. Transcending usual limits of geography and scale, he rises above and captures in rich detail those scenes we only catch brief unsatisfying glimpses of during … Continued
The results of November’s Presidential election may have represented a change of direction for our country, but at least one trend at the ballot box remained unchanged from the past few elections: Taxpayers across the country again approved a bevy of ballot measures to conserve land, protect farmland, promote smart growth; and expand public transportation, … Continued
When a timber company proposed a new development on a lake in central Maine that would clear 14,000 acres of forest to build roughly 2,300 homes, forward-looking leaders in Maine questioned the wisdom of a mega-project on pristine wilderness so far from existing infrastructure. Considering the fact that satisfying the growing demand for homes in … Continued
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report by Barbara McCann about the relationship between the built environment and healthy food access. The report is based on research and interviews with some of the top names in the field, and outlines how transportation infrastructure and land use policy have limited access to healthy food. The … Continued