Walk Score – What is yours?

No two cities are alike.  Neither are all the neighborhoods within each city.  Going further, depending on your particular address within a neighborhood, your walkability and ease of access to public transportation, the grocery store, bank and favorite coffee shop determine your quality of life or lack thereof.

Walk Score is an impressive algorithm that generates a score of walkability by address.  If you live in Canada, Australia or the United States, all you have to do is plug in your location.  Find out if you live in a Walkers Paradise now.

Visit Walk Score

Slowing Down for Unexpected Beauty

Living in cities, we find ourselves often in a rush, on the go, lots to do, and with little time to do it all.

However there are the moments, when by some fortunate chance, we do stop…or at least slow down, we discover beauty is in front of us.  It makes you smile; it makes you feel lucky.

Coming across the photography of Ben Fractenberg – who for over a year, found beauty in worn down, old posters within the New York City subway system –  is a visual treat.  Share these photographs.  Spread the fortune.

Roam your city.

 

Read in his own words, his experience and observations on this photographic find in Narritive.ly

 

Photography Credit: Ben Fractenberg

Like Bees to Honey, Jobs follow Workers to Cities

The urban planning think tank, City Observatory recently reported that city centers have seen a surge in employment growth between 2007 through 2011, just before, during and after the 2008 economic meltdown. These new jobs demonstrate that dense urban spaces are reflective of a continual movement towards both living and working in cities.

In the past, reverse commutes were on the rise. This forced workers to leave urban life daily, for work opportunities outside the city. Now the opposite is true. Companies have found their way to cities, allowing for a more balanced work/life schedule for employees and employers.

Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times, reports on this urban renewal, which poses many interesting questions. If now that American cities are “reshaping their urban core as places people want to live…whether these benefits will apply to everyone – or just to high earners.”

What do you think?  Share your thoughts/observations below.

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Read NY Times article 

Read City Observatory Report on Urban Renewal 

 

Photo Credit: Unpslash.com

Graph Credit: City Observatory.org

The Street Architecture Prize

Want to directly effect life in the city?  Take a look at this competition, the Street Architecture Prize.  It will be awarded to an interdisciplinary team with the most innovative project for a temporary outdoor structure to be built as part of Ideas City.

More info found here

What does a democratic street look like?

Julia D Day of Gehl Architects evaluates urban design from a point of view that challenges and questions the democracy seen and felt at street level.

Read her article The Street and the Search for Democracy

Photo Credit of Malmo, Sweden: Gehl Architects

Public Transportation Fail – Detroiter walks 21 miles a day for work

Imagine walking almost the equivalent of a marathon, each day, back and forth to work.  James Robertson, 56 year old, does just that while living in Detroit.  After problems with his car, he had to resort to a short bus ride plus a long walk to maintain his employment with a factory outside of town.

Share your tough or easy commute story.  We want to know how your city serves you daily, please feel free to comment below.

B9315852091Z.1_20150131173627_000_GHB9QTH3A.1-0                                                     Photo and image courtesy of Detroit Free Press

Read the Detroit Free Press’s article written by Bill Laitner.  Discover how a failure in public transportation affects so many, on a daily basis with limited bus routes and no other options for those who cannot afford a car.

New York, Cleveland, Minneapolis…Restaurant Week Continues

Restaurant Week continues in 3 exciting cities:

New York February 16 – March 6, 2015

Cleveland February 20 – March 1, 2015

Minneapolis February 22 – 27, 2015

Support your local businesses and enjoy great meals all, at discount prices.  Win/win/win!

Community Garden Q & A

Featuring Christine Evers/San Francisco Bay Area

How long have you been a member of your community garden?
-I’ve had a plot in the Brisbane community garden for about 15 years.

What are the best months for gardening and the most difficult?
-The garden produces most abundantly in the spring and summer, but in the SF Bay area we can grow vegetables year-round.

What do you plant in high season and in low season?
-In the spring, I usually plant lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, squash, string beans. This year I also grew miniature corn, very tasty. I like to grow crops that either taste better than those I find for sale or (like fresh baby corn) are not easily available. In the fall, I plant a variety of greens. This winter I planted several types of kale, Asian broccoli, and collards. These typically continue producing throughout the winter. I also have a rhubarb plant, which is dormant in the winter, but produces every spring. It is surprising how much you can grow in a small plot.

Chris Ever's Garden Produce Photo                                 Photo Credit: Christine Evers

What do you enjoy the most about the experience and what is the greatest challenge?
-I enjoy watching my plants grow, eating the crops I have grown, and sharing them with others who don’t garden. I also enjoy the physicality of gardening—the mild exercise, feeling the warmth of the sun, and smelling the earth. The garden also provides fellowship. It is a great way to meet people who live in town, but are not close neighbors.

Dealing with insects, snails, and gophers can be a frustration. It can also be a challenge to take care of my plot when I’m working a lot. However, that is a good challenge; I need the incentive to put down the computer and get outdoors.

How has it effected your relationship to your community and neighbors?
-As I said above, the [community] garden provides a place for people who live in different parts of town to come together. It certainly fosters a sense of community and I’m glad the city provides this service.

Excited by your community garden?  Share your story with Emerging.City to be featured in an upcoming column.  Reach out at query@emerging.city

 

Feature Photo Credit: Aminah Ricks

Elevating City Life