Monday News Roundup

ARC - International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition
Competition that blends transportation and bio-cultural networks with a much needed architecture.

Take this quiz: are you addicted to oil? (Simple Steps)
Like other addictions, our addiction to oil has made us heedless of the damage it causes ourselves and the world around us. Take our quiz and find out if you're ready for change.

Vancouver: family friendly city (Vancouver Sun)
Take a bow, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener and Guelph, Ont.: you're the most family-friendly cities in the country, according to one new ranking.

Portland mayor wants 20-minute neighborhoods (Grist)
Newish Portland Mayor Sam Adams wants to build more "20-minute neighborhoods" in his fair city.

Local power – tapping distributed energy in 21st century cities (Grist)
Residents of Hammarby Sjöstad, a district on the south side of Stockholm, Sweden, don't let their waste go to waste. Every building in the district boasts an array of pneumatic tubes, like larger versions of the ones that whooshed checks from cars to bank tellers back in the day. One tube carries combustible waste to a plant where it is burned to make heat and electricity. Another zips food waste and other biomatter away to be composted and made into fertilizer. Yet another takes recyclables to a sorting facility.

Who says what's livable (American City)
Per Infrastructurist, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that livability means “being able to take your kids to school, go to work, see a doctor, drop by the grocery or post office, go out to dinner and a movie, and play with your kids in a park, all without having to get in your car.”  But what, precisely, makes them “livable?”

Upcoming Lecture:
July 29th Jarrett Walker (Human Transit), 5:30 - 7pm at Space at the Steps, sponsored by Great City

Seattle wants urban farms, more chickens (Seattle PI)
The city of Seattle wants to make city agriculture easier and more productive by allowing taller greenhouses, more chickens per household, and the existence of large commercial food farms near neighborhood homes. 

Vancouver’s backyard chicken revolution (Vancouver Sun)
Hundreds of clandestine urban egg farmers and thousands of illegal chickens can rest easy. Vancouver city council passed a bylaw amendment Tuesday to make it completely legal to keep laying hens in backyards. 

London Underground goes greener (Guardian)
Liverpool Street, Victoria and Bank among 10 tube stations to cut carbon emissions through energy efficiency measures

Seeing past the BP spill: Fixing our systems instead (World Changing)
Yet, while the BP Spill is the biggest single oil spill we here in America have experienced, in terms of overall impact, it's just a drop in our pollution bucket. Thousands of major spills happen around the world each year. Even in terms of oil spilled in North America, this disaster is small compared to business as usual: more than 90% of all the oil spilled in North America comes from oil leaked from cars (or poured down drains) finding its way to the sea

Neighborhood amenities influence risk for child obesity (KUOW)
A few years ago a Seattle study came out that used zip codes as a way to predict obesity. Neighborhoods with higher property values had slimmer residents. People living in zip codes with lower property values were more likely to be overweight or obese. A new study expands on that research. Scientists at Seattle Children's Research Institute have more evidence that communities, including physical environment, contribute to obesity.

Thinking about the economics of sustainable communities (Kaid at NRDC)
Last week, I spoke to the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects in Miami Beach, as part of a session on neighborhood density.  We had a sizable, knowledgeable and attentive audience, and I was struck by the fact that most of the comments and questions after our session were about what we need to do to craft sustainable urban economies, not the facts and figures we had presented regarding the market for walkable neighborhoods, how to design for environmental sustainability, and the dividends that urban densities can bring to their communities.