After incarceration, Black men and women have a difficult time re-integrating into society without financial and educational resources. A former Black Panther activist has created the non-profit Oakland &the World Enterprises to offer an urban farm as a prisoner re-entry program and community center. The Oakland project supports self-sufficiency, self-determination, and empowerment for Black people.Read More
Pop-ups, temporary constructions intended to enliven public places, can often be used as temporary structures and events as marketing tools, and as camouflage for their larger and less charming permanent developments. But young architects in London, their talent and energy outrunning their employment opportunities, initiate, design and build pop-ups as glimpses of what a better city – more open, more social, more pleasurable, more surprising – might beRead More
A Dallas urban neighborhood was dilapidated with abandoned storefronts and offered no vitality for pedestrians. A group of artists and community members created Build a Better Block, in which local artisans and small businesses took over a vacant block and transformed it for a limited time to encourage the ingredients for more permanent urban renewal.Read More
The Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas suffered from recession-closed businesses and crime. Then community members used placemaking, in which people shaped their own environment to improve the quality of life, and the concept of Build a Better Block, which was a pop-up event showcasing art, food, music, and local faire. The idea gives citizens a fresh look at the possibilities through which to transform the space in which they live, and it has attracted attention across the country and around the world.Read More
Although residents turn up their air conditioners, Louisville heat is increasing the city’s death rate by 39 people every year. The city mayor launched a tree commission for planting more trees and since 2011 has planted over 12,000 trees. The canopies from the tree offer cooling shade and bring down the temperature of the city as a whole. The response also includes the installation of green roofs and in-depth research on urban heat islands.Read More
Twenty-first century cities face the factors of climate change with intensity as urban heating threatens human and the earth’s health. The University of Notre Dame has conducted research on green and cool roofing projects in the city of Chicago. They have found that green and cool roofs help mitigate the heat in cities; however, these roofs should be installed with other strategies like ponds and trees.Read More
A positive transformation in a Mississippi prison has become a focal point for a growing number of states rethinking the use of long-term isolation. Humanitarian groups have long argued that solitary confinement has devastating psychological effects, but a central driver in the recent shift is economics. Some officials have also been persuaded by research suggesting that isolation is vastly overused and that it does little to reduce overall prison violence.Read More
New programs aim to ease inmates out of years of solitary confinement by passing them through different "stages," each with different behavioral requirements and rewards. It's an approach that allows inmates to gradually gain more control over their lives.Read More
Solitary confinement has long been shown to exacerbate mental health problems and is considered to be inhumane for long periods of time. Colorado is taking steps to reduce the amount of time prisoners spend in isolation, and Wisconsin is looking to do the same.Read More
Alleys in Seattle were once places of illicit, illegal, and unsanitary activity. The International Sustainability Institute in Seattle began organizing music and art events to bring in people, which, in turn, cleaned-up the crime and garbage. As an urban development strategy, adjacent vacant storefronts re-opened for business and beautification could be seen in new gardens.Read More
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