Walking

Urban Living 101

Urban living offers a number of advantages, but you may not be aware of what they are and how to enjoy them. Not owning and operating a car can save you thousands per year. Of course, the amount you save will vary depending on your living situation and lifestyle choices. If you are considering going carless, you may not be extremely wealthy, so the annual savings could be exactly what you want. In fact, if you can go carless for ten years, how…

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Helsinki Has a High-tech Plan to Ban Cars by 2025

The city of Helsinki wants to completely remove privately owned and driven cars from its roads by 2025, replacing them with a high tech system that combines mobile phone apps, ride sharing, bike rentals, and public transit on a level that hasn’t yet been seen in the Western world. If it works, it could establish a precedent that would, eventually, be adopted in Spain, the UK, and other European countries. What do you think, readers? Is a city planning to…

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benches collective - more public benches enhance communities

More Benches = More Closely Knit Communities

A movement calling itself the Benches Collective (Bankjes Collectief, actually- but you get the idea) believes that more outdoor benches help to create stronger, more closely knit communities, and their efforts are helping to turn the streets of Amsterdam into, what the group calls, the largest outdoor café in the world. That big, street side cafe is now a monthly happening- which is alright by event organizers. “A (shared) bench on the sidewalk invites spontaneous conversations with neighbors and makes…

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madrid old city

Madrid City Planners Hope to be Car Free by 2020

Despite what cartoons like the Jetsons would have you believe, the future isn’t about flying cars- it’s about getting around with no cars at all. At least, that’s the message I’m getting from reading the tea leaves in places as far apart as the Binhai Eco City in China and Spain. Especially Spain, in fact, where city planners in Madrid plan to make the city center 100% car-free by 2020. Madrid’s plan, called “2020 Mobility Plan”, is set to kick…

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sweden city planning saves lives

This Swedish City Planning Strategy Saves Lives

Utah, Minnesota, and Washington have seen traffic fatalities decline by up to 40%, thanks to campaigns to reduce pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist deaths to zero. Aptly named “Vision Zero” and modeled by similar programs launched in Sweden, where pedestrian deaths have dropped by more than 50% since the plan was implemented, it’s hoped that these city planning strategies will allow cities like Portland and Chicago to replicate Sweden’s success. Vision Zero, however, is very much a national program. In New…

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city planning walkability bike lanes

A New Day, and a New Direction for EcoLocalizer

Since 2008, “think globally, act locally” has been EcoLocalizer’s tagline, and we’ve tried to cover a number of important topics – from human rights to income inequality – that make a difference in all our lives. What we discovered, sadly, was that we simply didn’t have the manpower to cover everything we felt passionately about. In addition, a number of our articles prompted readers to ask “How is that Eco? How is that local?” More often than not, they had…

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