Imagine a road without lanes, without stop lights, without a bunch of signs. You back out of your driveway, close your garage door behind you, and drive at a slow but steady pace, alert to the fact that bicyclists and pedestrians have the same right of way as you. You don’t speed along, only slowing down because a sign up ahead notifies you that there’s a pedestrian crossing zone because everywhere is a pedestrian zone. You are more alert, more cautious, more conscientious of the road you share. Sounds farfetched, doesn’t it?
Back in May, I wrote about Open Source Ecology’s DIY Global Village Construction Set. It’s a wicked cool idea of a handful of DIYers, farmers, and engineers, led by Marcin Jakubowski, to help create:
“A world where every community has access to an open source Fab[rication] Lab which can produce all the things that one currently finds at a Walmart cost-effectively, quickly, on demand from local resources.”
I recently read a headline saying that Scotland had made the “World’s First Urban Green Space Map.” Now, while that sounds pretty cool, I’m not sure if I caught what’s first about it. As you may or may not know, my master’s degree was in city planning — making urban green space maps is nothing new in the field. Even making online, interactive versions of the maps like this one is not at all unheard of. My only thought is that it might be the first national-scale map of its kind….
On PARK(ing) Day each year, citizens take back a bit of the green spaces lost to parking spaces. There is a message behind this event, and that is to demonstrate, in a very visual way, the quick decline in green spaces for humans, sacrificed for the ever-growing need for places to park our cars.
I have written about New York City’s planned bike-sharing program a couple times here on EcoLocalizer, and have written about bike-sharing programs in Paris, China, Barcelona, London (a couple times), Chicago, D.C. (sister site Ecopreneurist has as well — linking to that piece), Boston, and my current city of Wroclaw (twice). I’m a fan. But I’ve got one problem with many attempts at bike-sharing — the programs start too small. Well, NYC is not disappointing me. It’s starting with 10,000 bikes at 600 stations, comparable to Paris (probably the most successful and certainly the biggest program in the world, which started with 10,000 bikes at 750 stations).
Following up on my recent post on Boston’s new and highly successful bike-sharing program, Hubway, I thought I’d direct your attention to a great post on Boston University’s news site, BU Today, in which Leslie Friday describes her experience testing out Hubway. Here’s the intro:
D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare bike-sharing program has been a great success (despite its rather small size). Paris’ Velib bike-sharing program rocked the world with its tremendous, unprecedented success. Barcelona’s Bicing program was much more successful than originally anticipated. And so on and so on. Now, it’s being reported that Boston’s new bike-sharing program is a great success, even much more successful than originally anticipated.
As a city planner by education, I’m a big fan of Alex Steffen, since he talks all about reworking cities (especially U.S. cities) to be more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, more efficient, more enjoyable. But this TED video of Steffen shared with me by Eat Drink Better and Feelgood Style director Becky Striepe talking about the place of sharing in greening our cities is beyond the typical talking points and is quite interesting. I highly recommend checking it out:
Environment protection is a growing concern. As a result, numerous scientists devote their entire life devising ways to create a cleaner and greener earth. Here are some inventions they’ve created that will make earth safer and pollution-free (or less polluted).
Last week, I featured a great project by the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR), the Sacramento Railyard renovation and revitalization project. CCLR is focused on reusing or recycling brownfields, lands dirtied with industrial contamination that just need a bit of effort to get in use again. This is popular, exciting work amongst city planners — it’s like turning an old, beat-up car into a beauty again.
With my professional training in city planning, I have to admit that I get giddy over cool smart growth projects. I recently ran across one such project, a super cool one, and one of the key organizations behind it. The project is the redevelopment of Sacramento’s downtown railyard, which apparently employed 10,000 employees at the height of its use and was the largest single workforce in Central Valley for 8 decades. One of the key organizations behind it is the Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR).
I wrote a pretty extensive introduction to Wrocław’s new bike-sharing program about a month and a half ago, with 18 photos and 2 videos included. Now, I said that I would write an update once I tried it out and I finally have. Marika (my partner) and I were walking to the store today and decided on the way to try it out if there were any bikes available (every other time we went to try it out there weren’t bikes available or, once, the system was down). It was quite simple to use, the process being…