Ecolocalizer Link Drop

train tracks

To share more stories with our wonderful readers, I’ve decided to start doing a weekly “link drop” — in other words, I’ll drop links to great stories we couldn’t cover (plus a little intro). Hope you find this helpful and enjoy it.

Studies Show the Connection Between Travel Times to Food Stores and Public Health

Generally, in the United States larger grocery store chains supply a variety of fresh food at lower costs, while independent grocers, bodegas and smaller stores have less selection and higher operating costs and prices.  Such stores tend to have a smaller margin of profit and slower turnover in sales, making it harder for them to purchase a variety of fresh vegetables.  Detroit, a city of nearly one million people and 143 square miles, lacks a single grocery store chain. In many cities, suburban and rural areas of the U.S., large chains and grocery stores can be inaccessible to large portions of the population.  Extensive studies have documented food deserts and related public health concerns, linking inaccessibility of fresh food to geographic areas with concentrated poverty, low-income or minority populations….

The Complexities of a Biking Transition and the New York City Backlash

We’ve been writing about and support New York City’s successful bike initiatives and EMBARQ, the producer of this blog, released a video on the bike- and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure spearheaded by New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. The City is instituting mass transit expansion, including bus rapid transit and policies for more healthful and livable communities to bring a balance in modal usage, improve quality of life and ultimately diminish the dominance of personal vehicles on the City’s streets….

A new study of data from Lyon’s bike-share system could help planners

Bicyclists are travelling faster than cars in downtown Lyon now.

Court upholds California air regulator’s pollution fee

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that air quality regulators in California’s smog-laden San Joaquin Valley have the right to charge home builders a fee to control their pollution emissions.

TreePeople’s Urban Forest Principles Guide Retrofit of L.A.

Andy Lipkis, the founder and president of TreePeople, was recently appointed an Ashoka Fellow for his pioneering work integrating natural systems into the infrastructure of the built environment. In the following exclusive TPR interview, Andy details one of his projects, the Elmer Avenue Project in Los Angeles, which blueprints TreePeople’s 40 years of proving the feasibility of a new type of infrastructure development that simultaneously mimics natural processes and benefits the environment….

Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility: Switch to IT Networks

Part of the improvements and advancements in the quality of transportation globally have been a result of improvements in efficiencies and user services as a result of the information transportation agencies and riders have access to. “Megacities on the Move” says that “people are becoming increasingly comfortable accessing services, information and social networks online,” highlighting cities like Seoul where “a personal travel assistant app” gives “real-time transport information.” The report showcases a few interesting solutions like teleconferencing and real-time communication between vehicles. Yet existing and widely used technology and data have still yet to be utilized to their full potential….

The Future of Urban Sustainable Mobility: Go Beyond the Car

Rates of vehicle ownership are increasing around the world. A recent report, the Latin American Green City Index, measured and assessed the environmental performance of select cites in South America. The report iterated a key challenge: while public transportation in Latin American is extensive and cities like Bogotá, Curitiba and Santiago boast some of the best systems in the world, rates of car ownership are still exploding. And the trend is not unique to Latin America. For example, in cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta, the number of people riding motorcycles is very high and motorization is expected to increase with GDP. The study places per capita income between U.S. $3,000 and $5,000 as the threshold in the developing world for car ownership. Even as auto ownership parallels the rise in quality of life standards, there is a shift in the U.S., Europe and major cities around the world in the importance of owning and operating vehicles. Car ownership is expensive compared to mass transit; people see value in multitasking while commuting; and there are increasing options of temporary car usage such as options like Zipcar. (There are plans for Asia’s Car Club to expand beyond Japan to China and Korea.)…

Public Transportation Riders Saved an Additional $400 This Year, With an Average Annual Savings of $9,581

Heading into the end of the year public transportation riders have a little more money in their pockets. As gas prices rise this holiday season, switching from driving to riding public transportation is a proven way for individuals to cut monthly and yearly transportation costs, while also reducing their carbon footprint….

Florida’s High-Speed Superregion

A lot is riding on the Florida’s proposed high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. If built, it would be the first pure such line in the US and a first step at reshaping the way Americans travel between cities. But it would also irreversibly change the face of communities along the line….

The Future of Sustainable Urban Mobility: Make the Poor A Priority

Mobility systems must work for everyone – the rich and the poor. Too often low income people and neighborhoods are isolated from good transportation, further hindering employment opportunities and access to goods and services.  The “Megacities on the Move” report suggests that “everyone in the mobility sector will have to design tailored mobility solutions that meet” the needs of low income people….

Historic Trees: a Survivor’s Tale

The exact number of banyans in Hong Kong is unknown, but Prof. Jim, known as Prof. Tree to many of his students, has documented more than 1,100 growing out of the city’s stone walls. He says there could be well over 7,100 in Hong Kong. But as malls and real-estate developments have sprung up, urban trees have been cut down or strangled by the expanding cityscape….

Transforming 500 acres into public green space

Building on Philadelphia’s commitment to become the greenest city in America, Mayor Michael A. Nutter today announced a bold action plan to transform 500 acres of empty or underused land into publicly accessible green space in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia over the next five years. The new plan, called Green 2015, pledges that the City will partner with communities, local institutions, foundations and the private sector to assemble acreage that “connects people to parks” in underserved neighborhoods throughout the City.  At the same time, the plan provides an innovative way to boost the City’s compliance with new federal stormwater regulations that require the City to reduce stormwater runoff into local rivers and streams….

Photo Credit: Pheanix

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