Weekly Urban News Update
August 24 th, 2018
In This Update
Innovations in Design
Cities are for People
Urban Equity
Innovations in Design

Plants on the Roof
While Washington D.C. leads the U.S. in green roofs, the movement continues globally. As a technological and architectural movement, green roofs are gaining traction for their aesthetics, and their demonstrated environmental benefits. Click  here to see a gallery of some of the most photogenic examples of what can be done with green roofs in urban architecture.

Wood You?
Oregon recently legalized the use of timber for high rises. Some designers and planners see opportunity, while for others it is a point of controversy. Either way, Curbed.com predicts that Oregon is setting a precedent, and that plans for tall timber buildings are on the rise. Read more   here.

Shading Dallas
The City of Dallas, Texas has embarked on an initiative to improve its social and climactic environment through a targeted forestation program. Using GIS technology to identify areas of exposure, areas thick with tree coverage, - as well as the hottest, the coolest, the richest, and the poorest parts of town, the City is partnering with local organizations and volunteers to improve the overall livability and reduce the Urban Heat Island effect by planting trees. But, implementation has just begun, and some are questioning: "how many trees does it take?" Read more  here.

Cities are for People

The Most Livable 
The Economist released a free report on the livability of cities world wide, including rankings and trends to watch in their 2018 Global Livability Index. Find out where your city stands, or in which cities you would want to. Read more  here.

Anticipating the New Wave
Talk of the new 5G capabilities becoming public is increasing. While some simply see in increase in capacity, others see the increase in capacity as cause for concern; a sort of tipping point in communications technology that should make us consider issues of security, privacy, and infrastructure. However, a town in Texas has already taken steps to 'future-proof' their community, and welcome the potential market expansion. Read more  here.
Urban Equity 

The Direction of Development
For many communities in the U.S. urban development can be Janus-faced. As neglected neighborhoods are targeted for reinvestment, there can be a spill of capital into the area which prices out long standing residents. As the awareness of this phenomena grows, so should the awareness of what communities can do to make sure that development is actually beneficial to them. Click here to read about how financial instruments like community land trusts can help ensure that development is equitable and fair. 

Water Utilities are for People 
The City of Baltimore is expected to pass a motion to amend its charter in order to defend against the privatization of the city's water and water utility infrastructure. Local popular involvement began as citizens became aware of contracts that the City was making with private interests. With lessons still being learned from Flint Michigan, and various studies showing the higher cost of water, and therefore, of living, under privatized utilities, the people of Baltimore are continuing the fight to maintain public control of their water systems. Read more  here.

Stark Depictions
Urban equity issues are often difficult to accurately represent in any media. The divides between rich and poor are both physical and social, and in urban spaces they can appear to be arbitrary and artificial. These aerial photos featured in the BBC highlight the immediacy of disparity in some of the most populous urban spaces, and force us to consider the divides we live with, accept, and are working to constructively challenge through socially conscious and inclusive development with initiatives like our Smart City Just City framework. Take a look here.

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