Sarah Goodyear

Sarah Goodyear has written about cities for a variety of publications, including Grist and Streetsblog. She lives in Brooklyn. She's also on Twitter.

Living

Heart of glass: Has nature healed a California beach, or does that just make us feel better about our trash?

On the Northern California coastline, the ocean is swallowing up a former garbage dump -- a sign of Mother Nature’s power, sure, and a reminder of our wasteful ways.

Politics

Where the Rio action is: Behind the Earth Summit bureaucracy

While international bureaucrats dicker endlessly with their “zero document,” bands of stalwart scientists and diplomats are fighting to address massive issues that impact us all -- starting with our oceans.

Cities

No vacancy: Unleashing the potential of empty urban land

A group of volunteers in Brooklyn mapped all the vacant city-owned properties in the borough, and discovered a remarkable amount of unused real estate. Now, they’re giving residents the tools to reclaim the land for the good of the community.

Animals

Raccoon invasion! Masked bandits are taking over our cities

These furry beasts are sooooo cute -- until they break into the house, tear up the garden, or turn up dead in the silverware drawer. Some say city life is making them smarter. The real problem: They’re an awful lot like us.

Cities

Standing to reason: Do non-believers need temples, too?

Writer Alain de Botton wants to erect a 150-foot monument to atheism. With the religious right co-opting our secular spaces, why not create a little sacred space for the profane?

Transportation

Tea Party mayor gets spanked for rejecting public transit

Last fall, the mayor of a leafy Detroit suburb led the fight against that darkest of evils: trains! But when the local business community lashed back, the Tea Partiers beat a hasty retreat, raising more questions about their ability to lead.

Cities

Bloomberg: Mayors hold key to climate change progress

“As mayors — the great pragmatists of the world’s stage and directly responsible for the well-being of the majority of the world’s people — we don’t have the luxury of simply talking about change but not delivering it.” That was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking at the United Nations yesterday. Bloomberg delivered the remarks in his usual flat tone to a vast room filled with blank-faced diplomats, bureaucrats, and international do-gooders. But there was real urgency in the message he was delivering: It’s time to give cities a substantive role in international climate-change negotiations — because national and international …

Cities

Locked out: Where is Occupy Wall Street without Zuccotti Park?

Protesters gathered this afternoon at 6th Avenue and Canal Street.Photo: Sarah GoodyearI woke up this morning to the news that the occupation of Zuccotti Park had been ended, and my first question was, “Where will all the people go?” The strange legalities surrounding Zuccotti Park have been a critical factor in the development of the political statement that goes by the name “Occupy Wall Street.” The space itself enables, and to a certain extent defines, the action. Even as the movement has spread nationally, the New York encampment remains an important part of the movement’s identity. But starting at 1 …

Cities

The creative genius of Occupy Wall Street

Photo: Paul SteinWhat are cities for, anyway? There are as many answers as there are people who love (or hate) cities. They are engines for economic growth, if you ask economist Ed Glaeser. They are breeding grounds for human innovation, if you ask physicist Geoffrey West. If you’re a dictator or a despot — or a Wall Street fat cat — you might worry about their tendency to harbor radicalism and social unrest. Fundamentally, cities exist to serve and facilitate the fulfillment of human needs — physiological, social, and intellectual — and when those needs are unmet, they are often …

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