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Sarah Goodyear's Posts

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How one Swedish city gets people to trade silly car trips for bikes [VIDEO]

A clever public health campaign in Malmö, Sweden, is getting people onto bikes by making them feel silly for driving short distances when they could bike instead. The campaign, called "No Ridiculous Car Trips," was launched four years ago with the goal of getting people to stop using their cars for journeys of less than 5 kilometers, or about 3 miles. This video does a nice job of explaining how it works: (Thanks to Copenhagenize, as always a great source for ideas about how to make bicycling look sexy and fun, for bringing it to our attention.) Malmö, home to …

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Can Abu Dhabi's bright green experiment ever grow up to be a true city?

Does this look like a city to you?Illustration: Foster + PartnersThe "zero-carbon" city of Masdar, which is being built from scratch in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, is ready for its first residents. This weekend, The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff took a look at the first phase of this utopian project. What he saw was a "sustainable city" that might, in fact, be sustainable. The question is whether it is actually a city. Masdar seems at first glance like a dream come true for anyone who cares about the future of cities as proving grounds …

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San Francisco transportation agency wants to put brakes on automobiles

The streets of San Francisco will have fewer cars if the city's transportation agency has its way.Photo: Victoria AmatoThe City of San Francisco is steering toward a future with fewer cars. In a meeting earlier this week, the board of city's Municipal Transportation Agency supported a plan in which the role of the personal motor vehicle would be radically reduced. From the San Francisco Chronicle: At a 3 1/2 hour workshop to informally discuss priorities and the revision of the agency's strategic plan, the agency's Board of Directors supported the vision suggested by Executive Director Nathaniel Ford of transforming the …

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One Dallas neighborhood revives its streets with some DIY energy

With a few trees, some sidewalk tables, and lots of community input, a Dallas street was transformed.Photo: Go Oak Cliff"I'm just kind of a guy who wants to fix things," says Jason Roberts. Things like the streets of the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, Texas, a neighborhood where Roberts has lived for 10 years. It's a part of town that has seen some hard times over the last 30 years or so, and it shows. Oak Cliff isn't the fancy side of Dallas, and the city hasn't always paid a whole lot of attention to it. But Roberts and some …

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Green Party candidate's mother calls for tougher laws on hit-and-run

Natasha Pettigrew was an experienced cyclist and triathlete.Photo: via TBDThe mother of Natasha Pettigrew, the Green Party candidate for Senate in Maryland who was killed by the driver of an SUV while riding her bike earlier this week, is mourning the loss of her daughter.  Pettigrew's mother, Kenniss Henry, is also worrying that the driver of the SUV will get off easy. That driver, Christy Littleford, claimed that she thought she hit an animal. She dragged Pettigrew's bicycle under her car for miles before parking in her garage, and only called police hours later -- when she said she finally …

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Getting past "ruin porn" in Detroit [VIDEO]

Detroit, land of opportunity?Photo: AriaJournalists and filmmakers from around the globe have been descending on Detroit for a couple of years now to document its crumbling buildings, its weedy jungles of vacant lots, and its desperately unemployed. The story is usually cast as one of terminal decline and hopelessness. Reporters sometimes seem like they're gawking at a highway wreck. Less often does the media look at the city as an urban frontier where anything is possible -- including the community-based agriculture efforts recently covered by Grist's own Tom Philpott. Now, from an unlikely source, comes a sweet little series of …

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It's World Car-Free Day, and that makes some people nervous

Today is World Car-Free Day. Street closures and events promoting independence from the automobile are taking place in several cities around the world. In Shanghai, almost three square miles around the city's 2010 Expo area will be closed to traffic for 12 hours. In Vienna, they'll be holding street parties. And in the United States, both Washington, D.C., and Chicago are encouraging citizens to "take the car-free pledge" and leave their wheels at home for a day. More listings can be found here. If you haven't heard about the event before, that might be because it's on a pretty small …

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American Lung Association study shows that smart growth could save lives

Not what the doctor ordered.Photo courtesy Mark Strozier via FlickrThe human cost of air pollution sometimes gets lost in the rhetoric surrounding political battles like the one over California's Proposition 23, which would suspend the state's landmark climate law, AB 32. AB 32 is the underpinning for other California legislation that aims to reduce that pollution -- in part by encouraging denser development and more walkable communities. It's a kind of planning widely known as smart growth, and it is not uncontroversial. Conservatives such as Wendell Cox have characterized smart growth as "a war on the dream" in America. That …

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If we want kids walking to school, grown-ups have to get a move on

Getting to school the old-fashioned way in Amish Country in Indiana.Photo courtesy of Cindy Seigle via Flickr.I live in one of the most walkable communities in the United States. That's not just my opinion -- my neighborhood of Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, rates a 100 on the Walk Score tool. So it burns me up how many kids at my son's school get dropped off by their parents in cars. Sure, some of them come from surrounding neighborhoods (it's a private school). Still, there are multiple subway and bus stops within a two-to-five minute walk from the schoolhouse door. I've had …

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Women on bikes take to the streets of New York City [VIDEO]

How can you tell if a city is bicycle-friendly? Look for women riding bikes. That was the message of an article published in Scientific American last year. It called women an "indicator species" for a healthy bike environment. If that idea is true, New York City -- which has added hundreds of miles of bike lanes over the last four years -- has gotten a lot healthier in the last couple of years. Official figures aren't available, but the increase in women riders is apparent to anyone who's been keeping an eye on the city's streets. In this new video …

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