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Sarah Goodyear's Posts

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park your asphalt on the grass

PARK(ing) Day 2010 liberates parking spots for human use [SLIDESHOW]

A gnome stands guard over a Minneapolis PARK(ing) Day installation.Photo courtesy Sveden via Flickr In most of the cities around the world, huge swaths of public space are blocked by enormous metal objects. These objects are called personal motor vehicles, or cars. They squat by the curb, feeling and thinking nothing, and getting in the way of a good game of stickball. On PARK(ing) Day -- which this year is today, Sept. 17 -- that changes, if only for a few hours. In some 140 cities around the planet, humans take back some of the parking spaces and use them …

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Unsafe at any speed

Virginia man is murdered after dispute over traffic calming

A request for calmer traffic led to road rage.Photo courtesy Joe Lewis via FlickrStephen Carr wanted his street in suburban Burke, Va., to be safer. He lobbied to have a speed hump installed. He was successful. And it may have gotten him killed. According to the Washington Post, Carr, 48, had requested the speed hump because he was concerned about the cars zooming by his home. There was an elementary school nearby. He thought it was a safety issue -- which it is. If you're hit by a car going 20 miles per hour, you've got a 95 percent chance …

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Tunnel vision

New Jersey officials call temporary halt to new work on vital rail links

Still waiting for relief at the N.J. Transit concourse in New York’s Penn Station.Photo courtesy John Catral via FlickrJust seven months ago, newly elected New Jersey governor Gov. Chris Christie (R) slashed his state's transit budget. In so doing, he hiked fares by 22 percent and cut service at a time when the system was carrying record numbers of riders. The move made transit advocates wonder whether the new administration has a clue about the importance of public transportation to the state's economy. Now they have more reason to be nervous. Over the weekend, New Jersey Transit officials unexpectedly announced …

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Kick some asphalt

A Portland group pulverizes pavement to make way for green space

At Holy Redeemer Church in Portland, Depave works with community volunteers to demolish parts of a parking lot, creating garden space and reducing runoff.Photo courtesy of DepaveHave you ever gotten so sick of the sight of asphalt that you just wanted to take a sledgehammer to it and start smashing? Meet Depave, the Portland, Ore., group that lives the dream. Since 2007, this all-volunteer squad of pavement-bashers has ripped the asphalt and concrete from 14 sites in the Portland area, making way for community gardens, sustainable schoolyards, and green space. They've torn up unused parking lots, obliterated cracked ballfields where …

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The Kids Aren't All Right

A shopping center tries to repel teens with the buzz of a powerful Mosquito

The bright lights of Gallery Place in Washington, D.C., draw teens like moths to a flame.Photo courtesy M.V. Jantzen via FlickrName an urban critter that's as common as pigeons, as persistent as cockroaches, as feared (by some) as rats. We're talking about teenagers. Especially in groups. Especially when they're -- God forbid -- hanging out. Owners of Gallery Place, a shopping and recreation center in Washington, D.C., have gotten so fed up with young people lounging around their property -- and, presumably, not spending money -- that they've imported a device from the United Kingdom in the hopes of driving …

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Slumming it

Urban design lessons from the world's poorest neighborhoods

In Rio de Janeiro, the city’s slums are a world away from more modern highrises.Photo: Domenico MarchiThe glossy cities of the world's wealthiest nations could learn a thing or two about sustainable living by studying the downtrodden slums and shantytowns around the globe, where a billion people make their homes. That's what architects and urban designers Pavlina Ilieva and Kuo Pao Lian are saying, in an article first published at The Futurist and reprinted at Shareable. Ilieva and Lian, who live and work in Baltimore, aren't trying to sugarcoat the poverty and misery found in the favelas of Rio or …

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