Cities

In search of an urban plan

How design must change in a warming, oil-scarce world

This week I was able to attend a conference on urban planning hosted by the Penn Institute for Urban Research and the Rockefeller Foundation. Fifty years ago, the same entities had put together another urban conference, at which gathered names like Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford, intellectuals who shaped the design world’s thinking about cities at a time when many urban places were facing crisis. Those thinkers faced a world in which the city no longer seemed necessary, and where planners were increasingly tearing downtowns limb from limb to make them safe for the coming car-tropolis. Now, of course, the …

Green space lessens socioeconomic health gap, says study

The health disparity between rich and poor folk is much smaller in areas with plenty of parks and green space, according to a large study published in British medical journal The Lancet. Says lead author Richard Mitchell, “This is the first time we have demonstrated that aspects of the physical environment can have an impact in such a good way.”

Keeping up with the Scotts

JCPenney joins the ranks of green retailers

Say what you will about it, JCPenney is a survivor. The 106-year-old retailer has 1,093 stores lurking around the country, from Media, Pa. to Tempe, Ariz. Having made it through the rash of department store consolidations that gobbled up brands like Marshall Fields, and having fared better than some of its mid-range competitors — Sears and Montgomery Ward come to mind — JCPenney has adopted a new businesses strategy to stay relevant. Not surprisingly, given current trends, it’s now going green. After launching an in-house eco-label, Simply Green, in March, and experimenting with green building techniques in a Denver store …

Welcome to the new Grist. Tell us what you think, or if it's your first time learn about us. Grist is celebrating 15 years. ×