Urbanism

Cities

New York’s newest street, 6 ½ Ave., is just for pedestrians

For years, 1,200 people an hour have been seeing this six-block stretch of street in secret. But finally, New York City is bringing these back-alley relationships into the light, and giving them the official municipal seal of approval. Now the street can announce to the world: “I’m here. I’m part of the city. I’m not an unnamed pedestrian walkway you’d be ashamed to walk your mother down. I’m 6 ½ Avenue.” The newly named avenue runs from 51st to 57th Street. It’s primarily a pedestrian walkway, and as Transportation Nation says, that makes the city’s official approval more significant: In …

Cities

NYC’s homeless bee swarms are good for bees, scary

A report this week from the New York Times indicates that bee swarms are increasing in the city. While a debatable point, having more bees would almost certainly be a good thing.

Teaser: Ridin’ bikes with U.N. suits

Full story coming Monday. But here's a glimpse at what a very short bike ride with well-dressed UN envoys looks like.

Cities

First-graders protest Starbucks to save local coffee shop

Back in 2011, a tragedy of epic proportions struck the East Village: Starbucks moved in. And not only did it move in, it kicked a beloved local coffee shop, The Bean, out of its flagship location. Even non-coffee drinking elementary school students were outraged, as Majorie Ingall discovered: Here we have a piece of paper recovered from the recesses of the backpack of an East Village, NYC elementary school student. Translation from first-grader-ese: Starbucks: The Bean Instead. These budding activists handed out their hand-drawn flyers to their schoolmates, plus some for the Bean staff. According to other local kids, they …

Cities

Dutch ‘Repair Cafes’ keep stuff out of the trash by fixing it for free

In the Netherlands, there are more than 30 "Repair Cafes" -- groups that meet once or twice a month to repair clothes and gizmos and tools that might otherwise be discarded.

Cities

Jungle gym urbanism: Help this guy turn a vacant house into a bouncy-ball pit

What’s to be done with that neglected, burnt-out shell of a house that’s creating an eyesore in the neighborhood? Josh Ente of New Orleans apparently takes his inspiration from Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Living

New research shows Big Tobacco targets black kids

Big Tobacco agreed way back in 1998 to stop marketing cigarettes to kids. Turns out cigarette companies are still up to their old tricks -- they’re just being slightly more stealth about it.

Election 2012

Romney, once an anti-sprawl crusader, created model for Obama ‘smart growth’ program

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney fought sprawl and promoted density -- another set of issues on which he looks to be seriously out of sync with the Tea Party and the GOP base.

Millennials love cities because they provide the one thing their boomer parents couldn’t give them

Why is Gen Y migrating to the cities? Because millennials are craving the things they didn’t get in their suburban upbringings, like connectedness and adventure.

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