Fire officials often push for wider streets so that their biggest trucks can move more swiftly — but the wider streets lead to more deaths and injuries. They do this, supposedly, in the name of safety.
A report details the mental health consequences for children of spending less time playing on their own. A mom in Texas was arrested for letting her kids play outside. The built environment is partly to blame.
A study of 205 blocks in high-crime areas of Los Angeles suggests that increasing residential zoning in blocks that are otherwise zoned for commercial can reduce crime. The study, published in the February issue of University of Pennsylvania Law Review, finds that city blocks zoned exclusively for residential uses, as well as those zoned for residential and commercial (mixed) uses have less crime than blocks that are zoned solely for commercial use. The research shows that single-use commercially zoned blocks have expected crime rates that are about 45 percent higher than blocks with residential uses mixed in.
Arverne-by-the-Sea, on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, surprised many residents by its resilience to Superstorm Sandy. While many nearby neighborhoods were heavily damaged or destroyed, the new urban Arverne, one of the largest current developments in New York City, was little damaged. Conservation of protective dunes and a heavy-duty drainage system were design factors in resilience of the project, designed by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn, now called EE&K, a Perkins Eastman Company. See the article in the January-February 2013 issue of Better! Cities & Towns.