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Urban Design, Weekly Roundup

Weekly Roundup 065 – 21st to 27th May


UDC Weekly roundup
‘Neighborhoods can shape success – Down to the level of the city block’
Authored by Alexia Fernandez Campbell

Can where you live determine how well you do in life? This week’s article focuses on a small study done in West Philadelphia based on the idea that microenvironments – places as small as a single city block – can shape people’s economic success. The report builds on earlier studies and uses metrics such as poverty, crime and college credits earned, which are overlaid on the spatial unit of the neighborhood block to identify patterns in the way block characteristics might impact individual success. The theory that is beginning to emerge is that improving the physical fabric of the city block by block can have a measurable positive impact on people’s lives.

Read the whole piece here.

Published by The Atlantic.


‘Urban Diabetes – Understanding the Challenges and Opportunities’
Published by Cities Changing Diabetes

cities changing diabetesCities Changing Diabetes is a platform that aims to put health and diabetes on the agenda of those planning and managing cities, to develop healthier cities for the future. Their publication describes diabetes as ‘an illness that is about such things as transportation.. about loneliness… about time.. about one’ own perception of self’. The premise is that social factors and cultural determinants contribute to vulnerability or resilience to this condition, and their briefing book is describes these aspects through research in five cities , providing an understanding of the complex nature of what they call ‘urban diabetes’.

Read the publication here.





‘Ridin’ the rail once more’
Created by Los Angeles County Newsroom

The city of Los Angeles has an interesting history of passenger rails – a system that served the city well before the second world war was discontinued in the 50’s due to the increasing popularity of the private automobile and the building of the freeways that have come to define Los Angeles. However, the L.A. Metro has been bringing back passenger rail to the metropolitan region, with its latest addition being the extension of the Expo line from downtown Los Angeles west to the beach at Santa Monica that opened last week. Last Friday, Alan Weeks, a Metro employee and streetcar enthusiast who rode the last streetcar to Santa Monica in September 1953 before it was discontinued, took the train to the beach again after 63 years. This week’s video, produced by the Los Angeles County newsroom is a montage of images past and present, capturing Alan’s thoughts on the changes he has witnessed.


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