Open Voices Blog

News and conversations about the growing evidence of the healing power of nature and green development in cities

Open Voices News Roundup: February 12

02/12/15 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

A Natural Match: Drexel Research Team Connects Urban Design to Public Health

“As inner-city school kids climb and swing at a state-of-the-art playground with a rain garden and trees, will their surroundings make a difference in their health and social well-being? At urban community gardens nearby, will the fresh produce and a greener view help local residents breathe easier? Such questions, connecting urban design and natural systems with public health, are the focus of a new convergence of research and community engagement efforts at Drexel. A new team of faculty from the School of Public Health and Westphal College of Media Arts & Design is bringing together research on these interdisciplinary questions within community-based projects in West Philadelphia—some of which are already underway, and some that have yet to begin.”

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Open Voices News Roundup: February 5

02/05/15 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

How Trees Can Make City People Happier (and Vice Versa)

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 29

01/29/15 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

How Much Public Space Does a City Need?

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 22

01/22/15 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Big Park, Great City?

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 8

01/08/15 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

The Greening of a Suburban Downtown

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 24

12/24/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Land Trust Secures Vacant Lots for Urban Agriculture, Recreation in LA’s Underserved Neighborhoods

“Founded in 2002, the LA Neighborhood Land Trust is a nonprofit organization that identifies underutilized space in a 475-square miles area in and around Los Angeles, and transforms it into green space for urban agriculture and community recreation projects. Real estate costs are high in Los Angeles, so the work of the Trust moves forward one small lot at a time…Since its inception, the Trust has fostered the development of 18 inner-city urban agriculture projects, with 11 projects in development. A recent projects include a food forest and community garden combination with child-centered programming in the unincorporated area of West Athens. The Trust hopes to build ten new urban green spaces in 2015.”

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 18

12/18/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

A Playful Plaza: Bringing Imagination and New Life to Downtown Providence

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 11

12/11/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Walkability Is Good for You

“Ever since Jane Jacobs’ classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urbanists have extolled the ideal of the dense, mixed-used, walkable neighborhood, contrasting it with the dull and deadly cul-de-sacs of car-oriented suburbs. If walkability has long been an “ideal,” a recent slew of studies provide increasingly compelling evidence of the positive effects of walkable neighborhoods on everything from housing values to crime and health, to creativity and more democratic cities. A key research advance has been the development of the Walk Score metric (we have written about it here before), which provides a baseline measure for walkable communities. Walk Score uses data from Google, OpenStreetMap and the U.S. Census to assign any address a walkability ranking from zero to 100 based on a its pedestrian friendliness and distance to amenities such as grocery stores, restaurants, public transit, and the like.’”

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 4

12/04/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

‘Food Innovation District’ Plan Could Bring Indoor Market to Downtown Holland

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Open Voices News Roundup: November 26

11/26/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture and urban planning, the nature-mental health link, and much more. Check back each week for new roundups and items.

Walkability, Quality Public Spaces Can Be Created in Communities of Any Size

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    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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