Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "News Roundups"

Open Voices News Roundup: February 10

02/10/14 | View Comments

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

Stayin’ Alive:  The Life and Death Prospects of Community Ties
“As urbanists, we know that our innate desire to feel connected is nothing trivial. In fact, it’s so important that it’s actually embedded in the built form of the traditional city. Not to say or even imply that such town-building patterns create community but, rather, that they foster it. They make community easier.  But so what? Is community in our present age so important that these patterns of city-making are worth restoring? Why not just lump it in with petticoats and Edsels and all manner of other old-timey things of no modern relevance and move on to the ever-pending promise of isolated splendor?…The answer…that warm, fuzzy feeling we get when connected to our neighbors is nice, but it’s not the real point. It’s just a by-product of what community is really about: Staying alive.”

The Emergence of Nature Phobias:  Why More People Are Afraid of the Outdoors

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Open Voices News Roundup: February 3

02/03/14 | View Comments

Every week, we bring you the latest news in placemaking, landscape architecture, the nature-mental health link, and much more. This week with a decidedly international focus!  Check back each week for new roundups and items.

In Mexico, A City’s Scar Becomes its Most Prized Park
“Jessica Lopez, a four-year old with a shy smile, has suffered severe chronic asthma attacks since she was born. Her condition always worsened in the fall, when dust rose up from the abandoned fields that bordered her family’s modest one-room house.  Last year, city officials here turned those dusty fields near Jessica’s house into a gleaming park with trails, playgrounds and shaded pavilions. Then in the fall, something remarkable happened in the Lopez home: Jessica’s asthma attacks did not come.”

This Enormous Moscow Park Used to be a Four-Lane Highway
“Moscow doesn’t have a reputation as a walkable city; the main street leading away from the Kremlin and Red Square is a sprawling eight lane road, and if pedestrians want to cross, they have to walk underground. But the city is starting to change. Last year, another large highway–this one four lanes wide, running along a river near the city center–was turned into a park.”

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 27

01/27/14 | View Comments

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

2013 A Year for Green Accomplishments:  Looking Ahead as New Mayors Talk the Helm
Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development at the Trust for Public Land, “reviews some of last year’s events, particularly related to urban green issues, previews the administrations of new mayors in some of the nation’s largest cities, and makes predictions for 2014.

Time to Act:  Investing in the Health of our Children and Communities

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 20

01/20/14 | View Comments

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

Revitalizing MLK Streets to Better Honor Their Namesake
“Across the U.S., hundreds of streets are named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unfortunately, many reflect the poverty and segregation that King fought to reverse. A non-profit is trying to transform them into sources of pride and inspiration.  Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen and Christine Armario profile Beloved Streets of America, a St. Louis-based non-profit that’s launched an effort to revitalize the 900 roadways across America named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as beacons of vibrancy, beauty, and prosperity. Unfortunately, many of these streets are beset by poverty, violence and lingering segregation, a situation the group finds is disrespectful to Dr. King’s legacy. Beloved Streets is starting its efforts in St. Louis, by working to reclaim Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive with a new neighborhood park and an urban agriculture project.”

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 13

01/13/14 | View Comments

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

Green Spaces Have Lasting Positive Effect on Well-being
UK researchers found moving to a green space had a sustained positive effect, unlike pay rises or promotions, which only provided a short-term boost.  The authors said the results indicated that access to good quality urban parks was beneficial to public health.  The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.  Co-author Mathew White, from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter, UK, explained the study built on the findings of a study that showed people living in greener urban areas were displaying fewer signs of depression or anxiety… Dr. White said his team wanted to see whether living in greener urban areas had a lasting positive effect on people’s sense of well-being or whether the effect also disappeared after a period of time.”

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Open Voices News Roundup: January 6

01/06/14 | View Comments

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

Urban Nature: How to Foster Biodiversity in World’s Cities
“A few years ago in Baltimore County, Maryland, environmental staffers were reviewing a tree-planting proposal from a local citizens group. It called for five trees each of 13 different species, as if in an arboretum, on the grounds of an elementary school in a densely-populated neighborhood. It seemed like a worthy plan, both for the volunteer effort and the intended environmental and beautification benefits. Then someone pointed out that there were hardly any oaks on the list, even though the 22 oak species native to the area are known to be wildlife-friendly. Local foresters, much less local wildlife, could barely recognize some of the species that were being proposed instead…Though it may be too soon to call it an urban wildlife movement, initiatives focused on urban biodiversity seem to be catching on. The U.S. Forest Service, which once laughed off the idea that anything urban could be wild now supports a growing urban forest program.”

A Dose Of Nature Helps City Dwellers Fight Their Need For Instant Gratification

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 23

12/23/13 | View Comments

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

Hiking in a Winter Wonderland
“Just because temperatures have dropped doesn’t mean outdoor efforts to elevate your heart rate should take a nose dive, too. New York City offers many walking trails and paths through scenic, wooded parks and along breathtaking waterways. “Winter is a great time to get out and see the parks in a new way once the trees have shed all of their leaves,” said Sarah Aucoin, director of the Urban Park Rangers program, which offers guided hikes and walks in the city’s park all year. “You can see wildlife and get your heart pumping at the same time.” If you struggle to stay active in the winter, walking may inspire you to get outdoors. Dr. Susan Kansagra, deputy commissioner for the division of health promotion and disease prevention at the New York City health department, said that regular walking helps reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and colon and breast cancer.”

Improve Your Health with the Forest Therapy

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 16

12/16/13 | View Comments

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

‘Wild Urbanism’ in the Middle of Putin’s Moscow
“Just beyond Moscow’s Red Square, past the iconic domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral and the walls of the Kremlin, a new landmark is planned for Russia’s largest metropolis. In a nod to the city’s increasingly globalized identity, the new landmark will not come solely from the church or government. Instead, it will be a 13-acre park open to everyone and developed by a team of internationally renowned architects best known for designing the glam High Line in Manhattan. Inspired by the ecological diversity of Russia, Zaryadye Park will be the first new park built in Moscow since 1958, rising on a former Jewish ghetto once slated for Stalin’s tallest skyscrapers… Under the vision hatched by Diller Scofido + Renfro and Putin’s administration, free-flowing walkways and permeable pavers will encourage exploration through park areas designed to recall Russia’s varied landscapes of tundra, steppe, forest and wetlands.”

Prince George’s children learn where their food comes from at Hard Bargain Farm

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 9

12/09/13 | View Comments

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

Doctor’s orders: Get outside!
“We all know the drill: Get sick. Go to the doctor. Receive a prescription for medicine. Take the medicine until you feel better. But what if, instead of being handed a prescription for medication at the end of your appointment, you instead received a prescription for spending more time outdoors? That’s the premise behind a new Boston-area program piloted by the Appalachian Mountain Club and MassGeneral Hospital for Children. The program, called “Outdoors Rx,” focuses on children 13 years of age and under and capitalizes on the natural resources right in its patients’ backyards. “There’s a growing body of research looking at the benefits of the outdoors on kids. For mental, physical and spiritual health, the outdoors is good for you. It reduces the symptoms of ADD and ADHD, asthma and childhood obesity,” said Pam Hess, Outdoors Rx’s program director.”

Buena Vista Park – Green Space both Tamed and Wild

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Open Voices News Roundup: December 2

12/02/13 | View Comments

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

How San Francisco Is Changing the Way People Think of Green Space
“Tables and chairs sit neatly arranged on a wooden platform in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District. When the sun is shining, customers spill out of cafes and restaurants and crowd onto the platform. But this isn’t just outdoor seating. It’s a park. The platform is part of San Francisco’s Pavement to Parks program, a collaboration between the city planning department and a number of other municipal agencies, including the mayor’s office. The program converts squares of pavement into plazas and postage-stamp-sized parks, called parklets. It started four years ago as a kind of experiment and has since become a fixture of civic life in San Francisco.”

Michigan: Leslie Science & Nature Center Teams with Ann Arbor Hospitals to Help Patients Heal

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