The Private Lives of Public Bathrooms

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Even for the rest of us, who don’t suffer a clinical level of anxiety, the public bathroom is a place that has ingrained behaviors and social rituals—leaving space at the urinals, avoiding conversation even with people you know—that we’ve all experienced, if not daily at an office, than out in the world, at restaurants and ball parks and airports. The public collides uncomfortably with the private in the bathroom as it does nowhere else, and the unique behaviors we perform stem from a complex psychological stew of shame, self-awareness, design, and gender roles. If you boiled this stew down, though, it’d come down to boundaries—the stalls and dividers that physically separate us, and the social boundaries we create with our behavior when those don’t feel like enough.

via The Atlantic.

Cities Where Americans Don’t Feel Safe

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Seven of the 10 metro areas in which residents felt the least safe had violent crime rates above the nationwide rate of 386.9 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012. In the Memphis, Tenn., area, there were 1,056.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the most of any metro area in the country. Stockton, Calif., also had one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, with 889.3 incidents per 100,000 residents.

But not all metro areas where residents felt unsafe had high violent crime rates. In two metro areas, McAllen and Yakima, Wash., there were just 319 and 349 violent incidents, respectively, for every 100,000 residents in 2012. In both cases, this was below the national rate.

via 24/7 Wall St..

From Bombay to Mumbai – In Pictures

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From A Sleepy Koli fishing hamlet to the financial capital of India, Mumbai has come a long way. The Portugese who were its earlier occupants gave it its name – ‘Bom Bai’ or ‘The Good Bay’. Initially an archipelago of 7 islands, this port city rose to prominence after the British East India Company deemed it fit for trading and shifted base from Surat. After a series of reclamations and massive construction efforts, Bombay became what is it today – A mega metropolis.

via Housing Blog.

6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever

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Okay, you’re thinking, but where do all the cars go? It turns out that when you take out a high-occupancy freeway it doesn’t turn the surface streets into the equivalent of the Autobahn. A theory called “induced demand” proves that if you make streets bigger, more people will use them. When you make them smaller, drivers discover and use other routes, and traffic turns out to be about the same. Don’t believe it? Check out these freeway removals in cities all over the world and see for yourself.

Source: Gizmodo.

Why Downtown Development May Be More Affordable Than The Suburbs

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Downtowns throughout the country rarely get the respect they deserve, especially when it comes to the economic impact they have on their communities. There is a growing awareness that suburban development patterns – also known as “sprawl” – may be environmentally unsustainable. Meanwhile, the work done by Joe Minicozzi, a planner and founder of the consulting firm Urban3, has begun to shed new light on how suburban expansion could be economically unsustainable as well.

via Citi’s Voice: Forbes.

Income Gap, Meet the Longevity Gap

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One of the starkest consequences of that divide is seen in the life expectancies of the people there. Residents of Fairfax County are among the longest-lived in the country: Men have an average life expectancy of 82 years and women, 85, about the same as in Sweden. In McDowell, the averages are 64 and 73, about the same as in Iraq.

via NYTimes.com.