101 small ways you can improve your city


Sometimes the smallest things we can do for our neighborhoods can have the biggest impact. At Curbed, we know the power of a vegetable garden planted in a vacant lot or a library installed on a sidewalk. For Micro Week, we want to share 101 urban interventions and ideas that show how even the tiniest changes can make our cities better places.

Source: Curbed

The Private Lives of Public Bathrooms


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


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..

Giving the Urban Poor Access to City Centers


Even in the midst of Mumbai’s rapid expansion, poorer residents still continue to work closer to home than their wealthier counterparts, calling into question the importance of connectivity to the traditional economic center of the city. For instance, 80 percent of Dharavi’s residents live and work in the slum itself, with walking as the main mode of transport, despite the fact that both of Mumbai’s rail lines pass through the settlement. The Walking Project aims to turn Mumbai into the most walkable city in India over the next decade, arguing that simple improvements to pedestrian infrastructure can improve Mumbai’s transportation situation more than a focus on large-scale car-centric projects.

via Josephine d’Allant.