Posts tagged "Geography"
The Atlantic Cities:
"Are the Suburbs Where the American Dream Goes to Die?
New research shows upward mobility is higher in denser cities
Matthew O’Brien. July 23, 2013
Rumors of the American Dream’s demise have been greatly exaggerated — at least in parts of America. 
That’s the message of a new study that looks at the connection between geography and social mobility in the United States. It turns out modern-day Horatio Algers have just as much a chance in much of the country as they do anywhere else in the world today. But if you want to move up, don’t move to the South. As you can see in the chart below from David Leonhardt’s write-up in the New York Times, the American Dream is on life support below the Mason Dixon line.”
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Atlantic Cities:

"Are the Suburbs Where the American Dream Goes to Die?

New research shows upward mobility is higher in denser cities

Matthew O’Brien. July 23, 2013

Rumors of the American Dream’s demise have been greatly exaggerated — at least in parts of America. 

That’s the message of a new study that looks at the connection between geography and social mobility in the United States. It turns out modern-day Horatio Algers have just as much a chance in much of the country as they do anywhere else in the world today. But if you want to move up, don’t move to the South. As you can see in the chart below from David Leonhardt’s write-up in the New York Times, the American Dream is on life support below the Mason Dixon line.”

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Atlantic Cities:
"Mapping the People Left Behind by the Knowledge Economy
Emily Badger. June 25, 2012
The physical shape of a city is closely tied to the structure of its economy. A city built on shipping is built on water. University towns grow up wrapped around those institutions. In manufacturing metros, the roads lead people to factory hubs, with their bedroom communities nearby.
This relationship between the design of cities and their job centers presents a quandary, though, when economies shift over time. What happens, for instance, when workers move to the fringe of cities to follow manufacturing work, only to find that tomorrow’s knowledge-economy jobs have returned downtown? This is a particular problem for transit networks that often have a hard time keeping up with the shifting geography of job opportunity.
But it’s also a fundamental challenge for any city where 21st century economies are leaving behind people with the kinds of skills, living in the kinds of communities, that were better suited to a different era. This is happening in many places, but a recent report out of Australia from the Grattan Institute illustrates in precise detail what the mismatch looks like there. Data on housing, income and travel patterns in Australia’s four largest cities reveal what authors Jane-Frances Kelly and Peter Mares call “strains in the triangle of work, home and transport that could threaten national prosperity.”
Photo: Shutterstock

The Atlantic Cities:

"Mapping the People Left Behind by the Knowledge Economy

Emily Badger. June 25, 2012

The physical shape of a city is closely tied to the structure of its economy. A city built on shipping is built on water. University towns grow up wrapped around those institutions. In manufacturing metros, the roads lead people to factory hubs, with their bedroom communities nearby.

This relationship between the design of cities and their job centers presents a quandary, though, when economies shift over time. What happens, for instance, when workers move to the fringe of cities to follow manufacturing work, only to find that tomorrow’s knowledge-economy jobs have returned downtown? This is a particular problem for transit networks that often have a hard time keeping up with the shifting geography of job opportunity.

But it’s also a fundamental challenge for any city where 21st century economies are leaving behind people with the kinds of skills, living in the kinds of communities, that were better suited to a different era. This is happening in many places, but a recent report out of Australia from the Grattan Institute illustrates in precise detail what the mismatch looks like there. Data on housing, income and travel patterns in Australia’s four largest cities reveal what authors Jane-Frances Kelly and Peter Mares call “strains in the triangle of work, home and transport that could threaten national prosperity.”

Photo: Shutterstock

“The Atlantic Cities: 
Gun Violence Is an Everywhere Issue
Richard Florida. Dec 15, 2012
All too often gun violence in America is posed as an urban problem. True, large urban centers have the highest rates of murders by gun. But our suburbs, small towns and rural areas are far from immune to the tragic consequences of guns, as the mass murder of children in Newtown, Connecticut, shows, not to mention the killing spree in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater this past summer, or the gunning down of Gabby Giffords and others during a political event in Tucson, Arizona, or 1999’s mass shooting at Columbine High School.With the help of Atlantic Cities' fellow Sara Johnson, I examined several lists of the locations of recent mass shootings in America. While the data do not cover every mass shooting and have limited geographic information, our accounting clearly shows that the wide majority of mass killings and especially mass school killings have occurred not in the urban centers of large cities, but in the small towns, burgs and villages of our suburban and rural areas.
By our accounting, more than 80 percent of America’s 21 worst mass killings identified by theHartford Courant took place in suburban towns or rural areas, including each and every one of what the paper identifies as the five “worst school massacres in U.S. history.” More than two-thirds of the 61 mass shootings that occurred between 1982 and 2012 according to a list and map compiled this year by Mother Jones can also be traced to a suburban or rural location.”
Photo: Reuters

The Atlantic Cities: 

Gun Violence Is an Everywhere Issue

Richard Florida. Dec 15, 2012

All too often gun violence in America is posed as an urban problem. True, large urban centers have the highest rates of murders by gun. But our suburbs, small towns and rural areas are far from immune to the tragic consequences of guns, as the mass murder of children in Newtown, Connecticut, shows, not to mention the killing spree in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater this past summer, or the gunning down of Gabby Giffords and others during a political event in Tucson, Arizona, or 1999’s mass shooting at Columbine High School.

With the help of Atlantic Cities' fellow Sara Johnson, I examined several lists of the locations of recent mass shootings in America. While the data do not cover every mass shooting and have limited geographic information, our accounting clearly shows that the wide majority of mass killings and especially mass school killings have occurred not in the urban centers of large cities, but in the small towns, burgs and villages of our suburban and rural areas.

By our accounting, more than 80 percent of America’s 21 worst mass killings identified by theHartford Courant took place in suburban towns or rural areas, including each and every one of what the paper identifies as the five “worst school massacres in U.S. history.” More than two-thirds of the 61 mass shootings that occurred between 1982 and 2012 according to a list and map compiled this year by Mother Jones can also be traced to a suburban or rural location.”

Photo: Reuters

"Isolated and Under-Exposed: Why the Rich Don’t Give
Nate Berg. August 20, 2012
In terms of charity, the rich in America give a lot. But they’re not giving the most. According to a new study out from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which analyzes charitable giving at the ZIP code level, the richest neighborhoods are donating much smaller shares of their discretionary income than lower-income neighborhoods. Only nine of the 1,000 biggest-giving ZIP codes are among the richest 1,000 ZIP codes.
Rich people are certainly giving a lot. Those with annual incomes of $200,000 or more represent 11 percent of the tax returns but account for 41 percent of the money donated, according to the report. But as a share of their income, the richest people in the U.S. are giving at a significantly lower rate than the less affluent. 

The study looked at tax returns for people with reported earnings of $50,000 or more from the year 2008 – the most recent year for which data was available. The report found that for people earning between $50,000 and $75,000, an average of 7.6 percent of discretionary income was donated to charity. For those earning $200,000 or more, just 4.2 percent of discretionary income was donated.

Turns out lower giving among the rich likely has much more to do with where they live and who they live near.
As this accompanying article from the journal notes, when the rich are highly concentrated in wealthy enclaves, they’re less likely to give as compared with the rich living in more economically diverse neighborhoods. The report found that in neighborhoods where more than 40 percent of taxpayers reported earning $200,000 or more, the average giving was just 2.8 percent of discretionary income.

In other words, concentration of wealth is also isolation from the less fortunate.
Paul Piff, a postdoctoral scholar in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, says he has conducted studies showing that as wealth increases, people become more insulated, less likely to engage with others, and less sensitive to the suffering of others.
There’s also an element of geography. The researchers found that in 1,906 ZIP codes where at least 10 taxpayers earned $200,000 or more and at least one household itemized its returns, none of the wealthy residents reported any charitable giving. Of these, 79 percent of the ZIP codes are located outside of major metropolitan areas – areas of far lower populations and densities that would also result in isolation from the problems of the less fortunate. And while philanthropy is not only focused on poverty and poor people, it does tend to have a focus on community betterment in all its various forms. Those farther out from metropolitan areas may be less focused on or concerned with such community development.
It’s not too shocking that some people give less than others, even among the rich. But it’s interesting to see how neighborhood location and composition can limit the power of the wealthy to give.”
Via: The Atlantic Cities

"Isolated and Under-Exposed: Why the Rich Don’t Give

Nate Berg. August 20, 2012

In terms of charity, the rich in America give a lot. But they’re not giving the most. According to a new study out from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which analyzes charitable giving at the ZIP code level, the richest neighborhoods are donating much smaller shares of their discretionary income than lower-income neighborhoods. Only nine of the 1,000 biggest-giving ZIP codes are among the richest 1,000 ZIP codes.

Rich people are certainly giving a lot. Those with annual incomes of $200,000 or more represent 11 percent of the tax returns but account for 41 percent of the money donated, according to the report. But as a share of their income, the richest people in the U.S. are giving at a significantly lower rate than the less affluent. 

The study looked at tax returns for people with reported earnings of $50,000 or more from the year 2008 – the most recent year for which data was available. The report found that for people earning between $50,000 and $75,000, an average of 7.6 percent of discretionary income was donated to charity. For those earning $200,000 or more, just 4.2 percent of discretionary income was donated.

Turns out lower giving among the rich likely has much more to do with where they live and who they live near.

As this accompanying article from the journal notes, when the rich are highly concentrated in wealthy enclaves, they’re less likely to give as compared with the rich living in more economically diverse neighborhoods. The report found that in neighborhoods where more than 40 percent of taxpayers reported earning $200,000 or more, the average giving was just 2.8 percent of discretionary income.

In other words, concentration of wealth is also isolation from the less fortunate.

Paul Piff, a postdoctoral scholar in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, says he has conducted studies showing that as wealth increases, people become more insulated, less likely to engage with others, and less sensitive to the suffering of others.

There’s also an element of geography. The researchers found that in 1,906 ZIP codes where at least 10 taxpayers earned $200,000 or more and at least one household itemized its returns, none of the wealthy residents reported any charitable giving. Of these, 79 percent of the ZIP codes are located outside of major metropolitan areas – areas of far lower populations and densities that would also result in isolation from the problems of the less fortunate. And while philanthropy is not only focused on poverty and poor people, it does tend to have a focus on community betterment in all its various forms. Those farther out from metropolitan areas may be less focused on or concerned with such community development.

It’s not too shocking that some people give less than others, even among the rich. But it’s interesting to see how neighborhood location and composition can limit the power of the wealthy to give.”

Via: The Atlantic Cities



“atlas of suburbanisms
The University of Waterloo’s Atlas of Suburbanisms — a research project by the School of Planning’s Markus Moos and Anna Kramer — looks like a fantastic effort to understand Canadian suburbs on their own terms and as components of larger urban systems:
“…what if we mapped characteristics commonly believed to be telling of suburbs just to see where they actually occur? What if we went to the suburbs, figuratively and literately, and conducted research as if looking from one suburb to the other, or as if looking from a suburb toward the central city? The likely result is an understanding of suburbanism, and our cities more generally, that is richer and more diverse; an understanding that does not take for granted the political or historic development of cities as drawing concrete lines between what we believe is the suburban and the urban.”
To do this, the research relies on a shift from understanding suburbia primarily as a spatial format — defined by distance from the center of a city, by a certain level of density, or by particular ways of arranging streets and buildings — towards understanding suburbanisms as a kind of urbanity constituted by certain patterns of living: driving to work, gravitating towards demographic monocultures, retreating from public space towards semi-public and private space, owning rather than renting.”
Via: mammoth
Image: ”Toronto: Percentage of residents who drive to work, live in single-detached housing, and own their homes”, from Moos and Kramer’s Atlas of Suburbanisms

atlas of suburbanisms

The University of Waterloo’s Atlas of Suburbanisms — a research project by the School of Planning’s Markus Moos and Anna Kramer — looks like a fantastic effort to understand Canadian suburbs on their own terms and as components of larger urban systems:

“…what if we mapped characteristics commonly believed to be telling of suburbs just to see where they actually occur? What if we went to the suburbs, figuratively and literately, and conducted research as if looking from one suburb to the other, or as if looking from a suburb toward the central city? The likely result is an understanding of suburbanism, and our cities more generally, that is richer and more diverse; an understanding that does not take for granted the political or historic development of cities as drawing concrete lines between what we believe is the suburban and the urban.”

To do this, the research relies on a shift from understanding suburbia primarily as a spatial format — defined by distance from the center of a city, by a certain level of density, or by particular ways of arranging streets and buildings — towards understanding suburbanisms as a kind of urbanity constituted by certain patterns of living: driving to work, gravitating towards demographic monocultures, retreating from public space towards semi-public and private space, owning rather than renting.”

Via: mammoth

Image: ”Toronto: Percentage of residents who drive to work, live in single-detached housing, and own their homes”, from Moos and Kramer’s Atlas of Suburbanisms



“Grassroots Mapping: How You Can Create Aerial Cartography for Under $100, and Use It to Do Good
Ben Jurvey.  3.7.2012
Historically, aerial mapmaking has been handled by governments and businesses alone. Who else could afford to put satellites in orbit or hire planes for private flyovers?
The notion that aerial imagery is only for the rich and powerful is being turned on its ear by an inspired group of DIY cartographers who have pioneered the field of grassroots mapping. The concept is simple: for about $100 in materials you can shoot aerial imagery that is higher resolution than any standard public satellite imagery. Using incredibly simple balloon and kite contraptions, you can capture the images on demand whenever you want, as often as you want.
Jeffrey Warren of MIT’s Media Lab came up with the basic concept, which he calls “Grassroots Mapping,” last year while working on a land-rights dispute in Lima, Peru. Then the BP oil spill happened, and the benefits of this method of mapping became urgently clear. Working with the Lousiana Bucket Brigade during the media blackout when FAA regulations prevented aircraft from flying lower than 4,000 feet above sensitive areas of the spill, Warren and the Grassroots Mapping team flew balloons and kites and captured incredibly vivid images of the oil spill’s impacts. Using simple online cartographic tools, the photos can be stitched together into bigger maps, like this one of the Lake Borgne wetlands east of New Orleans captured on June 11th of last year.
Of the oil spill work, the Grassroots Mapping team explained:
We’re helping citizens to use balloons, kites, and other simple and inexpensive tools to produce their own aerial imagery of the spill… documentation that will be essential for environmental and legal use in coming yeas.We believe in complete open access to spill imagery and are releasing all imagery into the public domain.”
Via: GOOD Magazine
Image:(cc) by GonzoEarth on Flickr.

Grassroots Mapping: How You Can Create Aerial Cartography for Under $100, and Use It to Do Good

Ben Jurvey.  3.7.2012

Historically, aerial mapmaking has been handled by governments and businesses alone. Who else could afford to put satellites in orbit or hire planes for private flyovers?

The notion that aerial imagery is only for the rich and powerful is being turned on its ear by an inspired group of DIY cartographers who have pioneered the field of grassroots mapping. The concept is simple: for about $100 in materials you can shoot aerial imagery that is higher resolution than any standard public satellite imagery. Using incredibly simple balloon and kite contraptions, you can capture the images on demand whenever you want, as often as you want.

Jeffrey Warren of MIT’s Media Lab came up with the basic concept, which he calls “Grassroots Mapping,” last year while working on a land-rights dispute in Lima, Peru. Then the BP oil spill happened, and the benefits of this method of mapping became urgently clear. Working with the Lousiana Bucket Brigade during the media blackout when FAA regulations prevented aircraft from flying lower than 4,000 feet above sensitive areas of the spill, Warren and the Grassroots Mapping team flew balloons and kites and captured incredibly vivid images of the oil spill’s impacts. Using simple online cartographic tools, the photos can be stitched together into bigger maps, like this one of the Lake Borgne wetlands east of New Orleans captured on June 11th of last year.

Of the oil spill work, the Grassroots Mapping team explained:

We’re helping citizens to use balloons, kites, and other simple and inexpensive tools to produce their own aerial imagery of the spill… documentation that will be essential for environmental and legal use in coming yeas.We believe in complete open access to spill imagery and are releasing all imagery into the public domain.

Via: GOOD Magazine

Image:(cc) by GonzoEarth on Flickr.

Architectural + Urban Research

Mass Urban is a multidisciplinary design-research initiative concerned with contemporary cities and urbanism. Mass Urban was co-founded in April 2011 by David Lee and Cliff Lau.

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