Spaces and Places, born of the necessity to be acknowledged within the built environment, has embarked on its most unique and ambitious convening since its conception. Now in its fourth year, the annual grassroots conference will be hosted virtually in partnership with BlackSpace and Next City. Reclaiming Spaces & Places will assemble urbanists and community leaders for a two-day event of virtual learning and exchange, taking place on Thursday, August 6, 2020 from 12-1:15 p.m E.T. Follow this link to learn more.
The impacts of the COVID-19 recession and the road to recovery differ widely across local economies. The Metro Recovery Index presents data across a variety of indicators to provide a picture of the impact of the crisis (compared to a pre-crisis state) and the trajectory of recent change, for both large- and mid-sized U.S. metropolitan areas. The indicators track impacts and trajectories in three major categories: the labor market, the real estate market, and other areas of economic activity. You can use the “select a metropolitan area” feature to navigate through the metro areas in Ohio. Follow this link to learn more.
This year, summer finds our world different than ever before. Summer 2020 will be remembered as the time when everyone was forced to think about other people by quarantining to keep themselves, loved ones, and entire communities healthy and safe. Governments have been struggling to reopen their economies while attempting to protect the health of the people they serve. Follow this link to read more.
It’s been four years since the city of Columbus was declared the winner of the U.S. Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge. Now, several grant-supported projects by The Ohio State University are reaching their conclusions. Researchers at Ohio State agree the work for a smarter Columbus is just getting started.
David Cooke, senior associate director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and one of the university partners with Smart Columbus, said the lessons learned from the program will have a long-term impact. “What [the smart cities grant] brought to the city of Columbus is to really put us at the forefront of mobility and smart cities research on a national scale,” Cooke said. “[CAR has been] engaged in automotive research for 30 years doing a subset of this work, very specifically on vehicle design and systems development, but mobility is much broader than just the vehicle.” Follow this link to read more.
As the United States enters its fifth month battling the COVID-19 pandemic, a patchwork of economic impacts and responses has materialized around the country. The coronavirus first hit large, globally connected cities, but is now spreading rapidly throughout the South and in smaller places. In Northern states and on the West Coast, governments acted quickly and forcefully to shut down businesses and have generally been slower to reopen them. Shutdowns in the South lasted for a relatively short period, only to recommence recently as cases began to spike. Meanwhile, local economies that relied heavily on industries such as tourism, energy, retail, and small business have endured massive setbacks, while those focused in financial services and other global services industries have felt lesser impacts. Follow this link to learn more.
Social Equity Impact of COVID-19 on Communities a panel discussion will be the third in a series of events on “Cities and Regions in the Post-Coronavirus Era,” initiating community conversations on what lessons can be learned from the crisis to create a more resilient and sustainable world. This webinar will be held on July 31, 2020, 12-1 p.m EDT. Follow this link to learn more.
If city-dwellers wanted to visit a green space in the 19th century, they likely found themselves at a cemetery. During much of that time, cemeteries played the role that city parks often do today, acting as a spot for people to gather. But increasingly over the past decade, communities have once again embraced hanging out in cemeteries. “Kennesaw was looking for ways to instead of fencing off to make it more accessible to their citizens,” says Holly Vine, executive assistant at the Atlanta Regional Commission planning agency. The city worked with ARC to gauge resident opinion and make the publicly owned Kennesaw City Cemetery into a green space for its burgeoning downtown. The cemetery, whose earliest known burial dates to 1863, has some prominent residents who contributed to Kennesaw’s founding. Follow this link to read more.
Research cannot be excluded from conversations about systemic racism. We rely on the research process to expose systemic issues and guide us toward solutions. But deeply rooted in this process is a power dynamic, an aspect of research that dims its idealism when examined up close. It is our responsibility, then, to put in the work—examining our methods for harmful and disempowering practices, acknowledging them, and committing to a new approach. Research, even in pursuit of equity, isn’t exempt from racial and ethnic discrimination. Since the Urban Institute’s founding 50 years ago by then-president Lyndon B. Johnson, we’ve had to reckon with the behavior and the environment that shaped our founding principles. But beyond good intentions, the solution requires critical evaluation, explicit action, and accountability measures, often disruptive and uncomfortable, to effectively dismantle racist structures. Follow this link to learn more.