Leveling the Playing Field: Long-Term Planning for Equity Recording

How can city planning increase equity for all? Sheila Foster, Professor of Law and Public Policy for Georgetown University; Anika Goss, Executive Director at Detroit Future City; and Paul Mogush, Manager of Long Term Planning for the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota; joined Jennifer Bradley, Director of the Aspen Institute Center for Urban Innovation, to discuss at CityLab 2019. Follow this link to view the video.

Sourced from: The Aspen Institute 

Nutrition Considerations for Smart Aging: Webinar

Approximately 80% of older adults have at least one chronic disease that directly impacts their quality of life. This webinar will discuss how nutrition affects the quality of life in older adults, and what can lead to poor nutrition in later life. An Introduction to the Aging and Eating curriculum will be presented by Jenny Lobb and Kathy Tutt. The webinar will take place Friday, December 6, 2019. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The North Central Region Aging Network

Disrupting Food Insecurity

An estimated 40 million Americans—including 12.5 million children—struggle with food insecurity, meaning they can’t afford an adequate diet. Federal nutrition programs and charitable meals make up the first line of defense, but solving this challenge will require communities to go beyond food to disrupt the root causes of economic distress. This dashboard equips counties with data about their food insecurity levels and related risk factors, identifies cross-cutting opportunities for intervention, and groups counties by shared challenges. Dive into your county’s data and explore strategies tailored to your county. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: The Urban Institute

Before & After Street Art Transformations

For those individuals among us who possess a talent for art, opportunities to create something beautiful can be found all around us. Everywhere you look, there are empty walls that are just crying out to become something more beautiful, if only someone would take the time. Thankfully, there are plenty of incredibly talented street artists out there who are doing just that, turning drab public spaces into explosions of color and creativity. Check out the gallery here.

Sourced from: Beauty of Planet Earth

Could Franchise Agreements Help Your City Reach 100% Renewable Energy?

As of today, 138 cities have formally announced 100% renewable energy goals or targets, while others are actively considering similar goals. Cities have a wide variety of renewable energy procurement options to help them achieve their goals. One such option available to cities is leveraging an electric franchise agreement to partner with their local utility on new renewable energy projects or programs. New National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) research provides the first available analysis of franchise agreements nationwide. The analysis evaluates the extent to which municipalities have the authority to enter franchise agreements, how many have pursued additional energy objectives in or alongside their agreements, and to what effect. From a dataset of over 3,500 franchise agreements, the authors conclude that cities in 30 states have the opportunity to pursue franchise agreements, while municipalities in 20 states may be prohibited or otherwise precluded from pursuing this option. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Cities Speak

6 New Cities to Address Health Hazards in Housing

Health and success begin at home, yet millions of Americans live in housing that is making them sick. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning and asthma. NLC is committed to supporting member efforts to provide safe and affordable housing for every family. NLC has selected six cities through a competitive application process to come together on health hazards in housing. The Healthy Housing City Leaders’ Forum will first convene in Charlotte, North Carolina in December. The six participating cities are:

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Bloomington, Illinois
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Jersey City, New Jersey

Each city has convened a cross-sector team that includes city department heads, implementers, and health partners. With the generous support of The JPB Foundation, this initiative will enable city teams to develop and implement a targeted action plan to improve housing conditions in their community. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Cities Speak

Expanding Childcare to Promote Economic Development and Housing

Fort Collins, Colorado entered the Cities of Opportunity pilot cohort, an initiative to work in a comprehensive way to improve health and equity, with the intention to focus on housing. The city’s team evolved to focus instead on childcare availability, exemplifying the Cities of Opportunity approach to meet cities where they are. The Fort Collins team intentionally reached out to partners to be supportive and not duplicative of what is already happening in this area. NLC spoke with Sue Beck-Ferkiss, social policy and housing programs manager with the City of Fort Collins, about how their team identified affordable childcare as a key need and pivoted to most effectively expanding it in their city. Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Cities Speak

How Aztecs Could Improve Modern Urban Farming

Roland Ebel of the Sustainable Food Systems Program at Montana State University conducted a research project to determine the extent to which an ancient Aztec agricultural technique could benefit 21st century horticultural needs. Ebel examined the use of “chinampas” with the hope of discovering their modern utility. A chinampa is a raised field on a small artificial island on a freshwater lake (usually surrounded by canals and ditches), where vegetables can be produced year round. The irrigation needs of chinampas is low and the productivity extremely high. Chinampas provide fresh produce for a megacity such as Mexico City and are conceivable around many of today’s exploding urban areas. Ebel’s findings are illustrated in the article Chinampas: An Urban Farming Model of the Aztecs and a Potential Solution for Modern Megalopolis “Today, many cities face very similar challenges as Mexico City did 700 years ag – a rapidly growing population, and less and less arable land available for food production. Highly intensive production systems with low resource demand are, therefore, a strategic goal of urban agriculture developers. Thus, while most strategists emphasize high-tech solutions such as complex vertical farms, I think it is worthwhile to learn from the achievements of our ancestors,” states Ebel.  Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips